Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Release Date: April 7, 2015

Publisher: Penguin

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 303

Source: Parnassus Books *super cute bookstore in Nashville!*

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

5 out of 5 stars

Why did I put off reading this for so long?! I think I didn’t want to be disappointed because I knew it was hyped up, but there’s a reason it was! THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD.

I’ve had this book on my radar since it came out and took the Booktube community by storm. I wanted to read it and have wanted to since it was released. Why did I wait so long? Because I’m a freaking idiot.

This book follows Simon Spier who is a normal 17 year old boy who goes to high school. He’s involved in the theatre department at school and has a great group of friends. One thing no one knows is that he’s gay. No one except his secret email correspondent he found on the school Tumblr page who goes by the name Blue. Simon and Blue use pseudonyms so they don’t know who the other is, but they email back and forth and Simon finds himself falling in love with this boy. He wants to know who he is but doesn’t want to lose him, so he doesn’t push Blue into revealing who he is.

This story was so cute and I don’t even understand how someone could not enjoy it. It was the perfect mixture of cute, heart-warming and smirking happiness with a very real-life feel. I loved that the only reason Simon didn’t want to come out was because he didn’t want it to be a big deal, not because he was scared. There aren’t enough young adult books about people with good, strong families who are supportive and loving all the time.

The whole time I was making guesses and trying to figure out who Blue was, and I did guess it, but I wasn’t disappointed that I guessed it. I kind of knew right away when the character was mentioned, but still SO CUTE.

“And I can’t stop smiling. I mean, there are times when it’s actually more work not to smile.”

Simon’s group of friends was amazing and had just the right amount of drama for a high school group. This made me miss high school and how simple it was, but how everything seemed like a huge deal. In the best way possible. *I mean I’m only a freshman in college but it’s very different from high school.* When you’re in high school EVERYTHING is a big step. From having your first kiss to starting to drink coffee. Everything seems like the biggest deal, and it’s adorably accurately portrayed in this book.

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t be a default.”

I love that Simon isn’t scared to be who he is. He never apologizes for being gay and I love that. It shouldn’t be a big deal, just like he said he didn’t want it to be. His family is so supportive and the scene where his parents come into his room and his dad tells him that he’s so proud of him… I was so happy for him! Even though he wasn’t worried, his parents were so supportive. I strive to be like his parents when I have kids.

“I know I didn’t make it easy for you to come out. We’re very proud of you. You’re pretty brave, kid.”

I LOVED that this book was about the love story and life of Simon, not the fact that he was gay. There isn’t enough of that portrayed in literature. Sexual preference and identity should have no impact on finding someone to love, and the story of that. This was cute and beautiful and perfect. I loved it.

The writing style reminded me of John Green and Jenny Han. Very easy to read and fast enough to read it in two days *raises hand.* Also, the acknowledgments section of the book is so cute and is such a bonus part of books for me now. There are so many hints and clues put in there and awwww. I love when authors mention their other author friends because it makes you feel like part of it because you’ve read books by all of them. So cute.

If you’ve been putting off this book, read it. If you’ve never heard of this book, 1. where have you been? 2. read it because it’s a perfect story.

REREAD Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 27, 2007

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 485

Source: Public Library

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

5 out of 5 stars

I don’t even remember how many times I’ve read this book anymore, but rereading it made me so unbelievably happy!

I LOVE this series, and the Shadowhunter books are my favorite books. For me, these are my Harry Potter books. So many people went through their difficult preteen years with Harry Potter, and that’s great. I love HP, but the Shadowhunter books ARE my HP. These books have helped me through so much from horrible anxiety to switching friend groups. Reading this brought back so many memories for me.

You can read my original review if you want my original thoughts and gushing even though it’s HELLA CRINGE because I wrote the post when I was 15. Yikes.

This book gets better and better the more I read it. I have this plan that I’m going to read all the Cassandra Clare books before the release of Queen of Air and Darkness on December 4th. I don’t have that long, but it won’t be difficult to read all the books considering I’ve already read them and I LOVE THEM ALL.

I forgot where this book ended. Lol in my original review I said I liked Jace and Clary as a couple and as siblings. ha ha ha hell to the no. They are such a cute couple and I forgot that because they’ve never really been my favorite, but I still really like them. I think my favorite couple is Alec and Magnus, and I can’t wait to find out about this new warlock baby child they adopted because something is up. But this book reminded me that they are so awkwardly horrible at not showing their emotions when they’re siblings. I laughed out loud during the big reveal because I just remember how shook I was when I first read it. Man, good times. This is where it all started.

I also forgot how bad I felt for Simon when Clary was blindsided by his declarations of love and didn’t say that she loved him back. It just hurt my heart. Also, when he fricking shoots the skylight out and kills the Greater Demon that was Dorothea you can tell that he is a vampire. I just realized that because it talked about how he moved unnaturally fast and how he acted so strong. Yes, boi because you’s the Daylighter. I can’t wait for them to realize he’s a vampire again and then we’ll get the Sizzy sexy times with the vampire bites. Yep. Excited for that.

I forgot so much of this book and I’m so glad that I re-read it. I love this series and it means so much to me. I honestly can’t wait until I get later in this series and get to re-read the Dark Artifices again because they might be my favorites, but I’ll also get to revisit Will and Tessa. Yayyyyyyy. I love everything about this re-reading of this series. I can’t wait to see all the things I’ve missed for the books I’ve only read once.


Review: Guilt in Our Pockets: Poems from South India – Carlos Reyes

Guilt in Our Pockets: Poems from South India – Carlos Reyes

Guilt in Our Pockets: Poems from South India

Title: Guilt in Our Pockets: Poems from South India

Author: Carlos Reyes

Release Date: July 17, 2017

Publisher: Lynx House Press

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 48

Source: Free Book Table!

This new collection by the internationally known poet and translator Carlos Reyes adds to the rich treasure chest of poems from a restless and inveterate traveler whose work has taken us to Spain, Ecuador, France, Ireland, the Arctic, the Galapagos, Mexico, Panama, Italy, and now India. In these poems a talent for visual texture and detail, coupled with the poet’s familiarity with a huge variety of social and cultural matrixes, produces a close and sometimes troubling view of the contrast between American assumptions of privilege and India’s blend of fantastically rich culture and the bitterly desperate social and economic circumstances to be found there in the lives of common folk.

2 out of 5 stars

I found this book while looking through a stack of books on a free book table in one of the English buildings on campus. I was intrigued because I’ve never read any poetry from India, so I brought it with me.

I found this to be a little lackluster for me. I understand that the premise is to show that we, Westerners, are more privileged than those in impoverished countries, but this made me sad pretty much the whole time. Again, I get that that is probably the purpose of this poetry collection, but it was just very sad.

But home is always

where I am at the moment.

This was my favorite quote because I agree with this! Home is wherever you are whether that be with being at college or traveling the world. You can have more than one home.

This didn’t feel like it had a conclusive ending, so it left me hanging a little bit. I wish that the last poem would have wrapped up the collection a little bit more. I also don’t really feel as though I learned that much about South Indian culture while reading this, which is disappointing.

Carlos Reyes sounds like a pretty cool guy. The bio on the back of the book says:

“He lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, when is he not traveling.”

So obviously travel is a huge part of his life, so I think he would be an interesting man to meet!

Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

Release Date: January 24, 2012

Publisher: Crown

Format: eBook

Page Number: 370

Source: Public Library

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

3 out of 5 stars

This book was recommended to me by my ballet teacher during a conference talking about how I was doing in class. She told me that she thought that she and I were very similar in many ways, and this book was interesting to her because she is an introvert herself. I am introverted and love reading *obviously* so when I got this recommendation I immediately went and checked it out off of Overdrive from my library.

I really liked a lot of this book, but there was too much science for me. I LOVED the parts about the social aspects of being introverted and why people are the way they are, but the way the science topics were discussed was very dry and boring to me! I understand that this is a nonfiction book and there is supposed to be a lot of factual information, but it was just SO SLOW.

I wish this was mostly social aspects instead of scientific ones. I appreciated that it was there, but with all my readings for class this was just a little too dense for me during some parts.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

This was one of my favorite quotes from this book. Love it. Love that it feels true!

I learned throughout reading this and do recommend it. I think this is great for people who are introverted, but it doesn’t really teach you that much if you already know that you’re introverted. I think this would be an important book for an extroverted boyfriend, husband, or partner to read in order to understand their significant other better.

I think sometimes extroverts don’t understand that introverts DO need time to recharge after spending a ton of time with people. That we do want to stay in on Friday nights and just have a cozy reading night!

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

Again, I agree with this quote, too!

This is the first non-fiction book I’ve read in quite some time, so maybe it’s just me not getting into it quickly, or the fact that I couldn’t read for long periods of time because of schoolwork… All in all I think this was an interesting read!

February Wrapup + March TBR


  1. River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt *review*
  2. The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  3. The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  4. The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  5. Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  6. The Jew of Malta – Christopher Marlowe


  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
  2. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare
  3. Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2) – Kellyn Roth