A novel that brings out all the cosiness in your heart to the surface and makes you smile from page one.
Simon is a regular high school boy: he has a great family, amazing friends and his colleagues aren’t half bad. There’s only one problem, Simon is keeping a huge closeted secret. He starts exchange email with a boy named Blue, Simon realises he’s not the only one with a secret and that someone out there actually understands him. When his email falls into the wrong hands, aka his colleague Martin, Simon is blackmailed into helping Martin get together with Simon’s friend Abby in exchange for his secret to remain a secret. Guided by his fear that the shy Blue puts an end to their correspondence, Simon agrees. If he thought he would end his high school drama-free, he was solemnly mistaken.
Becky Albertalli is an author to remember, follow and re-read. Her style of writing is simple, easy to follow and flows perfectly through the events in the story. The mix between music and old movie references and the humour and sarcasm is brilliant. I found myself laughing aloud and re-reading passages to appreciate fully the depth of her messages.
The characters are the key to this amazing novel. Every single one of them is explored beautifully and you’ll have the chance to know them better throughout the story. Simon is an unforgettable main protagonist. His sense of humour knows no bounds and his blunt honesty doesn’t fail in making you laugh. You easily fall into a steady paced step with him, his struggle to deal with the fact someone knows his secret and his growing curiosity to know who Blue is. Simon is a teenage boy with the head on his shoulders who loves his life and faces his challenges head-on. He doesn’t let his problems define him and always remains faithful to himself. He stands up for what he believes in. At the same time, he’s afraid of what might change with his family and friends if he decides to come out. The author did an incredible job in building and exploring this character. I couldn’t get enough of him.
Blue, the second male lead, is the opposite of Simon. He’s very insecure and shy, but it only makes a more loveable character. He faces part of his fears as he opens up to Simon through their emails and you can see his fear coming back and hesitating in continuing their exchanges. Even with his own struggles, Blue always says the right thing to support Simon and it’s heart-warming to see their relationship develop in such a sweet way.
Simon’s friends are great additions to the story and reading about their interactions and moments with Simon is incredible. When things go south, they weren’t very understanding of Simon’s reasons and choices. They were incapable of thinking about someone apart from themselves. Simon’s reasons for making the choices he made. While in the end, everything worked out, I wouldn’t have been able to forgive as easily.
Martin is, of course, the bad guy in a way. He completely turns Simon’s life upside down by threating to reveal his secret and Blue’s because he was too afraid of being straight with Abby and accept she simply wasn’t interested. High school drama took to a whole different level when Martin outs Simon on Christmas. While Martin’s actions unlock plenty of consequences, Simon doesn’t back down and faces his family, his friends and his school with openness and honesty. It only made me love Simon even more and cheer for his victory in the end.
I can recommend this novel enough. Everyone should read this light and unique book at least once. It’s one of those that leaves a long-lasting impression and never fails to bring a smile to your face.