2 Book Reviews: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda AND Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}

Thank you all SO MUCH for your amazing and supportive comments on my LAST POST 🙂 It has been such a fun time over these past 11 days and definitely continues to be such an awesome experience! A giant warm welcome to all of my new readers 🙂 I absolutely love sharing my blog with all of you and today, I have 2 book reviews to share! Becky Albertalli’s Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda has been on my to read list for YEARS. A few months ago, when Jenna from Jenna Stop Reading posted a giveaway containing Simon’s sequel, Leah on the Offbeat, I knew I had to enter! Once I won, it was exactly the push I needed to finally read Simon. I immediately put it on the wait list at my local library and I’m so glad that I did! (To see the other 3 books that I won in that giveaway, you can read about them HERE).

Book Review #1: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Goodreads Synopsis of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

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. 

My Review of Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda {Becky Albertalli}:

Oh I absolutely LOVED this book!

Becky Albertalli has such an awesome way of getting into the minds of a younger generation and writing from their point of view. The dialogue in this book felt like actual teenagers were speaking!

These characters were so wonderful and the rich storylines were so detailed.

And FUNNY. Becky Albertalli is so funny! I found myself smiling through so much of this book. I absolutely love the way that she writes! She must be such fun in real life 🙂

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is such a beautiful, emotional, and powerful read which discusses such important topics.

This book was made into the movie Love, Simon which I haven’t seen. I did see the trailer, however and I have so many thoughts. In the 2 1/2 minutes…I already can spot 100 differences from the book. I actually have zero desire to see this movie because I can already tell that the differences will annoy me! Side note: seeing Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play the roles of the PARENTS of the high schoolers just makes me feel old.

The movie trailer:

Have any of you seen the movie? I’d love to hear how it compares to the book. I WILL say that I like the movie title a WHOLE lot more than the book title…

There is also a tv spinoff currently available on Hulu called Love, Victor…have any of you watched? I have not.

Basically this book was everything I was so hoping that this other book that I read a few months ago was going to be.

Bottom Line:

Absolutely loved it.

Book Review #2: Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

I started to read Simon’s sequel Leah on the Offbeat immediately after I finished reading Simon. There are actually 3 books in this series but Leah is the sequel to Simon even though there is a book in between? Becky Albertalli’s website addresses this:

My first three books are part of the same universe, so if you want to experience the full story chronologically, you should read SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, then THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, then LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT. That said, The Upside of Unrequited takes place in a different setting, and can easily exist as a standalone story (meaning: it will make total sense if you read it on its own, and also, you do not need to read it to understand Leah On the Offbeat). You can read Leah On the Offbeat on its own, but I think you’ll get more out of it if you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda first (or at least see Love, Simon)(but seriously, IMO, Leah is much more exciting if you read Simon Vs first).

Goodreads Synopsis of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Review of Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertelli}:

So one of the very best things about Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is the very reason that I had to STOP reading Leah on the Offbeat. Becky Albertalli has such a gift of getting into the heads of these teenage characters and truly writing as if she were a teenager. The way they think, the way they talk, the actions they take. It’s amazing!


Finishing Simon and starting Leah literally within the span of less than 1 hour was TOO MUCH time spent in the heads of teenagers and I just needed to get out, lol. I read about 120 pages and finally…this grown mother of 2 just needed a break from very literally being inside the minds of teenagers.

Becky Albertalli is AWESOME and truly has a gift for writing from the INSIDES of teenagers minds. It’s very hard to find a YA author that masters this the way that she does! Reading these books back to back was just a bit…too much teenager thought for me.

Would any of my local readers like my copy of Leah on the Offbeat? I can leave it on my front porch for you! If not, I will put it in my local Little Free Library.

Bottom Line:

This is truly a case of (most likely) good book, wrong time.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



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One thought on “2 Book Reviews: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda AND Leah on the Offbeat {Becky Albertalli}

  1. I’m so glad you loved Simon too. 🙂 The movie is cute. I did notice the differences, but it was fun to watch and you will end up getting teary-eyed at one point.
    I understand how you feel about Leah. I read it a while after Simon, but it didn’t have the same feel as Simon. It was cute though, but Simon sets a huge bar!
    Love, Victor is fabulous. You must check it out!!! It’s a TV series. I wrote about it in this post: https://merrylandgirl.blogspot.com/2020/07/two-fabulous-teen-shows.html


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