Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a 2015 young adult novel and the debut book by American author Becky Albertalli. The coming-of-age story focuses on its titular protagonist Simon Spier, a closeted gay high-school aged boy who is forced to come out after a blackmailer discovers Simon's e-mails written to another closeted classmate with whom he has fallen in love.
Albertalli received the William C. Morris Award from the American Library Association, an annual honor for young adult literature, as well as internationally the German Youth Literature Prize. The novel was also featured on the National Book Award Longlist and listed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the Best Young Adult novels in 2015.
The name of the novel is a parody of the term "homosexual agenda", a pejorative phrase that was commonly used by opponents of gay rights in the United States, until growing popular support for gay rights among the American public rendered the use of the term no longer socially acceptable. This is also a reference to a conversation between Simon and his e-mail pen pal, in which they discuss how they believe everyone should have to come out, not just gay people, jokingly referencing the aforementioned phrase and how their own version would be "the Homo Sapiens Agenda," since it applies to everyone regardless of sexuality.
The book was adapted into a film titled Love, Simon, which was released by 20th Century Fox in the United States on March 16, 2018, and was met with critical and commercial success.
Simon Spier is a closeted, gay, 16-year-old student in his junior year of high school with a fondness for musical theater who lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Unbeknownst to his family and friends, Simon has been sending e-mails to a person going by the name of "Blue", Simon himself using the pseudonym "Jacques". As the two become closer, however, Simon's secret suddenly falls under siege; the e-mails sent between him and Blue are threatened to be released if he doesn't play wingman for Martin, the class clown, and coerce his friend Abby into falling in love with him. Now, his sexual orientation and the privacy of him and his enigmatic digital confidant could possibly be compromised. Simon must find a way to step out of his comfort zone, before he is pushed out, and before he loses Blue, who only grows more flirtatious by the day, and who Simon, whether by choice or not, is on the cusp of encountering in person.
Love, Simon: A movie tie-in novel including a new cover featuring Nick Robinson, official stills from the set, an excerpt from the script of the opening scenes of the film, and a behind-the-scenes interview with Albertalli, Robinson, and director Greg Berlanti. Special Edition Hardcover: A hardcover edition including previously unseen e-mails between Simon and Blue, a behind-the-scenes scrapbook of photographs taken by Albertalli on the set of Love, Simon, and an exclusive interview between Albertalli and fellow YA authors Angie Thomas and Adam Silvera.
Awards and nominations
William C. Morris Award: Best Young Adult Debut of the Year National Book Award for Young People's Literature: Longlist Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults Lincoln Award Nominee Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: Debut Goodreads Author Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: Young Adult Fiction Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2017
A sequel focusing on the character of Leah (set in her senior year), titled Leah on the Offbeat, was released on April 24, 2018. In 2020, Albertalli announced the release of Love Creekwood, the epilogue to both novels released prior.
Love, Simon is the title of the film adaptation of the book. It stars Nick Robinson in the lead role, along with Katherine Langford as Leah, Alexandra Shipp as Abby, Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Nick, Keiynan Lonsdale as Bram, and Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel as Simon's parents. Jack Antonoff produced the soundtrack. The film was released in the United States on March 16, 2018.
Development of the film by production studio Fox 2000 was first reported in October 2015, with Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker signed to write the screenplay. Openly gay writer, director, and television showrunner Greg Berlanti directed the film.
The film has grossed $66.3 million at the box office worldwide, against a production budget of $10–17 million.