Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli [Book Review]

simonTitle : Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author : Becky Albertalli

ISBN : 9780141356099

Publisher : Penguin

Genre : Young Adult, LGBT

Pages : 303

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars



“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

It’s not very often that I pick up a YA book but Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was on my TBR since it has been published and I was finally able to pick it up (and finish it at one go!).

Simon, who is “not openly gay” is slowly falling in love with his “e-mail friend” whom he calls Blue and who studies in the same school as his. But one day another classmate reads the emails and starts blackmailing him. Meanwhile Simon is completely falling for Blue and is desperate to find out who exactly he is.

The book alternates between the story and the e-mail exchanges between Simon and Blue and those are the most adorable part of the book. Harmless flirting, sexual & non sexual attraction, slowly falling in love while things are not going well at school, the desperation to know who your love interest actually is- all these are portrayed so effortlessly but beautifully through the e-mails that I couldn’t help myself from grinning and smiling throughout.

Though I couldn’t get many pop-culture references, but the story, plot and the lovely characters compensated for that. The “coming out” scenes have been written with great depth and understanding and though they are funny, still leave an impact.

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.” 

A short, hearty, adorable book and I don’t see any reason why one shouldn’t read this.

Buy yourself a copy from Amazon here.

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Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy [Book Review]

Don't let him know.jpgTitle : Don’t Let Him Know

Author : Sandip Roy

ISBN : 9781620408988

Publisher : Bloomsbury India

Genre : LGBT/Contemporary

Pages : 256

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars





Don’t let him know revolves around Romola Dutt and her family. The stories are interconnected and set across three generations and two continents. The author, with his vivid description, has managed to capture the essence of Calcutta, Carbondale and California.

The story begins with Romola Dutt visiting her son Amit and his family in California after the death of her husband, Avinash. Amit finds a part of a torn letter and tells his mother about it. The letter sends Romola into a deep reverie, which the author has explained through a series of interconnected stories in the following chapters.

The author delves into the past of the three central characters – Romola, her husband Avinash and her son Amit. With each story, the author reveals the characters’ personalities, their hidden secrets, beliefs, etc. From Romola’s childhood stories to Avinash’s coming to term with his sexuality and Amit’s childhood in Calcutta and his University days in San Fransisco.

The author through his intricate narration reveals the secrets of each character through the stories of their past. From Romola’s secret crush on a movie star, to Avinash’s sexuality, past affairs and secret desires and Amit’s dilemma. Secrets play a very important role in the book. Each character has their own baggage of secrets which they carry through generations.

A fantastic debut. Must read! Buy yourself a copy from Amazon here-


George by Alex Gino [Book Review]

George by Alex GinoTitle : George

Author : Alex Gino

ISBN : 9780545812542

Publisher : Scholastic Press

Genre : LGBT

Pages : 195

Source : Self

Rating : 5 stars






George is a ten year old kid. He lives with his mother and a elder brother named Scott and he has a best friend at school named Kelly. Everything is normal except the fact that George is completely convinced that she is a girl!

While she is trying to keep this knowledge as a secret, her teacher announces that their class play is going to be “Charlotte’s Web”. George thinks that this is an amazing opportunity to tell everyone that she is a girl by playing the role of Charlotte in front of everyone, specifically her mom. But the teacher won’t allow her to play Charlotte because everyone thinks that she is a boy!

Her best friend Kelly comes to her rescue and both hatch a successful plan to help George play Charlotte and tell everyone in her own way that she is a girl.

There are plethora of books written on LGBT theme but I am not sure of a fiction specifically revolving around a trans-kid. The humongous and apparently controversial issues of transgenderism, coming out, difference between being a gay and a transgender, the questions of “Which washroom to use” etc are so effortlessly yet so profoundly woven into a piece of fiction that the reader cannot help but applaud the author for this piece of work.

As one of the testimonials read, “This is an important book..but more importantly, it’s a really good book”. Even after written from a kid’s perspective and discussing such a sensitive issue, the book is nowhere boring or laid-back. In fact it actually becomes a page turner when George appears as Charlotte on the stage without informing anyone else beforehand.

If you want to make someone aware about what being a transgender actually is, you can start with suggesting this book.

Buy yourself a copy from Amazon here.