I reached out to members of my lady tribe looking for an uplifting read after the awful heartbreak that was The Radium Girls and one of my friends recommended YA in general, and Becky Albertalli specifically. I don’t read a lot of YA though I have enjoyed my share of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, so I figured I was on the right track. My pal did not disappoint. This book was a warm smile and a fluffy embrace and just what I needed.
Simon is a closeted teen in a suburb of Atlanta who, through Tumblr, makes an anonymous connection with another gay guy at his school. The novel jumps in point of view where we read the email exchanges between “Jacques” and “BlueGreen118” and follow our protagonist, Simon, through the trials and tribulations of high school as he comes to terms with his identity, and this burgeoning relationship. The teens are believable and the parents are too, even if they are a little too “cool parent” to come off as realistic. Simon definitely has an idyllic home life, but that’s part of the charm of this book.
The plot “twists” are not very twisty, but that’s what I came here for. Something heartwarming and uplifting where things pretty much turn out okay in the end. I had a wry smile through most of this one, as I asked myself if I was ever that young, dramatic, naive, etc. Though the memories are hazy, I’m pretty sure the answers are “yes, yes, and definitely yes.” It makes me happy that this book exists, and this movie exists, and that youngsters will have this representation as they come of age in small towns, or in any town really.