This book is as cute as everyone says it is. It’s also funny, clever, and not the least bit sappy or emotionally manipulative. The love story between Simon and his anonymous internet friend is believable from beginning to end. Simon’s other friends and family members are also round characters, and are all likable despite their flaws.
Simon does a good job showing that coming out is scary, even for people with accepting families. Simon explains that he’s been coming out his whole life—like every time he has to remind his parents that he likes coffee, for example. And he’s tired of coming out. He’s tired of being vulnerable. I think all of us, LGBT or not, can sympathize with this feeling. But what I probably loved the most about this book were all the clever pop culture references. Simon’s sister has a dog named Bieber, who’s so named because he’s a golden retriever who always looks doped out. And Simon goes into a bit of detail about how and why his first male crush was on Daniel Radcliffe, which I easily relate to… But yah, if you’re over 40, you might not be able to appreciate the book/music/TV jokes and might not enjoy this as much as I did.
Congrats on a great first book, Ms. Albertalli. I’m looking forward to your next one.