#YADiversityBookClub: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Audiobook Review

About the book:

Simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Hardcover, 320 pages, Balzer & Bray, April 7.

Goodreads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * IndieBound * Audible

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 with, 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.

Simon Says: The Audiobook Agenda

The timing worked out with book club this month that Simon on sale as an audiobook during the time we were reading the book. Since I am an audiobook junkie I took the opportunity to switch off with reading and listening to SIMON. Today I’ll give you the lowdown on the listening experience and why you might consider “listening” to what Simon says.

Simon audiobook

If you have tried audiobooks in the past you know that the narrator makes or breaks the book. I had started reading SIMON when I picked up the audiobook, so I had an idea of Simon’s voice in my head. It was such a great surprise to hear how well narrator Michael Crouch brought the character to life. He sounds like the teenage boy that Simon is and brings a lot of personality to the story. Simon’s personality is kind of witty, snarky, and self-conscious and that comes through in Crouch’s performance. This is my first time listening to this narrator but I won’t hesitate to listen to him again.

One of the storytelling devices in SIMON is the email exchange between Simon and Blue. Normally I try to stay away from audiobooks that rely on the use of text or email messages because it gets tedious to hear the detailed to/from and date/time over and over. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker for this audiobook though. Michael Crouch’s reading pace and style makes this a nonissue, plus hearing the email information helps to reiterate who is speaking/writing.

There are several characters in the book and author Becky Albertalli makes them fully formed and meaningful. And the narrator makes each character distinct as well. I also really appreciated Crouch’s reading pace. Sometimes I have to speed up the narration to suit my taste but Crouch reads at a brisk pace that suits the story.

The audiobook highlights the engaging and heartwarming quality of the book and the swoon-worthy love story. If you’ve already read an loved SIMON I still recommend giving the book a “re-listen” to experience the book in a new way. Plus, if you’re listening to the audiobook your hands will be free (if you’re not driving) to munch on Oreos while you listen! (Read the book; you’ll understand)

Listen to a sample from chapter one:

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Don’t miss June’s featured book: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.

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6 thoughts on “#YADiversityBookClub: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Audiobook Review

  1. Annette says:

    I’ve seen this one around, but never heard the synopsis before now… I used to think the title was strange, but now I get it! Anyway, this seems like such a great read and after playing the extract you posted above (“I almost didn’t realise I was being blackmailed”) I’d love to listen to the audio version! Snarky characters always make it easier for me to disappear into a book, they’re just so much more likeable than flat 2D characters… 🙂 Great review honey, I’m glad you loved this one so much!

    1. Annette says:

      Oh and I forgot to mention that if you click on the ‘1X’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the audible app, that you can increase the ‘speed’ of the narration – I love this feature! Because I find slow-readers kind of annoying too! Oh and RE great male YA narrators, if you haven’t already listened to Alex Woods Versus the Universe, do it now!!

      1. Lucy says:

        Thanks for the tip on Alex Woods Versus the Universe, Annette. I haven’t listened to it yet but you’ve got me interested!
        And yes, thank goodness you can adjust the speed of the narration in Audible- I use that all the time, lol.
        Hope you get the chance to listen to SIMON someday 🙂

        1. Annette says:

          I’ll definitely download it from audible, I have the credits, but it just might be a while before I can listen to it… My reading pile is quite full at the moment; honestly, I’m feeling a bit “snowed under” lol.

  2. This one is on my definite get to list. There have been so many good books exploring this coming of age journey.

    Amy Deatherage recently posted: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep
  3. We Heart YA says:

    LOL at listening to the audiobook so that your hands are free to eat Oreos!

    SO true that the narrator makes or breaks the audiobook experience. Stephanie is our resident audiobook listener, so I’ll let her know that this is a good one to check out. Thanks for writing up your thoughts!

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