Okay, picked up this book thinking it would be a nice gay romance to read. I've never actually read a boy x boy book outside of the internet before, but being queer myself I thought it would make a nice change.
Five pages in, they mention Tegan and Sara. hmm. This is a story about a gay teenage guy, right? Yep...female author as well, I don't mind as long as it's something substantial. Wait. They mention Harry Potter. Manga. Harry x Malfoy ships are also mentioned. Oh, and they talk about Tumblr a lot, only they call it "THE Tumblr" for some reason...
Okay, it's starting to sound a bit like a bad fanfic here, what with all the fandoms going on. I can still tolerate it, though. Gay romance. Maybe Simon Spier really is into Tegan and Sara. I'm still looking forward to it...
Then I reached page 47 (of my copy) and it went downhill in an instant.
I'm going to quote three things from the page. You read these three things, and tell me if you still want to read this book after knowing this was in there.
1. "Leah, did you know you have a really Irish face?"
2. So I guess you learn something new every day, because I really thought Jewish people came from Israel.
3. "Hey, I think I'm going to get a drink," Martin says, jumping up again in that spastic way.
I...I have no words. If that entire page wasn't completely racist, then it wasn't far off. It wasn't even written very well. I understand that the author was probably just trying to make the whole scene seem "awkward". Well, congratulations, she succeeded. In the worst possible way.
I made it to the end of the chapter and then threw this book down. Yes, I was looking forward to a decent gay romance. This isn't it.
A quick summary of what else I managed to glean from the other chapters. The book starts off with the main gay character being blackmailed by a straight guy, threatening to out him. The characters in general are also pretty flat. I actually found myself flipping back to previous chapters because some of the characters were that forgettable.
Initially, I was interested in the relationship between Simon and Blue - their pen-pal exchange over email seemed really sweet and reminded me of some nostalgic memories from school. But after reading that last chapter, I cannot continue with this any longer.
Oh and by the way, there's a love triangle. A love triangle between straight people which exists before the book has even started. Even in a story about gay romance, we're stuck with a love triangle.
Don't read this, please. I'm sure a lot of people love this book for the romance side, and I really did want to enjoy it, but the sheer amount of flaws just ruined it for me. 1/5.