Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli

Simon is penpals with Blue, but he does not know their real identity. Blue and Simon talk about life and all their little mishaps in life, without any personal details, so they can’t figure out who the other is. He starts to suspect who his pen-pal/secret admirer is and when they get to know each other better all he wants to do is know who Blue really is, even though Blue is strongly opposed to it.

When a fellow student at their high school finds an email between them, he begins blackmailing Simon to help him get a date with his friend Abby or else he will spill the emails. Simon feels there is no choice but to obey. Every major event will make you rethink how you thought the story would play out. A heartfelt story of blackmail, pen pals, friendship, and the struggles of life.

You won’t want to put this book down and the characters have been written as relatable and realistic. Becky Albertalli’s beautifully written plot is comparable to those of many teen’s struggles and therefore makes the overall story take you through every page in a way that makes it seem as if you are in the story too. An emotional rollercoaster and by the end, you will be wishing for more.

I would recommend this book to most people, this plot will have you hanging off every word not wanting to take a break. Warning: you may have the urge to eat Oreos and Reese’s pieces while you read! Also even after reading, I still do not completely understand the connection to the Homo Sapiens Agenda even though it is mentioned somewhat throughout the book. A very quick read but a moderately sized book for teens and up, as the information sometimes needs an understanding of the subject matter. – Zoe P.

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Jane, Unlimited

Kristin Cashore

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep-sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. However, Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane does not know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. At Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

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Noteworthy - Riley RedgateNoteworthy

Riley Redgate


A cappella just got a makeover.

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.

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