Welcome back to Totally Lit Parties, a feature in which Corrie shows you how to throw YA-themed parties!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of those books that I found myself cheering and crying while reading. I couldn’t put it down, and that is always a reason to party.
An email is the best way to invite someone to a Simon party. But if that feels a little too impersonal for you, tape a piece of paper with the details to the tag of a t-shirt and deliver it in a plastic bag. You could even give your guests a blank t-shirt that they can then use to craft at the party.
What to Wear
A few of the characters have distinctive style: Nora has 5 piercings in one ear, Ms. Albright has “electric red” hair, and Abby’s left wrist is loaded with friendship bracelets. While any of those are great options, I'm partial to the Halloween costumes in the book:
• Simon - cat ears (school), and a Dementor (party)
• Abby - Cleopatra (school), and Wonder Woman (party)
• Leah - Tohru from Fruits Basket
• Other costumes - Katniss, Yoda, and a Freudian Slip
You could also have everyone dress up in a random Spirit Day theme that your high school might have had leading up to Homecoming. For example, mine had 'Decade Day' and 'Clash Day' every year. This might also lead to conversation about the crazy events that everyone’s school held to promote school spirit.
• Secrets: Simon meets Blue through an anonymous confessional post on a tumblr blog called CreekSecrets. Create postcards about your own secrets, or, if that feels too much, create some for your favorite literary characters. You can share them, leave them somewhere for others to find, or mail them to PostSecret.
• Play Time: Simon is involved in his high school production of Oliver!. Check out the local theater options in your area, and consider attending a school production.
• Reality: Simon and his family watch The Bachelor, even if it means Alice has to Skype in while she’s away at college. Pick your favorite reality show and have some fun with it. Make a list of literary heartthrobs and decide who you would give your rose to, who to vote off the island, or even who to read for filth. Really get into it; it’s what Simon and his family would do.
• Social Media Scavenger Hunt: Another activity Simon’s family loves to do is scouring social media for whatever arbitrary category they dream up (one example being “a Jewish person posting about Christmas”). Come up with your own fun topics and see what you can find.
• Video Games: Simon, Leah, and Nick hang out in Nick’s basement to play video games. Find something collaborative that your group can play together. Many gaming systems have party games, or you could also play app-based games like Pokémon Go together.
• Get Friendly: Purchase some embroidery thread to make friendship bracelets like Abby's. (Check out this link for pattern ideas.)
• Makeover: As soon as Simon puts on eyeliner and mascara for the play, people can’t stop talking about how attractive he looks. Pool your resources to give each other compliment-worthy makeovers.
• Looking Good: Blue leaves Simon a t-shirt inspired by Simon's favorite musician. Make your own love note t-shirt using fabric paint. For a sharper line than you can get free-handing, the freezer paper method is a great way to create a one-time use stencil.
Tasty Business and Boozy Beverages
The book contains several mentions of delicious foods, but none are as prominent as Simon’s love of Oreos. You can incorporate Oreos in several ways, but I have two favorites. Create Oreo milkshakes by combining crushed cookies, ice cream, and milk in a blender. If you like your milkshakes a little stronger, a flavored vodka, Kahlua, or any other complementary alcohol would be a great addition. Or set up an Oreo taste test with different Oreo flavors for your partygoers to identify. (The cream color can sometimes be a clue, so blindfolds might be necessary.)
If Oreos aren’t your thing but you still want something sweet, serve Nick Eisners instead (cookies with a glop of peanut butter). If you decide to go with sheet cake, remember that no one gets a slice without a hat.
For other options, you’d be fine with anything you’d find at a high school party or the local Waffle House, as well as appletinis and shots that taste like orange soda. No matter what you eat or drink, it will be perfect if you’re enjoying them with your friends.
Do you have any other Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda-themed party ideas? Let us know in the comments!
Corrie Golando lives in Lafayette, IN, with her husband and two greyhounds. She spent 10 years as a middle school/high school English teacher, and her students gave her a love for all things YA. When she's not working at the high school library, she is writing fanfiction and doing something crafty. She has a love of all things coated in glitter, much to her husband's horror.