At the last TEENSgate event we were gifted with copies of Love, Simon – the movie tie in books for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – by Penguin. Honestly, I was excited because I’d seen so many talking about how amazing the movie was on Twitter just before the event so I couldn’t wait to read it! Long review cut short, I loved it and I can’t wait to be able to see the movie, but for more then read on…
Title: Love, Simon (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Movie Tie In)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Release Date: 30th January 2018
Source: Provided by Penguin through TEENSgate (this in no way affects my review which is honest and unbiased)
‘The beloved, award-winning novel will soon be a major motion picture starring 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford and Everything, Everything’s Nick Robinson.
‘Worthy of Fault in Our Stars-level obsession.’ Entertainment Weekly
‘I love you, SIMON. I LOVE YOU! And I love this fresh, funny, live-out-loud book.” Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of All the Bright Places
Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better.
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal . . .
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.’
‘Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.’
Pretty sure that this book made me go ‘aww’ more than any other book ever… It’s based around Simon, who hasn’t come out yet but is anonymously emailing a boy who’s alter ego is Blue – someone that Simon is falling for completely. In terms of romance, I’m really a sucker for a more “believable” non-Insta love and there were months of history between these two, making it completely believable even if it was mostly by email.
Simon as a main character has slight flaws – he consistently states that he’s nosy but doesn’t know as much about his friends as he should do. I found this endearing to watch him realise and try to make up for though, it was a lovely bit of additional character development for someone already working through so much. Nick and Leah are his long term best friends, and there’s a new girl called Abby who he’s quickly become close to also. The friendships are described in such a real and lovely way – they all support Simon as best as they can. Leah has some issues which she comes across in the book, and I was happy to see that her future will be further delved into with a sequel to the story (Leah on the Offbeat). In terms of characters I do feel like she was one of the only characters who didn’t really have an apparent ending, it was almost as if she was clearly starting a new future but with no real sense of how that would go so I’m definitely excited to read a story centred around her.
Honestly, I had hopes that Blue would be one character in particular less than half way in. I loved Blue’s character as he was through emails and I guess I couldn’t see it being anyone else pretty quickly. It wasn’t obvious – just I personally wanted it to be the guy due to how sweet their interactions had been.
There are a few references to pop culture such as Harry Potter stated within the book too. I found there was enough to emphasise more with the characters but not so much that it was overbearing. At one point Simon dresses up as a dementor and I love how he explains it to his little sister Nora!
Structure wise, some of the chapters are set out as emails to and from Simon and Blue. I really liked it as it kinda felt like a break from some of the more difficult issues. Things were almost always positive and happy in the emails and it made the overall mood of the book feel a lot lighter. That’s not to say that the book itself has a lot of upsetting moments – there’s some bullying which is obviously horrible but it’s handled in such a positive way. People who aren’t even described as nice in the story stand up against the bullying and I think that was one of my favourite attributes – that so many characters made a public stand against bullying including the teachers.
Since this is the movie tie in version, there are a couple of additions to the copy which weren’t in the original Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. There are some stills from the movie (which is due out March), an excerpt from the screenplay from the movie and a behind-the-scenes interview with Becky, director Greg Berlanti, and Nick Robinson (who plays Simon). And for an added bonus there’s even a double sided print out of two quotes at the end:
‘Straight people should have to come out too, and the more awkward it is, the better.’
‘White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.’
I adore that these two quotes were included, they’re just such important lessons from the book and so honest too.
So really, this book has taught me that:
– I need to see the movie as soon as it’s out
– There’s a sequel coming out – Leah on the Offbeat – which I need to read because I loved Leah’s character
– I also need to read more of Becky’s work.
– There really should not be a default when it comes to humanity, this isn’t something I learned personally from the book but the way Becky presents it is 100% perfect!
If you’re after a feel good, cute read then I’d definitely recommend picking up this book!
About the Author
‘Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at http://www.beckyalbertalli.com.’
Source: Harper Collins’ website
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