I believe this is my first “books at the box office” feature that focuses on a movie that was retitled from the book, but in this case, I think it was necessary. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda just doesn’t roll over a movie poster, does it? I definitely read the book before I saw the movie–and I remember I must have read it over a school break because I remember reading it on my family’s couch in Kentucky that I pretty much live on when I’m home–but it’s possible I was drawn to read it because I knew it was becoming a movie.
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 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.
I really enjoyed this book. I kind of hate the at the center of it–blackmailing someone about their sexuality–but unfortunately, I know it happens (people suck) and I think this book does a lot of good things throughout it to kind of handle that issue. The characters aren’t perfect, which I like, and while I don’t remember the writing as blowing my mind, I ultimately liked it well-enough to read it in pretty much one-go….or maybe I listened to it. Now that I’m writing this, I think I listened to it, which is even more impressive for me because I so rarely listen to fiction audiobooks.I know I read in physical copy the “sequel” companion Leah on the Offbeat and it just…wasn’t as good. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it and no one truly liked it, but it was a character issue, not a writing issue, so don’t let that deter you from reading Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Anyway, Simons Vs…was touching, a really just “good” book, and yet the movie’s emotional moments totally broke me.
And without further ado:
This movie has sooo much heart. I was SO EXCITED to see it, but unfortunately the New Haven movie theatre didn’t show it. I remember going to see it after work in NYC one Friday and getting the second to last seat in the theatre just off Times Square (RIP movie pass…). The theatre was packed, and I shared some napkins I brought to cry into with the nice lady next to me. It was a real sob fest because I am a baby, but the scene between Simon (played by Nick Robinson) and his mother (Jennifer Garner) required me to be swept off the floor afterwards. I also loved the supporting cast and the guy who played Bram was adorable. The movie isn’t a perfect translation of the book, but in many ways I think it is better because it really brings the spirit of the movie to the forefront.