Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I’ve been having this experience lately where I’m very conscious that the movie based on a book is rarely as good as the book. For example, The Wife by Meg Wolitzer. The book is so much better. The movie removes the lesbian daughter and the son is neuritic in the movie, but in the book he’s well, fucking crazy. Not to mention, the movie gives the impression of the husband winning the Pulitzer, while the book is actually based around the husband winning the Helsinki Prize. I was so ticked about the job they did on the movie after I read this amazing book.

Anyway, I’ve been in need of a bit more gay reading experiences, too, so I turned to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. This is the book that the movie, Love, Simon, is based on. I enjoyed the film and I enjoyed the book. Actually, there were some moments I loved in both of them and then some draggy places that I wanted both mediums to just get on with it. Where the book truly works is in the epistolary moments. Epistolary is just a fancy word for told through letters, or in this case, emails. And, the reason the emails work in the movie is because they’re expertly crafted in the book. Truly, the whole story could have been told through this form and I think I would have loved it. So, fine job there. I also love that the author, Becky Albertalli, was able to capture and translate a bit of the young coming of age/coming out experience through a boy with a very strong voice on the page. He was a kind, sweet, only slightly anxious character. Portraying the gay experience as basically “normal” is so important and right up my alley. I’m glad I’ve read this book and I encourage you to read it, too.

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