It’s the age old question asked by any film or print fan around the planet. I know how many times I’ve been asked, ‘why would you read that, they made a movie?’ Obviously it’s because the book is always better.
But is it really?
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 Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. 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 loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda. I got even more excited about the book when Baby Chick read it and fell crazy in love with it. It was the first, and only, time she read a whole book in one day. It was hilarious watching her get sucked in to the love story between Simon and Blue.
Ever since, my daughter and I have been waiting on pins and needles for Love, Simon. From the moment the movie was announced we’ve been rabidly following all of the casting updates, eagerly waiting for the release. It was almost fate that the release date ended up being two weeks after Baby Chick’s 14th birthday, which just just so happened to be last Saturday. We had such a blast going to the movies with friends and sharing this story.
So, we both really enjoyed the movie. There were definitely changes made, which I expected. It created an awesome conversation between Baby Chick and I, because I made more allowances for change due to time allotment. She was less accepting, but still really enjoyed herself. She told me it was a movie she had to have on DVD, which is a pretty big deal since we don’t really buy movies. We’re streamers.
It was also interesting to go see Love, Simon with friends, because they hadn’t read the book. I enjoyed knowing who Blue was and watching my sister try to figure it out, and now both of Baby Chick’s friends want to borrow the book. I also liked getting their perspectives on the changes, coming from a place of only knowing the movie adaptation. (Their opinion was definitely positive.)
As good as the movie was, and I swear it was good, I think I still have to hand the trophy to Becky Albertali’s book. Like I said, I expected there to be changes. When you’re adapting a 300 page book into a movie that’s only 1 hour and 50 minutes, you have to expect aspects will be changed. I’m not putting the movie down because of it.
Still, as Baby Chick and I were talking about all the things we missed, and there was a lot, it was hard to ignore feeling like the read was more fulfilling. There were whole conversations cut out, and interactions. I know it was just too much for a movie, but it isn’t for a book and that’s what makes Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda better than Love, Simon.
Also, and it’s a small thing but it left an impact. There was a change made to Leah’s character I thought was unnecessary and cliche. It was a pointless change, and didn’t add to the story at all. In fact, I think it hurt the story. (On the flipside, the changes made to Simon’s sister were spectacular, so maybe there was balance there.)
Either way, we definitely preferred the book. Even though the movie was very good.