Sophie Loves Simon

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Sophie Loves Simon

Sophie Wojciechowski, Senior Editor

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Recently on April 24th, Leah on the Offbeat, the third installment in the ongoing series within the “Simonverse” by Becky Albertalli was released. Becky Albertalli has released three books within the same universe, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. Her first book, Simon vs., was turned into a movie adaption, which was released on March 16th earlier this year, which was renamed Love, Simon. Simon vs. won the William V. Morris Debut Award, while her other books have not yet as they are newly published novels. There is a whole community of people who love these books, the characters within them, and the author herself. On Goodreads, all three of her books have received four out of five stars.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is about a sixteen-year-old boy named Simon Spier who is very gay and very closeted. Right off the bat, we are introduced to a boy who he has been emailing but doesn’t actually know who it is he is emailing, as he is using a fake name: Blue. All he knows about his identity is that he goes to the same school as Simon. The problem of the book is that one of Simon’s classmates, Martin, has pictures of his emails with Blue and is threatening to show them to the entire school, out Simon and Blue, if Simon does not hook him up with one of Simon’s friends, Abby. Throughout the book, we see Simon struggling with the decision of whether or not to give in to the blackmail or protect his identity and Blue’s. This book is one of my absolute favorites. Simon as a character is so relatable and adorable. For one, he is a Hufflepuff and is obsessed with Harry Potter, which I find to be irresistible. Secondly, the way Simon goes about things, how he is so in love with all of his friends is warming to read about. Simon’s friends, Abby, Nick, and Leah are all so comfortable around each other and have an air about them that people don’t see much at all. My favorite part of the book was the ending, because the book wrapped up so nicely and it ended on a true good note. There was nothing about this book that I did not like, but I did hate certain characters for their treatment towards Simon and their overall lack of human understanding. I would highly recommend this book to every single person on this planet. It is so heartwarming and adorable, and it does not focus on a certain romance throughout the book. It’s really a coming out and growing up story when you get down to it.

Love, Simon, the movie that was based off of the Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, keeps the same plot as book. There are some changes, as is often seen, but stays true to the characters and the plot. This movie is one of the first LGBTQ+ teen romance movies and I loved it. The actors portrayed their characters perfectly, the acting felt real and genuine. My favorite part was when Simon came out to his parents and the aftermath of it. The conversations between them is something every single LGBTQ+ child or teen goes through, and the parents had the exact reactions that everyone should have in their coming out experience. The only parts of the movie I did not like were ones in which they were different from the book. For example, one of Simon’s siblings was not present in the movie as she did not have a huge impact in the book. However, her character, to me, seemed important especially for one scene and interaction between them. Overall, I recommend this movie to anyone, after reading the book of course. The movie was so fun and emotionally compelling, and I truly believe that it is one of the greatest movies of the year.

Albertalli’s second book, The Upside of Unrequited, came out in 2017. The book follows Molly Peskin-Suso, who has had exactly twenty-six unrequited crushes. Molly has a twin sister, who in the book falls really hard for a girl that Molly met in a bathroom. Molly is afraid that she is losing her twin to this girl, but then she finds herself falling for someone new. What I loved about this book was how the main character grew and developed throughout the story. However, I did not feel terribly attached to any of the characters, besides the fact that their sexualities were similar to ones of my own and my friends. I did love the LGBTQ+ representation within the story. This story was one of the most representative books I’ve ever read, which I absolutely loved. I would recommend this book to people to read, due to the fact that its representation is spot on and because it is a beautiful book.

Leah on the Offbeat is Allbertalli’s third book she’s written and the second book in the Creekwood series. Leah, who was featured in Simon vs. as Simon’s best friend, has a story of her own. Her story takes place a year after the events taken place in Simon vs. and we watch as the original characters find where they are going to college and getting through the stress of moving away from all that they once knew, their friends, and their relationships. Leah grows and discovers her true feelings for someone who she’d never try to fall for, but did anyways. I loved this book so much. There were so many twists and turns that I did not expect at all, and seeing the characters from the original book felt so nice. Reading this book as a Senior especially brought out the emotions, because I am going through the same changes that all the characters in the book were going through. I personally enjoyed reading it, but other people thought it was a strictly “fan-driven rather than organic” book. One of the major plot points felt forced for these people, and they believed that some of the characters in the process were written completely different than how they were originally written. I understand where these people are coming from, and I did dislike how some of the characters felt different from the original book, but I did not feel as if it took away from the overall feel of the book. I do recommended this book to people because it involves a romance that is not often seen in literature. It’s so heartwarming and beautiful, but do be careful of certain characters from the first book seeming different in this one.

Overall, I really do recommend that everyone read these books and watch this movie. They’re really good reads and the representation in all of the books (and the movie) is wonderful. Almost all of the characters are LGBT+ in some way, which is nice to read about and see rather than just straight couples. All of the books are out, and Love, Simon will be on DVD June 12th. Albertalli’s new book, What If It’s Us, co-written by Adam Silvera, is coming out October 9th, 2018, and will be about two boys in New York City who cannot decide if the universe is pushing them together or pulling them apart.

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