The book did it better: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Image Credit: Laoise Tarrant

E. Keogh shares their personal connection to Simon Spier in both the original novel and film adaptation.

There are very few films that even come close to being as good as the book, however, Love, Simon (2018, starring Nick Robinson) is one of them, but the book still did it better. The story follows a closeted teen in high school as he discovers that someone has anonymously written a poem coming out as gay. He emails the mysterious “Blue”, and an online relationship ensues. The book is heartwarming, full of suspense, and showed lots of representation, and as a queer teen, it was just what I needed. 

The movie improved a few things about Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, such as shortening the title, including a person of colour as the love interest, and although I really enjoyed staying awake till 5am to read the book, the fact that it was turned into a more accessible, shorter form of media helped the story of Simon reach a wider audience. It did however come at an expense. 

One of Simon’s sisters was absent from the whole film. Her college-age self amalgamated with Simon's younger sister, which in turn made her seem a lot older in her years than in the book. In my opinion, the casting of Keiynan Lonsdale as the love interest, a queer person of colour, added to the authenticity of the story and meant that the story was no longer just a representation for white queer people. This would’ve been a better addition for the book, as Blue’s character is much more well explored with the rest of the characters. 

I’ll always prefer books because of the amount of detail and character exploration they can include, especially when it’s telling a story so close to my heart that really does need the in-depth explanation of Simon’s inner thought to bring him to life; to make him more than just a story; to completely flesh out the character and get the audience and readers to realise Simon’s story isn’t just a film or a book. It’s a reality for many young queer people, and the book will always be better able to explain this navigation of life.