Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
narrated by Michael Crouch
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I finished listening to the Audiobook around 7 pm on Saturday 4/21 and decided I needed to see the movie immediately. Its been in theaters for a while, so I didn’t have a lot of options, but I found a 9:30 showing that was half an hour away. I very rarely go to movies by myself but on such short notice and so late on a Saturday I didn’t even bother trying to find a friend to go with me. Thats how desperate I was to see the movie!
I really should have written my review right after I saw the movie, because I had so many distinct thoughts I wanted to point out, but over the last week, they have all kind of morphed into just general feelings. But after the movie I was too pissed to try and write the review. Don’t worry I wasn’t pissed at the movie. I loved it! I was pissed because there was this couple behind me that TALKED THE WHOLE MOVIE!!! It was awful! They were so rude! And they obviously didn’t read the book because they kept guessing what would happen next and were so, so wrong! I was tempted multiple times to tell them to shut up, but I wasn’t brave enough. Instead I am just going to rant on my blog!
Public Service Announcement: IF YOU WANT TO TALK WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE, DO NOT GO SEE IT IN THEATERS. WAIT UNTIL IT COMES OUT ON DVD AND WATCH IT AT HOME SO YOU DON’T RUIN THE MOVIE FOR EVERYONE ELSE!
Thanks for listening to my rant. Sorry about that. I will try to move on and write a good review now. (Tho it is making me pissed all over again thinking about those two!)
Moving on for real now! The book was amazing! I put off reading it for a long time because I was worried I wasn’t going to like it. For starters, it took place in High School, and it has been a really long time since I went to High School. Would I be able to relate to the characters? Would they be too childish? Would their issues be childish? My second concern was that its main character was gay. (I’m not homophobic! Hear me out!) I like to put myself into the shoes of the main characters. Thats why I like bad ass female leads. (Not saying I am bad ass, but I wish I was like them) I was worried I wouldn’t be able to relate to a gay teenage boy. I was worried the romance wouldn’t appeal to me. I’m not explaining it right, but I was worried that I wouldn’t like it. I have absolutely no problem with people being gay I just didn’t have any desire to read a book about it. Its the same as me not wanting to read Horror, or Mystery. Just personal preference.
But now I realize that my fears were a bunch of crap. I adore good love stories and this one was awesome! It made absolutely no difference that the main character was gay. I still got those butterflies in my stomach that I get when I feel like the lovers are perfect for each other. The love story was romantic and sweet and so beautiful! But it was also real and had its ups and downs! If you have any reservations about reading about a gay boy then this is a great book to pop that cherry! Its worth it! Simon and Blue are adorable! And I love them! And I wish they were my best friends too!
Oh and my fears about reading a book about High Schoolers was unfounded too. Most of the drama wasn’t your normal High School drama. It was real and could effect people of any age. It just happened to take place in a High School. But I think that is because it was just well written. I will still have reservations about reading High School books in the future.
There was only really one part in the story that I didn’t like. At one point Simon got grounded and his parents took away his phone. This section gave me really really bad anxiety. I am attached to my phone because I am worried something will happen and no one will be able to get a hold of me to tell me. Simon wasn’t able to let his friends know what was going an and it really bugged me. I know this is a weird thing for me and its not specific to this book. I have a friend who took her daughters phone away because she was getting bad grades and it made me anxious too. I know its a normal form of punishment for teenagers but it makes my anxiety flares really bad for some reason.
If I had to do it over again I think I would read the physical copy of the book instead of listening to the audio book. I didn’t really like the narrator’s voice, it was kind of whinny in my opinion. He also made Nick sound like a stoner, but I definitely pictured him as more up-beat (I thought the movie did a great job of casting his personality) Also there were sections that consisted of e-mails back and forth between Blue and Simon. I got a little lost a couple times because I couldn’t look back to reference the previous emails and if I wasn’t paying really close attention then I missed who was writing which email. It wasn’t that bad, but would have worked better with a physical copy of the book.
And last but not least the Movie! Overall I thought the adaptation was good and did a good job of capturing the spirit of the book, but I still think they changed to much. Warning! Its hard to talk about the book vs movie without giving stuff away. I don’t think anything I said below is a spoiler, but they are borderline. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, proceed at your own risk!
The movie changed too many characters. They removed Alice and added the principal and the guy at the waffle house. They also minimized the role of Cal. I liked the principal and the waffle house guy, but would have preferred Alice and Cal instead! Also they changed Leah’s love interest and made Nora younger and into cooking? And the ending? In the movie it was very public and everyone was watching, while in the book it was private and better. None of these really detracted from the story, but they were decently significant changes.
There were two big changes that I thought changed the story. The first was the level of involvement Simon had in Abby’s love life. In the book he didn’t do anything but talk Martin up and get them to hangout. In the movie he blatantly lied to Nick and tried to keep Nick and Abby apart. The actions of movie Simon were way worse! Tho, the biggest change, was how Martin was portrayed. In the book he wasn’t really that bad. Even Simon admitted they could be friends if it wasn’t for the whole blackmail thing. But in the movie we didn’t get to see as many of his redeeming qualities and we don’t get to see him come into the realization that he messed up.
But despite all these changes the movie was still good. I thought everyone they cast was perfect! I enjoyed it!
(despite the best efforts of the two jerks sitting behind me!) Without further ado, here are my ratings:
Book: (5 waffles out of 5)
Movie by itself: (4 waffles out of 5)
Movie as an adaptation of the book: (3 waffles out of 5)
Have you read the book and/or seen the movie? What did you think?