I don’t see a lot of movies in the theater, partly because our area is kind of expensive, partly because I want to spend quality time with people talking and connecting and not just sitting in front of a screen, partly because I’m picky about what I plunk money down on, and partly because I can’t sit with my pajamas and snacks and play games on my tablet in a movie theater. Our local library book club had planned an outing to see Ready Player One, but the theater cancelled its showings in order to accommodate Avengers: Infinity War. In light of the email we got on the Sunday we were supposed to go, the husband and I decided we would go see Love, Simon instead. I found it to be just darling: sweet, delightful, and affirming. The film did not feel dated, which is a challenge for a teen film. I then decided that I had to read the book, so I checked it out from my college’s library.
Simon Spier has a great life: his parents are madly in love with each other, he has an older and younger sister he’s close to, an awesome golden retriever, and a tight-knit group of friends. Simon is also gay but not out. A Tumblr post reveals that another kid at his school is closeted, and so Simon begins to correspond with him anonymously. The two kids’ burgeoning friendship is interrupted by Martin, one of Simon’s theater classmates, who blackmails Simon into helping him make moves on his friend Abby in exchange for his silence. And thus, our conflict unfolds.
This book was fine. Something about the movie really worked for me in a way the book did not. I think the way the drama unfolded felt a little manufactured in the book, and the slight changes in the movie helped clarify a few things. I enjoyed the emails that Blue and Simon exchanged, and the resolution in the novel is similar. I think the overall style of the book was fine, but it was crammed with in-the-moment cultural references that are going to make it dated in about ten years.
Cross-posted to my blog.