“People are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows.”
It says a lot about a book if you finished it in a day. But its a different experience for me as I get really excited to read a book which is the base of some movie which just hit the big screen, especially, when it gets a good rating. I did it with Hunger Games Trilogy, Perks of Being Wallflower and then The Sense of an Ending. None of those books disappointed me. This one, well let’s just say it was different.
Let me give you a brief summary. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is like a diary (including some of his emails) about Simon’s day to day life. Simon is a 17-years-old living in Georgia. His friends are a bunch of nerds like him and his parents make everything a big deal. The catch is that Simon and only Simon knows that he’s gay. This changes one day when one of his schoolmates read his emails which were addresses to a secret pen pal Blue. After that Simon goes through so many ups and down (which also involve blackmail) and that’s what we read about.
First of all, the book is great. No doubt about that. It is one book I would totally suggest my teenage brother/sister who wants to read something romantic and contains witty comedy. The thing is I am not a teenager and neither do I like romantic novels. I picked this one up after a 3-year break from love stories. This is my I did not find myself connecting with many of the things. But then I was thinking, that wasn’t the case when I was reading Wallflower. I did feel connected to the character of Charlie. I think this is because this book presents more like a gay utopia (an amazing phrase used in this book only, I feel it could be a base for many other novels/movies to build upon) where almost all of the people around the lead character well more or less on board the gay train and it was rather easy for him to cope.
What I liked most about this novel is how it captures the emotional upheaval of a teenager effectively. It caught me off guard sometimes when suddenly Simon would become philosophical and will write something totally insane and intelligent at the same time like this –
“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”
This line won me over.
I think what works with this book is that it keeps the level of drama at an appropriate level so that the overall tone remains light. But, as I said earlier, like in a utopia, it’s just difficult to imagine in real life if everything will fall into places like it did in this novel.
So, I am giving it a 4 out of 5 as I feel that I would’ve liked it more I picked it up earlier when I was a teenager. So what if I am old and not feeling what Simon or Abby or Nick or Martin or Leah (loved Leah!) were feeling, I will not punish the writer for this by bad ratings. I think Becky Albertalli has done an amazing job here and I will look forward to her upcoming book.
Now, the movie is out too. Love, Simon is getting rave reviews and I cannot wait to see it. Unfortunately, I highly doubt I will be able to see it here in India. So, I guess I have to wait for one of the online platforms to pick it up so that I can watch it. Please, Netflix/PrimeVideo do us a favour, will you?