Love, Simon – Book Review by Tiffany C.
Love, Simon by Becky Albertalli is a coming of age, romantic comedy that was recently adapted into a major motion picture starring Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a closeted gay, teenage boy. Having both read the novel and seen the film, I can conclude that the latter was slightly different from in terms of slight plot and character details, but was so amazing that I went back to the theatre to watch it 3 times. But it isn’t just about a gay kid coming out, it’s a love story filled with hope, romance, and happiness.
Personally, I’ve found that in the past, If I had to choose to spend my time between books or other forms of entertainment, I would never choose books, as they aren’t really my forté. This time, however, it was different. The Love, Simon book put me through a rollercoaster of emotions, from having me at tears to being so happy I smiled while reading. The author’s penultimate moral and goal of the book was to spread the message about the LGBTQ community and the fact that it is completely normal to have a different sexuality other than straight. During the novel, Simon asked a significant question, “Why is straight the default?”. Why shouldn’t everyone have to come out?
As the book was written from Simon’s point of view, the reader is able to understand what it’s like to come out as a gay guy and experience all of the ups and downs of all of his relationships: friends, family, and significant others. The way the author describes the character’s emotions really makes you feel for them and relate to the extent of their emotions. One particular quote that really resonated with me was from Simon’s mother, Emily Spier: “These last few years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath. You are still you, Simon… You get to exhale now, Simon. You get to be more you than you have been in… in a very long time. You deserve everything you want.” As the supportive, understanding mother that she is, Emily gives Simon reassurance that she still loves him for who he is, no matter what. The portrayal of emotions and connections between the characters truly highlighted their genuine and loving relationships.
Even though the novel was about Simon specifically, his friends had featured parts of their own, which were portrayed very well in the movie. They had their own unique stories to share, and Albertalli’s choice to integrate each of them further helped us relate to the characters and feel present in Simon’s environment. At one point, Leah Burke, one of Simon’s best friends, states: “Sometimes I feel like I’m always on the outside, there’s this invisible line that I have to cross to really be a part of everything and I just can’t ever cross it…” and, “Sometimes I think I’m destined to care so much about one person it nearly kills me.” Readers often feel understood, as the characters are vocalizing sentiments and thoughts they’ve always had, but have never been able to describe with words.
All in all, this novel was absolutely phenomenal and deserves 5 out of 5 stars as it has given me a better understanding of the LGBTQ community, and has touched my heart immensely, with happiness and sadness, with a beautiful story from the perspective of a gay kid coming out.
By Tiffany C.