So, you’ve just seen Love, Simon, and you’re walking out of the theater, face still wet with tears, wondering “What am I supposed to do with my life now?” Well, we’re here to help you through this tough time.
The good news is, you can watch Love, Simon as many times as your heart desires. Seriously, the movie somehow gets even better on repeat viewings! Go see it a second or (if you’re anything like us) fifth time! The bad news is—just kidding, there is no bad news! Just more good news! For those of you that love Simon (ha), in book or movie form, we’ve got some great book recommendations for you today we think you’ll also love!
Love Simon book recs if you 💕 the movie!
1. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Okay, so technically this IS the follow up to Love, Simon. If you didn’t know, SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA—the book the movie was based on—has a sequel! LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT follows the events of the SIMON VS. and it’s told from the POV of our fave deadpan rocker, Leah!
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
This beautifully tragic YA novel is not just for fans of Love, Simon, but all readers. There’s a stunning film adaptation already made, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, and it won a major award at Sundance. And guess what? It was just announced today that it’s been picked up by a studio and will release later this summer!!!! Need more information? Here’s everything you need to know.
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone, and Cam becomes an expert at both.
Then Coley Taylor moves to town. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship, one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.
3. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
So imagine SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, but instead of going to a normal high school, the teenagers were trained spies, and the stakes were life or death. That’s what you get with THE LOVE INTEREST.
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: the boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: the brooding, dark-souled guy who is dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose the Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be—whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die. What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
In case you didn’t know, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera are real life author BFFs! While her books represent the heart eyes emoji, his tend to lean toward the crying emoji. Told beautifully in alternating timelines, have a box of tissues by your side for this read!
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
5. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Like we see in SIMON VS., Rainbow Rowell’s CARRY ON also deals with the relatable struggle of coming to terms with your feelings. Except here, there’s the added issue of having to deal with evil magical forces, which is comparatively less relatable.
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle and Dante don’t start out as two boys falling love, they begin as just friends. And over the course of the lyrically written novel, we get to experience them grow towards each other, and accept their true feelings, much like Simon’s realizing how deeply he cares for Blue.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world.
When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
7. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The crying-one-moment laughing-the-next aspect that made you adore Love, Simon so much? You’ll find that’ll be your eternal mood while reading I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN. Start preparing yourselves emotionally now.
At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them.
Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways… but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor.
The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.
8. Release by Patrick Ness
RELEASE explores the complexity of love and relationships in high school in a way that we don’t see in SIMON VS., and by complexity, we mean messiness. There’s also “end of the world” storyline strung through there, done in a way that only Patrick Ness could pull off.
Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.
Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.
But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.
9. The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller
There isn’t one universal experience for how people go through things. THE ART OF STARVING is vastly different from SIMON VS., and it’s a bit more difficult to read, but it’s a story that shouldn’t be missed.
Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. Because he needs to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away. And the less he eats the more he seems to have… powers. So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?
Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay, and find the truth. No problem.
Except Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger, and he isn’t in control of all of them.
10. The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
Simon is lucky in that he’s surrounded by an incredibly loving and accepting family. THE DANGEROUS ART looks at other circumstances, ones that might be tougher to read but that also might give you a good, cathartic cry. Seriously, bring tissues. But it’s so good, and it will leave you feeling with that distinct Simon-esque hope by the end.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Pano doesn’t know where he fits in.
His strict immigrant Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend, Henry, has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.
Tired, isolated, scared—Evan finds that his only escape is to draw in an abandoned monastery that feels as lonely as he is. And yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. Henry, who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he deserves more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by being silent.
11. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
We get to see two versions of Simon: the version that he is with Blue, and the version that his friends know. Likewise, the two stories we see unfold in WE ARE OKAY gives us a vision of one girl pre- and post- a life-changing event. We won’t spoil too much for you, but know that, if only for Nina LaCour’s beautiful writing alone, you need to read this book that will tug at your heart!
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
12. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Though Simon and Riley are hiding different secrets, they both confide online, and end up being found out and blackmailed. SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN is another honest, touching portrayal of being your true self.
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. But Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in über-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s really like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. And Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
13. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
We stayed up all night reading AUTOBOYOGRAPHY. This book is so swoony, emotional, and heartfelt that we know any fan of Love, Simon will love it, too! Plus, the book plot revolves around the struggle to write, which we know is way too #real for so many YA fans who are also aspiring authors. Thanks for the shout out, @cansabotageme!
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
14. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
One of the most important things that allows Simon and Blue’s relationship to blossom is their ability to be themselves without having to truly face the other until they’re both ready. That’s one reason we cannot wait to get our hands on EMERGENCY CONTACT!
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
What other books gave you that fluttering feeling? Let us know below!