When Love, Simon arrived in theaters in 2018, it was celebrated for being a major Hollywood studio teen rom-com that centered on a gay high school student coming out. The movie was touted as a major milestone in LGBTQ representation on-screen—and it has a solid and equally celebrated foundation to thank for that. Becky Albertalli’s best-selling debut novel, long-listed for a 2015 National Book Award, is about a teenager named Simon and the flirty emails he’s been writing to an anonymous male stranger. Simon is desperate to keep his sexuality to himself, so when the messages are discovered by a classmate, he becomes the subject of a blackmailing scheme, a major stress to balance with his growing feelings for his new crush. What ensues is a funny, emotional and celebratory tale of love and self-acceptance that ushered in a wave of queer teen love stories. —Annabel Gutterman

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