Book Tags

Book Traveling Thursdays: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

About a year ago, I posted my review of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This week’s BTT is a freebie, so I would like to compare the covers of this book.

In case you don’t know, Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at The Girl Who Read Too Much. Based on the theme of the week, you pick a book and post the original cover, the cover from your country, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. If you would like to participate or find out more, check out the Goodreads page!

To start this BTT off, I’m trying something different before getting to the covers. The odd thing about all of the covers I found was that there was a tendency to change the title. This is not the first time I have seen title changes with different covers, but I find it interesting. NOTE: All of the titles except the English and German translations come from Google Translate.

The original title is Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and this title is tied to the book. I am pretty sure that the Italian title is a quote from the beginning of the book. Non so chi sei ma io sono qui translates to “I do not know who you are but I’m here.” The German title, Nur drei Worte (My personal translation: “Only three words”), seems like it should be a quote from the book. If it’s not, I can’t remember what the three words could possibly be. Maybe it’s “I love you.” If someone knows, let me know in the comments. I like title changes that try to maintain a connection to the book through a quoted phrase.

The Dutch title is Simon vs. de verwachtingen van de rest van de wereld (“Simon vs. The expectations of the rest of the world”), and the Portuguese title is O coração de Simon contra o mundo (“Simon’s heart against the world”). These titles get the plot and overall theme right, but I wish there was more of a direct connection to the text. The Thai title is อีเมลลับ ฉบับไซมอน, meaning “Simon’s secret email.” At least, it gets it right that he is exchanging emails, not writing a diary. I’m looking at you, Vietnamese title.

One title gave me a random thought. The Spanish title is Yo, Simon, Homo Sapiens (“Me, Simon, Homo Sapiens”), which is okay. I read, “Yo, Simon,” and thought, “Yo girl, keep it together.” Not related, but it’s too similar for my mind to not make the connection.

Now let’s look at the covers!

Original/U.S. Cover

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

This is the original, U.S. cover. I like that the boy on the cover has Simon’s style. I like that his head is missing to incorporate the hidden identities of the pen pals. Since I know this cover very well, I like that he back has an Oreo on it, which is Simon’s favorite food group. (Unfortunately, it is not easy to find the back cover and spines of books online.)

Honorable Mentions

Simon Homo Sapiens Agenda Indonesian Thai Covers
Left: Indonesian cover. Right: Thai cover.

I like the Indonesian cover for showing Simon’s angst. I also like the incorporation of his Oreo cookies and of the technology since that’s the medium of his communication with Blue.

The Thai cover is striking. The problem for me is that the guy who is looking for someone doesn’t look like Simon or Blue. If he is supposed to be Simon, Simon is not a jock in my memory.

Favorite Cover

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda Polish Cover

The Polish cover here is my favorite. I like the angst and devastation. Simon’s thought bubble reminds me of broken hearts and star-crossed lovers.

Least Favorite Covers

Simon Homo Sapiens Agenda Dutch Serbian Swedish Vietnamese Covers
Top (left to right): the Dutch cover and the Serbian cover.
Bottom: the Vietnamese cover and the Swedish cover.

The Dutch cover is okay since it maintains the color scheme and the Oreo on the cover, but I hate that it reminds me of a vintage superhero or a carnival poster. It doesn’t fit.

The Serbian cover is a little too on-the-nose for me to like it. Yes, Simon and Blue are gay. Yes, Simon is threatened with being outed. Is it necessary to put that on the cover? The Vietnamese cover suffers from the same problem as the Serbian cover.

The Swedish cover is awful to me. I don’t like that it’s a photograph on the cover. Maybe I wouldn’t care as much if I hadn’t gotten used to seeing an illustration or graphic design on contemporary YA novels.

>^..^<

This is my last BTT with Catia as host. Thank you for creating and hosting this meme, Catia. Next month, I’ll post BTTs with Lauren hosting. I look forward to seeing what she does with it.

If you’re starting school this month or next, I hope you have a great start to your school year. Enjoy the eclipse, if you can see it, on Monday!

3 thoughts on “Book Traveling Thursdays: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

    1. Yes, I use Goodreads primarily. I’ve heard you can use Amazon, but I’m not sure how that works.

      Like

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