MP! Exclusive: Simon James Green reveals which ‘Riverdale’ stars he’d LOVE to see in a ‘Noah Can’t Even’ TV show

Prepare to be even more in awe with Simon James Green!

We’ll let you into a secret, we’re in awe of Simon James Green.

No – seriously, we are! He’s one of our new favourite YA writers and he’ll honestly have you loling for days with his debut book, ‘Noah Can’t Even’.

‘Noah Can’t Even’ is a hilarious coming-of-age story that highlights just how awkward your teenage years can be.

Noah’s Mum is in a Beyoncé tribute band. Eeek! We know, it’s soooooo embarrassing.

Noah also has to deal with his beloved gran. She’s no longer herself and doing some…errrrrrr very peculiar things.

We recently sat down and had a natter with Simon to discuss the ins and outs of the book. Obviously there were a lot of important questions on our mind after reading it, like who would play Noah in a TV show and how would Simon describe the novel in emojis!

Hi Simon! Can you describe ‘Noah Can’t Even’ in emojis for us?


Wow that’s a lot of emojis! What’s been the most surreal moment of being a debut author so far?

Actually seeing the book, in the flesh, in a bookshop. It’s really, really weird. And totally amazing, obviously! And you think, “O-M-G, I wrote that. All those words were just on my laptop until recently… and now they’re out here for absolutely anyone to read!” Which is both wonderful… and completely terrifying.

We can imagine! Are any of Noah’s most embarrassing moments you own?

Thankfully, not too many. As a rule, I was fairly socially inept as a teenager, so a lot of that stuff is vaguely based on the sort of things I might do, say or think… although I was never as extreme as Noah, honest!

The thing that happens in Sophie’s bathroom where the tap splashes his trousers and it looks like he’s wet himself – that’s real. And I think you’d be hard-pressed (pun intended!) to find a teenage boy who hasn’t encountered any sort of er… boy-based awkwardness at some point in their lives!

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QUIZ: Worm your way out of these awkward situations and we’ll match you with your next read

We can so see ‘Noah Can’t Even’ as a TV show. Who would be your dream cast?

So, some of these actors are actually American, and some are not quite the right age to play the parts right now, but you’ll get the idea. These are mainly visual references that I used when writing the book, so I had a strong idea in my head of what the characters looked like.

Think about British, 16-year-old versions of all these actors and you’ll be on the right track!

Asa Butterfield as Noah…

Dark hair, glasses, geeky but ultimately quite cute – I think someone like Asa might be perfect for this role. He’s our hero, so we’ve also got to love him, and I think Asa brings a lot of very likeable qualities to the parts he plays.

Logan Lerman as Harry…

Harry is real ‘boy next door’ type – cute, sweet, completely lovable. Logan Lerman might be a little too old to play him now, but perhaps we could find someone like him…

KJ Apa as Josh Lewis…

The older lad that everyone looks up too, Josh is a perfect physical specimen, with very distracting abs and pecs…

Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness as Sophie…

Sophie is one of the few people who understands Noah. She’s intelligent, kind and beautiful. Noah can’t believe she would even talk to him.

Madelaine Petsch as Jess Jackson…

She was ace in ‘Riverdale’, and I think she would play school bad-girl Jess Jackson, really well.

Julie Walters as Gran…

Who doesn’t love Julie Walters?! She’s a comedy genius and would be perfect as Noah’s hilarious gran!

We’re TOTALLY on board with that cast. Can you recommend us a few of your favourite funny books?

I love the Adrian Mole series – they’re brilliant, but especially the ones where he’s a teenager. Check out ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4’ and ‘The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole’.

We’ll definitely be checking those out! Finally, can you send us a snap of where you work?

Here’s me, relatively hard at work in my office at home. You might be able to spot I’ve got a banana snow globe on the fireplace (a lovely gift from writer friend, Benjamin Scott), and some banana-themed notecards just next to my coffee cup – I’m nothing if not ‘on brand!’ That pile of papers at the bottom of the frame are my outline notes for Noah Grimes 2 – the sequel!


You can buy a copy of Simon’s new novel, ‘Noah Can’t Even’, here.  

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Written by Emma Matthews

Emma is a freelance journalist at MP.

When she’s not writing articles for Maximum Pop!, you’ll find her attending gigs, geeking out over the latest beauty products and reading feminist literature. Hermione is her favourite Harry Potter character - obviously.

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