Let me just start with the fact I watch movies before reading the books too frequently. I watched this movie and was just instantly taken by it and that was when I knew I had to read this book. This book is a beautiful walk through a summer romance that shows feelings can really take control no matter how much you try to diminish them. Now we all know books are better than the movies, don’t fight me on this, but this book was just beautiful. The way André details everything is just breathtaking. Oftentimes too many details can really slow a book down, but the way he explains the details is like painting a portrait into your mind. The detailing is fabulous and you long to be in this place in Italy. Now this is a love story, but it is probably one of the most realistic love stories I have ever read. Elio, our main character, becomes mildly obsessed with Oliver who is a professor staying at Elio’s parent’s house for a few weeks in the summer. Elio’s moods and days are completely reliant on Oliver’s moods to the point he thinks Oliver’s bathing suit colors match his mood that day. If you ever felt this kind of obsession you completely understand, it doesn’t have to be to the gravity of Elio, but just having a cute guy you see at the coffee shop every day and one day he is not there, and it completely ruins your day. Elio’s thoughts try and try again to let go of Oliver and Oliver continues to give him just enough to pull him in. Until finally they realize they were both fighting the same battle. This romance is the most realistic because they never make it more than it is, they don’t talk about throwing their lives away for each other or their future at all. They are living in the moment, enjoying their time, and know that they can’t make promises like that. The book goes into their life after their summer goodbye, which is nice to see as they grow that something was definitely there that summer. The movie leaves out a lot in their trip to Rome that actually supplemented the book nicely in solidifying their relationship. When I watched the ending in the movie, I liked it, but after knowing the ending to the book it was just not enough. It makes me think the ending was rushed and they spent too much time on the lead up at the beginning. The ending in the movie is sad, but the book breaks your heart again and again while making you smile. Their romance lingers between them throughout their lives and is always right there on the back of their minds waiting to comeback. The movie is done well and deserves all recognition it received. Timothée Chalamet plays Elio in a way that makes you think that is who he really is. You see his frustration, his sadness, and his need for Oliver, it makes you feel he actually went through every piece of this movie. I would recommend this book to anyone I came across and the movie just as much. It doesn’t matter if you never thought you’d read a romance between two gay lovers or it is not your typical genre, this is a beautiful piece of literature that can relate to anyone.
Favorite quote: “People who read are hiders. They hide who they are. People who hide don’t always like who they are”