keene point of view

anonymous asked:

I feel like oliver doesnt feel the love as much as elio? Idk somehow I felt the same reading the book too.

Oh, anon… I couldn’t disagree more. 

I can see you’ve sent this to a few people - unless we have several people suddenly doubting Oliver’s feelings for Elio! - so I’ll try and keep this brief (haha… me… brief… funny story).

I think there’s a case for arguing that Oliver probably loved Elio more but we’ll never really know, because we don’t have Oliver’s point of view. (And I’m not keen on quantifying love into more or less) Remember, when reading the book and watching the film, we’re seeing this story largely unfold through Elio’s eyes. I’m sure you know what it’s like to have a crush on someone and read way too much into everything they do, trying to find out if they like you back?

We do get a wealth of information in the book that supports Oliver’s feelings for Elio - especially once we get to ‘Ghost Spots’ and we see Oliver’s version of ghost spots hanging in his office (Elio’s postcard of Monet’s Berm), the memento of their trip to Rome living in his office, staring him in the face every time he goes to work, the fact that when they spoke on the phone when Elio was in the USA, and Elio called him “Elio” to see if he remembered… he had to get off of the phone and we find out through Mrs Perlman that he’s basically in tears over it? Not to mention all the little things he does throughout their summer together - he literally spent almost every night sitting on a rock just thinking about Elio and how he feels about him. He did that. For hours.

As for the film - it’s all down to Armie. I can’t imagine watching the film, seeing the Midnight sequence and then the morning after, and not find yourself drowning in how much Oliver feels for Elio. Even after the first kiss - you can see how worried Oliver is when Elio has a nosebleed. Oliver and Elio have a very jovial, fun relationship but this shouldn’t overshadow the real emotional moments we get throughout when they can finally show their feelings to each other (end of the peach scene, “we wasted so many days” scene, Oliver watching Elio sleep in Bergamo, Oliver not being able to look at Elio as he leaves the train station etc). I don’t know - Armie really sells it to me. He brings all the stuff I picked up on from the book and he has manifested it beautifully. Honestly, watch the scene again before the train station when Oliver is just watching Elio sleep - Oliver is so in love it actually hurts to see because you know what’s coming next.

I’m not setting out to convince you - if you didn’t feel it then you didn’t feel it and nothing I say can change that - but maybe you think Oliver doesn’t feel as much as Elio because you haven’t considered the story from Oliver’s point of view? The book and film don’t give it to us, we have to fill in these blanks and sort the facts Elio gives us from his often biased opinions or unfounded assumptions. But when we do fill in the blanks we realise just how much he really, really felt for Elio and I think continues to throughout his life. I hope the film sequel will really dive into the love Oliver carries for Elio throughout his life/parallel life. 


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I was really keen from my own selfish point of view, you know I was dying to do another bit of action. Loved the action I got to do on Star Trek. JJ loves live action, so it wasn’t all green screen. There were lots of moments of hand to hand combat, chase sequences, stunts - as much as I was obviously permitted to do. I loved, loved having a go at all of that, and also the physical thing of just transforming myself from a kind of quite thin, reedy guy into somebody, you know, four chest sizes bigger, and busting out of my old clothes, and looking a bit superhuman.


Today we welcome Julie Strauss-Gabel to our Penguin Teen Behind the Book feature! As the editor of many authors you know and love (Ally Condie, John Green, and Andrew Smith to name but a few), there’s a reason we all trust Julie when she hands us something and says we have to read it. Nina LaCour has written several of those books, including her latest, Everything Leads to You. Read on to find out just what it was about Nina that made Julie know she had to work with her!


Most editors have glamorous acquisitions stories to tell. I also have a few.  But, like many of the books so close to my heart on the Dutton list, Everything Leads to You did not begin that way. There is no auction, no pre-empt, no frantic all-night read to chronicle here. There is time and trust, trial and error.

Nina LaCour and I began working together in 2007, starting with her debut novel, Hold Still; long enough ago that the submission arrived from her agent via snail mail in a box (my office used to be piled high with these before email attachments became the norm). A rapturous, honest, hopeful book about a teen starting over after a friend’s suicide, Hold Still introduced me to Nina’s many talents. It was, like the star of all good acquisition stories, a book I had to have.

And, like all good publishing stories, that was the start of a seven year (and counting) relationship. After Hold Still, Nina wrote The Disenchantments, which I was proud to publish on my first list as Dutton’s publisher alongside just one other book, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

So, after many years, we arrived at Everything Leads to You. Fans will still recognize Nina’s keen observation, her welcoming craft, and a point of view that shows readers the world through an artist’s eye. But Everything came from a very intimate place, a story about love, guided by issues and values of great personal importance to Nina. It was a story she needed to tell after a 2011 high school visit where she met with the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. After that visit Nina knew what her next book had to be, “I decided that my next novel would be about two girls who fell in love. I didn’t know what the story would be yet; I didn’t know who the characters were. But I could give these teens something in writing that I wasn’t able to guarantee in life: a happy ending.”

I am honored to be a part of sharing that story with you. As we find ourselves at a crossroads on the path toward the future of the content and diversity on the YA shelf, it’s a book we need more than ever.


Thanks, Julie! There you go, making us cry on a Friday.

Order your copy of Everything Leads to You!

Add Everything Leads to You to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads!

Interested in Hold Still? Order it here!

Does The Disenchantments sound amazing? Here you go!

P.S. Julie’s on Tumblr & Twitter