I don’t know about you, but the phrase “call me by your name” makes my heart soar.
This book. THIS BOOK.
So. Let’s start with the good.
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman is a modern romance. I call it that because it’s not a typical romance with a happy-as-day ending, but a romance where everything makes your heart hurt in a way that’s so satisfying. Slowly, over a summer, two boys begin a relationship and dare I say, fall in love. The summer is all they have. You know it, and they do too. But it doesn’t stop the feelings and the actions and the all-consuming thoughts. And then the summer’s over, and you get a whole chapter to sit and maybe shed a tear as you follow their relationship over the next 20 years. It’s so sad and so beautiful and it all feels so right. Ugh.
So the prose is confusing at times, and sometimes I found my eyes skimming over pages without absorbing anything. I wish this story was more poetic, because it definitely had the ability to be, and that would have made the pain so much more profound. But instead, we get to read the thoughts of a 17 year old boy who, while very intelligent, is still…. a boy. Sometimes, things get gross. Gross enough that it had me exclaiming so out loud. But despite how disgusting and strange things got, it still felt… genuine. As if this was something a boy in love with another boy would do or think or say. So I appreciate the realism, even if it was unpleasant at times.
The story could have been so much more, the romance so much more, even the sex so much more. But Call Me By Your Name is still a very lovely read, and a pretty quick one, and rather romantic in its own little way. Truthfully, that idea– to call someone by your own name– is probably the most intimate thing I have ever heard and it gives me chills just thinking about it. I feel like this book is going to have a lasting impact on me, and the last chapter really solidified its beauty and power to me. This book probably isn’t for everyone, but I recommend giving it a shot if you like LGBT fiction or unique love stories. It has its charm.
3.5 out of 5 Italian beaches.