This evening I have a spoiler free review of Call Me By Your Name for you. I must admit that the film trailer for this book is what made me want to read it, as well as my friend Nicole (@colecordium) loving it. This book follows the summer romance of two bisexual Jewish guys in the Italian Riviera and, for the most part, I absolutely loved this book.Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
- US paperback – 248 pages
- Release date: 3rd of October 2007
- Published by Picador USA
- ISBN: 1250169445
- Goodreads page for Call Me By Your Name here!
We read from the POV of Elio, who is 17 when the book starts. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted as Elio falls deeply in love with Oliver, who is 24, very fast. He is quite dramatic and I really liked that. I’m sure we can all say we’ve had wild thoughts about people we’ve liked, and Elio is no exception. From the beginning we know that Oliver is leaving in 6 weeks, and that adds a really bittersweet touch to the whole story. A sense that time is running out.
The age gap between Elio and Oliver is something to take into account. The age of consent in Europe as a whole ranges from about 14 to 17, so Elio living in Italy became legal at 14. That’s something for readers living in countries where the age of consent is 18 to keep in mind. Laws are not universal. What I thought was interesting is that Oliver is from the US, so I wish we could have read his thoughts on their age gap. Armie Hammer, a 31-year-old, was cast to play Oliver in the film, and I’m curious to see if it’s because they plan to touch more on the gap.
No one pays for being gay. There’s no punishment.
The above is a quote from an interview with Armie Hammer. I really loved that homophobia wasn’t something the main characters encountered or ever really thought about (though I am not sure how realistic that would be for the time period). It was just so lovely to read a bi love story without it.
Aciman’s writing was wonderful, although many of the references went way over my head. He spoke a lot about Italian musicians and writers but, despite not understanding them all, it really made me feel like I was in the Italian Riviera. His writing made me long for a hot summer filled with swimming, midday naps and a summer romance – which is wild because I literally hate summer.
This book is definitely for adults, so if you never want to read about sex I suggest you avoid. There was something so refreshing about reading from the POV of a character in a place where having sex isn’t taboo. Although he had his own insecurities and doubts at times, there was never a sense of shame attached, or the need to hide from his parents.
I am giving this book four stars because there were some parts that I grew a little bored of, like part 3. Some scenes were extremely drawn out and then a few more important moments were glossed over. There were also parts which I thought seemed a little problematic, the phrase “like a rape victim” should never be included in any book. The author may have consciously been including these phrases and scenes that are uncomfortable or problematic, but I am no expert.
Here is the link to the UK trailer for Call Me By Your Name: Full Trailer!
You can find my first book, The Changeling’s Journey, on Goodreads here!