Call Me By Your Name – Book Review


Jasmine Varelas, Co Editor of A&E and Opinion

My obsession with this book started the moment I saw the trailer for the movie. After seeing Timothée Chalamet play Elio -the protagonist- and Armie Hammer playing Oliver, I had a strong urge to watch the movie, but I’m grounded so I moped around for a couple of days. That is, until my co-worker told me about how after work she was going to the bookstore to purchase a copy of Andre Aciman’s book Call Me by Your Name. I was totally ecstatic that this movie originated from a novel, so when I found out I basically threw my card at my co-worker and asked if she could buy me a copy as well.

After I got home from work that night, I read until I fell asleep. I read non-stop till I finished this amazing book. When I finished the novel my eyes were flowing with tears.  It’s not that the book was sad, I was just sad that it came to an end. The ending also happens to be my worst fear – growing old and not living the life that I should be, not living up to my dreams. So when I closed the book I was overwhelmed with emotions – happiness, sadness, and terror. It’s not the book’s fault that I felt these emotions, it was how I interpreted the ending. My co-worker said she was overwhelmed with internal happiness and warmth. Enough about me – I’m here to persuade you to read this beautiful book so here it goes.

Summer of 1987 in Italy is where this story begins. 17-year-old Elio is living at his parents’ summer home on the coast of Italy. Every summer Elio’s parents host a scholar for 6 weeks, the summer of ’87 is when Oliver came to stay. Over the summer Elio starts to discover his sexuality and the different aspects of it. While Oliver – the summer guest- lays next to the pool or discusses philosophy over an egg, he is unknowingly enchanting everyone around him, including Elio. This book is more than just a love story; it’s a coming  of age novel, a journey of self discovery – it’s my new bible. This book makes me want to travel and find love within a foreign country, it makes me want to learn how to play piano, become a writer – even though I despise it.  Andre Aciman – the author – strung the words in this exquisite novel so beautifully he makes eating a peach seem like the most beautiful thing in the world. He makes an affair seem so elegant, in this book mundane is angelic.

This book took me to the coast of Italy, summer of 1987, inside a forbidden love, it took me to a different world while I laid on my bed in Tucson, Arizona, my senior year, winter of 2018. If you want to escape reality and feel the warmth of the Italian sun and “witness” a 17-year-old discover who he is then this book is for you – who am I kidding…this book is for everyone. No matter who you are, how old you are, everyone will find their own meaning in this novel.