Call me by your Name by André Aciman, is a devastatingly beautiful coming of age story, set in a picturesque village on the Italian Riviera. The book is narrated by a 17-year old named Elio Perlman. Every summer, Elio’s father, an archeology professor, hosts a graduate student in his home in hopes of mentoring them on their work. Call Me by Your Name follows a blossoming romance between Elio and one such intern.
Aciman artfully delves into the mind of a 17-year-old in love. Layering emotions with logic and logic with emotion. While the book only has four-chapter s, those pages are more than enough to convey the romance between Elio and his summer tryst. In addition, the beauty of Call Me by Your Name is twofold. One part lies in the thoughts and narrations of our protagonist, Elio, while the rest lies in the masterful world building done by Aciman. As many teenagers can relate, Elio’s mind thinks a mile a minute and reads into every gesture, every line, and every action of his love. At times, this may lead to some confusion about what is actually happening in the book, but it will not distract the reader from the meticulous and deliberate story. Aciman also utilizes colorful imagery as well as sly remarks to paint a portrait of a sunny, pastel-colored world—a world that simultaneously does not seem to progress in time yet is gone entirely too fast. Aciman’s writing style forces one to read, reread, and then read once more in order to fully understand the significance of a passage, yet there is information that the reader may have omitted.
Don’t get me wrong; Call Me by Your Name is about a teenager in love, but it is no young adult novel. Many of the overused, cheesy storylines that are common in other young adult romance novels are non-existent in Call Me by Your Name. This is refreshing to a reader because there are only so many times one can re-hash the same storylines in different settings with different character names.
Call Me by Your Name is an excellent read for anyone willing to broaden their horizons. André Aciman artfully weaves love, loss, and the acceptance of said loss into a gorgeous story that is full of impactful Maximus and beautiful paragraphs. Call Me by Your Name shows readers that a good book does not always need to have a happy ending in order to be good and that sometimes we as readers may be able to relate to stories that do not always include characters like us but do include characters who need representation.