“We had the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.”
I went into this book with a vague idea of what was to come. I knew almost nothing about it, aside from the lovely trailer. I made it a personal challenge to read the book in two days in order to see the movie on time. Knowing me, this was a nearly impossible task, but thanks to the unique style of the book, I was instantly pulled into the story.
When I say unique, I’m not simply referring to the prose, though that was part of it. But overall, I mean the story was unique, and so were the characters’ actions. I’ve read many romance books in the past, a lot of them about LGBTQ+ characters, but this felt different.
Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age story about a 17 year old American-Italian boy named Elio. He becomes infatuated with his parents’ summer guest in Italy, Oliver, who is a 24 year old graduate student. This is a story about desire, in all shapes and forms. It’s a story of exploration, discovery, and emotions.
I liked the way the difficult topics were dealt with. Despite the age gap between the main characters, the power dynamic was never really a problem. Elio was mature for his age, and he knew exactly what he wanted, and what he was doing. I appreciated the way Oliver treated him, like his equal rather than someone almost a decade younger.
My favorite thing about the book was the ending. I say this in the most honest way. That ending was worth getting to. It nearly brought me to tears, but it felt so real, raw, and beautiful. The nostalgia was palpable. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I wanted to write this review before watching the movie, so I don’t mix things up. I’m very excited to see the lazy summer scenes portrayed on screen. This story, the characters, and their romance, was worth the read.