A Review Of Call Me By Your Name

Made into a hit movie, the novel “Call Me By Your Name” perfectly captures the finding of love, and consequently, the loss of it as well.


photo courtesy of Wee Reader

Author Andre Aciman perfectly depicts teenage love in the novel.

Alyssa Bruce, Copy Editor

Spoiler alert: Plot elements are included in the following review.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman is not exactly an easy read, but it is one that is definitely worth the effort. The book is based around Elio, a 17-year-old who is spending his summer at his family’s house and orchard in Italy. As his father is a well-respected professor, Elio is educated upon different literary and musical works but overall is uncertain of the true meaning to them. He is used to his repetitive summers in Italy.

This all changes, however, when Oliver, his father’s intern for the summer, comes to live in their villa as he studies with Elio’s father. Immediately, whether it is a cold or warm one, there is a connection between the two. The novel depicts their journey from cold strangers, to friends, to a love that can’t be described, and then back to merely strangers. 

The realistic nature of the book is one of its greatest appeals. Elio and Oliver’s love is confusing and fast-paced, as are many relationships of Elio’s age group. They do not start off as immediate lovers, but instead, the connection between the pair is ever-changing and growing.

Elio, himself, depicts the complexities of youth. He is constantly in his mind, calculating his next move. He is often torn between moral and philosophical situations. Oliver complements him in this aspect, as he too is well immersed in the world of philosophy and knowledge.

Such a love might not last, but the novel demonstrates beautifully that it is ultimately worth the pain.”

Although all readers love happy endings, the novel remains realistic. The ending is not as one may have imagined it.

Besides the love aspect of the story, the imagery and setting contributes immensely to the culture-rich book. Italian disco parties, peach fields, and trips around Europe demonstrate the rich life Elio lives, although at times, it seems dim to him.

Aciman delivers the story enchantingly, with language and profound quotes that require readers to carefully analyze each chapter in order to fully understand the meaning. While it can be said that the novel can be too complex at times, such as when long literary works or philosophical works are included, the book wouldn’t truly be the same without them.

Call Me By Your Name tells the story of a love that can only be found once and is such an intense connection that only some are lucky enough to experience once in a lifetime. Although the romance only occurs during one summer, it sticks with both Elio and Oliver for the rest of their lives, even after Oliver raises a family with his wife.

Such a love might not last, but the novel demonstrates beautifully that it is ultimately worth the pain.