Between Always and Never: Reviewing Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Hello everyone! I am finally back with another book review. I mentioned in a previous post about how I really enjoyed the movie adaptation of Aciman’s novel. Of course, it was only natural I read the original novel. I’ll give some comparisons in this review for anyone who might be interested in seeing the movie after reading the novel or vice versa. But first, I will give you my review of Call Me By Your Name. 

Everything changed for Elio when a handsome stranger came to stay at his parents’ summer house. The two find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other as they spend more time together. Elio and Oliver must navigate their way through the passion, obsession, and desire as they hurdle towards a romance that neither was prepared for.

Before I begin this review, I wanted to address the one thing in this novel that everyone takes issue with: the age gap between Elio and Oliver. Elio is about sixteen in the beginning of the novel while Oliver is twenty-three. Nothing about their relationship, however, is predatory for either party. In fact, the age gap is actually an important topic in the novel for both characters. With this being said, Call Me By Your Name is a sentimental and thoughtful novel told through the eyes of Elio, an intelligent and self-conscious young man. The novel is written in a stream-of-consciousness style and keeps a romantic tone without glossing over Elio’s complicated emotions. The characters felt very nuanced and unique in their thoughts and actions. Aciman balances between intimacy and passion in a way that doesn’t detract from the serious underlying topics of this novel. I also want to add that the end of this novel is much more satisfying than the one in the movie. Call Me By Your Name is an exploration in love and sexuality that is unlike any other romance novel out there. I would definitely recommend this novel for any fans of romance or someone who may not be a fan of romance. Call Me By Your Name was thoughtful, touching, and it kept me invested until the very end.

A Trick Worth Learning: Reviewing The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

Wow, I’m posting something other than a book tag. It only took a while but I finally got around to finishing my leisure reading. I do have some required reading that I will be reviewing so keep an eye out for that. In the meanwhile, please enjoy my review of Donna Tartt’s third novel, The Little Friend. 

Twelve years ago, the murder of young Robin Cleve Dufresnes shook the small town of Alexandria, Mississippi. Harriet, his younger sister, decides to take matters into her own hands in order to solve the murder and bring her family closure. Armed with her insufferable stubbornness, keen wit, and favorite novels, Harriet and her loyal friend Hely set out to do what all of the adults failed to do. This coming-of-age story follows the precocious young girl as she explores the town’s dark history in order to solve her brother’s murder.

I thought that The Goldfinch would be my second favorite Tartt novel but The Little Friend took me by surprise. Tartt uses her childhood in Mississippi in order to craft a town that feels all too real. Her young protagonist, Harriet, deserves to be put among the other great female protagonists. The novel has a southern gothic feel with a hint of To Kill a Mockingbird, though it is not a novel about morals necessarily. The Little Friend combines a classic coming-of-age tale with a murder mystery that connects the entire town of Alexandria. Tartt maintains her unique style of writing with her strong characterizations and well-twisted story.