My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Call Me By Your Name is a meandering, stream of conscious, babbling mess of purple prose that, on writing style alone, I absolutely do not like. It may work well for others, but for me, I was turned off within 20 pages by the writing style. I don’t like first person (with some exceptions), I don’t like rambling prose that includes an ENTIRE PAGE that is only one paragraph that jumps topics four times without changing paragraphs, and I do not like the overuse of flowery language. Throughout the book, the writing style drove me crazy, including the 40-page epilogue that has no reason to even exist. I wanted to like this book so much, so even though I didn’t like the writing style straight off, I stuck with it because of all the positive reviews on the content.
Turns out, the content is just as ill-suited for my tastes as the writing style.
However, while I have issues with these things, I was still sticking with the story, because no way could a story so highly praised not get better. The main character is clearly disturbed. I had some random person even argue with me that I ‘didn’t get it, all teens are this dramatic’, but this boy straight up contemplates how he kind of wishes the love interest would die so that he could no longer be obsessed, since death is final, and muses about how he could kill him or at least cripple him so he always knows where he’s at. Yes, he doesn’t intend to do those things, but I promise you, nobody thinks those things, even vaguely, unless they have some issues. Also, this kid has what seems like the makings of a rape fantasy. There are a few lines where he fantasizes about the love interest coming into his room while he’s sleeping and ‘taking him’ and the actual line was, “I’ll say ‘please don’t hurt me’, but I’ll mean ‘hurt me all you want'” which is pretty alarming to read.
I completely lost any faith in the reviews I read before this when it came to A) fucking a peach and saying it ‘looks like a rape victim’ and then someone EATING the goddamn peach, or B) couples shitting.
You heard me right. Couples shitting. Dude took a shit, said “Don’t flush, I want to see it” and then took his turn taking a shit while the love interest rubbed his belly…. I read a review of this book that talked about ‘the small intimacies will stick with me forever’ and all I can think is “NOTHING SAYS TRUE LOVE LIKE TAKING SHITS TOGETHER!!!”
I wanted to make this review professional and serious, but honestly, did I get trolled? Was this a troll copy of this book? They admired each other’s bowel movements. I just… What the actual fuck?
This book was just not good and I’m really disappointed. I got very excited about highly-praised queer content, and this was just the biggest letdown ever. I don’t like this book at all. It’s one of the worst books I’ve ever read, and I wanted SO BADLY to love it.
Put it this way: Before this, the worst books I’ve ever read without giving up were The Scarlett Letter and A Separate Peace, the most boring books I’ve read in my life. This now takes top spot for worst book I’ve ever read all the way to the end in my life, and the only reason I read it to the end was that it was like a car crash; I had to know what happened and how it could possibly get worse.
I’ve never once said, “Don’t bother reading this”… but seriously guys. Don’t bother reading this.