October 23, 2014
advice articles
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I typically find it very hard to get sincerely excited about gay romance novels. Usually they’re overly campy and devolve into erotica by page 10, which I guess is alright up to a certain point, but you’re still left wanting more after the fact.

I can honestly say Call Me By Your Name delivers in a way I never expected.

This book was actually a gift from my boyfriend before RJ. His name was Gabe and I made it a mission of his to find me a goooood gay romance novel to stink my teeth into. I had little hope since I had read nothing substantive up to that point, but when Gabe gave me this book and I started reading, I knew it was different.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are sex scenes in the book, but they’re beyond erotica; they’re almost poetic. (I seriously grimaced when I typed that because it’s so cheesy but it’s seriously the best way I can think of describing how beautiful those scenes are.) The author isn’t writing just to get the reader off, he’s writing to show emotion. I could go on, but let’s just say it was awesome.

Another part I love was how honest it was. Like a lot of real love stories, this one doesn’t end riding of into a sunset together with a prince. It ends like a lot of relationships tend to end… but I’ll let you discover that on your own.

When anyone asks for a gay novel recommendation, I always begin with this one. I took the liberty of linking to the Amazon page so you can check out other ratings here. If you give it a try, come back and let us know what you think. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Happy reading!

About Will

Will is a recent graduate from Florida State University and transplant to Los Angeles who makes the occasional video on YouTube documenting his life with his fiancé and German Shepherd.
  • Samantha

    i might check that book out when i’m done with the many many books i already have to read

  • IZZAT ZAINAL

    Check out Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy — they’re the best for me.

  • Brennan

    Ok, for reals though, Something like summer is the most amazing book hands down. It is centered around a young, gay relationship, and follows through with these peoples lives for DECADES! Will, if you haven’t already read it, I IMPLORE you to do so! It’s not my favorite book because It’s about being gay, it’s my favorite book because IT’S JUST A FREAKING AMAZING BOOK!

    • shep689
      • Brennan

        1. Definitely NOT fangirling over the fact that I now have literal evidence that you are in some way aware of my existence…SUUCCCESSS!
        2. Good analysis on SLS. I’ll make sure to read Call Me By Your Name

  • Sammi Sue

    I’ve discovered David Levithan and Jay Bell to be authors of gay romance, and because that is the topic I enjoy writing about myself I love that you are exposing me to another author. I will definitely be checking this book out!

  • Stacia Hess

    Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Lovelace. I am a proofreader of LGTB books and am an avid reader. So, yeah I read A LOT. Love my job.

  • Guest

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I LOVE THAT BOOK.

  • Shawn Mueller

    “Don’t Let Me Go” by J.H. Trumbell. I totally suggest reading that book. Especially those of you that are in long distance relationships.

    • Kyle Oatney

      YES! It is so good!

    • Ray Richardson

      Man, I read the first three pages and started tearing up. I had to put my man on a plane for a three year assignment overseas. I don’t think I would make it through the book.

      • Shawn Mueller

        Trust me. I started tearing up a lot in this book. Such an emotional roller coaster.

    • shep689

      i bought it recently so now i’m super excited to try it out.

      • Shawn Mueller

        I had to MAKE myself put it down as I’m sure you will find yourself making the same decision.

    • Lilian Liu

      Thanks for the recommendation Shawn. I picked the book up and finished it within a day. It’s definitely one the best coming-of-age book i’ve ever read. Even though there are parts that i felt really irritated and i-dont-get-it, overall the book was good. And yes, i did make a line or two of tears but it was fine. Thanks a lot.

      • http://shawnmueller.tumblr.com/ Shawn Mueller

        I’m glad you enjoyed it! I definitely had the same frustration when I was reading it, too!

  • Kyle Oatney

    Don’t let me go by J.H. Trumble is also very good.

    • Mandy Stark

      I just go that book from my colleges library and I really like it so far =D

  • Aussie54

    Unfortunately “Call Me By Your Name” isn’t one of my favourites. I didn’t particularly like it the first time I read it, but after one of my favourite reviewers raved about it, I tried it again. Still didn’t win me over. I’m a sucker for a happy-ever-after ending, though, (I want a prince) so that’s probably why it didn’t appeal to me.

    ETA My favourite gay themed book is “The Charioteer” by Mary Renault. Now that’s a book I can read many times over and always find something else to love about it.

  • James

    The Year of Ice by Brian Malloy is one of my favorites. It’s snarky and hilarious. It’s not exactly a romance novel, but it’s a great young adult novel. I read it several times in high school.

  • Kelsey Campbell

    The Dove Keeper is a great one. It’s beautiful the way the author portrayed the relationship.

  • Mark Morley

    I’m not sure i’m allowed to post about another website, but gay authors (google it) has a very wide and awesome selection of reading. Not all is erotic but a lot is. None-the-less i have probably read at least 2-4 chapters a week (between a few stories) on that site. However i will look into the one mentioned above.

  • Brent Malloy

    “Like a lot of real love stories, this one doesn’t end riding of into a sunset together with a prince. It ends like a lot of relationships tend to end…”

    See, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Most of the gay stories I read about (and a lot of movies and such) seem to have unhappy endings (or worse, tragic endings). Ah well.

  • Sean

    I read “Call Me By Your Name” a few years ago and it is not one of my favorites :( My absolute favorite gay-themed book would be “Almost Like Being in Love” by Steve Kluger. It isn’t written as a traditional novel as its made up of the characters’ emails, memos, diary entries and stuff and I don’t believe there’s any graphic sex scenes. It’s got a really cute and funny story and I really recommend it to anyone! :)

  • Leo

    I’m actually reading it right now. :D

  • ophidimancer

    My first novels with gay romance were the Mage Wars trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. It’s your standard fantasy novel, but it just so happens that the main character is gay. When I first read them in high school, I didn’t even know the main character was gay, and neither did he. When he was going through his own process of coming out to himself it surprised and shocked me in a very good way. I was like, “No way .. is he? … he is!!” and to this day I will remember that feeling of excitement in finding a character like me in a book fir the first time.

  • Stephen James

    Been looking for a good new read, can’t wait for it to arrive! Thanks!

  • Lucas Scott

    I agree with Izzat, tigers and Devils is a great couple of books,a bit exotic.

  • MarkA440

    “Call Me By Your Name” was an amazing read. I kept trying to find another book by Aciman in a similar vain, but to no avail :/.

    I completely agree with you though, Will …. gay romance novels are usually either teen love stories about a nerd falling in love with the quarter back (fine for teens …. not for adults haha) or glorified erotica. I really enjoy when I find a true romance novel for us homos …. we like love too!!

  • Michael Fillipp

    This book, I had to read it twice. The first time I read it i got about a quarter and the way in and decided nothing was happening to catch my interest. I put the book down and let it cool read some other ones to get my mind off of it, A few months later there it was sitting on my shelf and I’m like “Damn it the one book I have not finished” So i pick it up and start from the beginning.
    Reading it the second time through, I was surprised on how much detail i missed even through the pages I had already had read. His romance seemed creepy at first, and yes holding onto that love/crush for decades and then finding him in America…little to much for me. But the parts when they are together are like you said different. The writer was not trying to get you off, he was trying to show you that this is what they want at that very moment this is how their going to make their love show to each other, because they might not have a another chance to do so. All in all if I was to recommend this book to someone I would. I would tell them to have a lot of time to have for this book because i feel it had some parts that just dragged. I personally had to struggle to get through them, words are hard!

  • Pingback: Weekend |

  • Glenn Bates

    One of my favorite books. I’ve read it about three times, and I’m convinced it will never get old. After read that book, my craving for really well-crafted texts increased. Even some other novels don’t really compare to the type of writing done with CMBYN. Aciman totally killed and I definitely recommend this to everyone inside the gender/sexuality sphere.

  • Nigel Barr

    I agree Will, the genre of gay romance is very blurry, I am a very eclectic reader and I love books both written by and about LGBTI but I want substance to my books…if I want something that is sex strung together then I can read nifty…when I want to read a book then I want substance. Question: do you prefer to read the physical book or have you moved to e? I decided to read mostly e and if I love a book so much I would read it over and over, or I want to share it with people, then I buy it :) Great site, great videos!

  • Lilian Liu

    Hey Will. So i picked up this book when i saw your review. Tbh, i didn’t expect much about the book because i was bored to death at the time and i just want to have some thing just to spare my time with. But the book turned out to be so great, so awesomely amazing that i literally just finished it within 12 hours of reading. Furthermore, it left me craving for more when i realized i’ve reach the end of the book. When i finished the very last word of the book, i felt numb. I felt like there’s missing piece from my soul and the soul remains on earth still after 8 billion years after dying just to seek for the missing piece, but the missing piiece was no longer there since it has broken apart when it comes to the ending of the book. I had to spend sometime watching you guys’ videos and doing some other chores just to make myself cop with the reality.
    Anyway, thanks for the recommendation Will. Not so many books that i’ve read left me this kind of feeling.

  • Tyiana Combs

    I just got this book for Christmas and it’s only Dec. 26 and I already finished it. I asked for it after seeing you talk about it on YouTube and reading the review. Thank you so much for talking about this book. I’ve been looking for something good to read and this was it. Call Me By Your Name now become my new favorite book.

  • Daniel Schwartz

    Just finished reading this and I absolutely loved it. It at times made me cry but what I most enjoyed about it was how well the author manages to depict confusion and regret in such a honest way. Great recommendation! If I am looking for something similar, should I try Don’t Let Me Go?

  • SimonaOmina

    I ordered this book, hope it will be worth reading! :)

Shep689: A Gay in the Life

Our supplier recently upped their prices, so we had to do the same. Thanks for understanding!