I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.When You Call My Name by Tucker Shaw
Published by Henry Holt and Company (BYR) on May 3, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Dating & Sex
Format: ARC, eBook
"This is a brilliant affirmation of the power of love on so many levels, with a wide range of appeal." —Booklist, Starred Review
In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Named "this summer's most powerful LGBTQ+ novel" by GAY TIMES, this book is perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Mary H. K. Choi.
Film fanatic Adam is seventeen and being asked out on his first date—and the guy is cute. Heart racing, Adam accepts, quickly falling in love with Callum like the movies always promised.
Fashion-obsessed Ben is eighteen and has just left his home upstate after his mother discovers his hidden stash of gay magazines. When he comes to New York City, Ben’s sexuality begins to feel less like a secret and more like a badge of honor.
Then Callum disappears, leaving Adam heartbroken, and Ben finds out his new world is more closed-minded than he thought. When Adam finally tracks Callum down, he learns the guy he loves is very ill. And in a chance meeting near the hospital where Callum is being treated, Ben and Adam meet, forever changing each other’s lives. As both begin to open their eyes to the possibilities of queer love and life, they realize sometimes the only people who can help you are the people who can really see you—in all your messy glory.
A love letter to New York and the liberating power of queer friendship, When You Call My Name is a hopeful novel about the pivotal moments of our youth that break our hearts and the people who help us put them back together.
This book is set during the height of the AIDS epidemic and it’s about two gay teenagers (17 and 18, I think), coming of age. It’s technically a romance between these two gay teenagers, but their coming of age is more at the forefront, I think? You kind of know that they’re eventually going to get together, and I didn’t really feel one way or another about it. The pop culture references in this book are also kind of rough, especially because for a lot of them, I Simply Didn’t Get Them, I Am Too Young.
And it’s really sad, and really slow in some places, and I think maybe I’d like to read it slowly, over the course of a summer instead of fairly rapidly for a review. (Honestly I was approved for this in December so that one’s on me.) Four and a half stars, rounded down for NetGalley.