Title: Find Me
Author: André Aciman
Length: 261 pages
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Let me say, I know I was truly blessed by the book gods to get this book. I know, it’s so undeserving but I’m eternally grateful.
Synopsis: One person, one name – he knows, I thought. Right now, he knows, he still knows. Find me, he says. I will, Oliver, I will.
I feel like I have so many feelings and so much to say about this book, I’m scared this blog post might just be a bit of a ramble. I’ll try and keep it coherent, but really, when are my blog posts ever?
Again, I know I’m super lucky to have a ARC of ‘Find Me’. It’s my most anticipated sequel of the year. My most anticipated book of the year. In fact, maybe my most anticipated book ever? As soon as I found out it was being released I wanted it. My excitement knew no bounds.
But with sequels and excitement comes expectations. I loved ‘Call Me By Your Name’. Seriously loved it. It’s one of my favourite books of all time. I recommend it to everyone. So, I tried to keep my expectations low, to give the book a fair chance. But it was hard book lovers, really hard.
‘Call Me By Your Name’ was the love story between Elio and Oliver, told entirely from Elios perspective. So you can imagine my surprise as I began to read the beginning of the book and it’s told from the perspective of Elio’s father Samuel. It wasn’t what I expected. See, there’s that expectation again. In this first section of the book we find Samuel on a train, on his way to visit Elio, where he meets a much younger, woman and they begin a passionate romance. Did I enjoy Samuels perspective? Yes. Did I want it? No. I spent the whole time wondering when the story would be back with Elio and Oliver.
In the next section of the book, we are finally reunited with Elio. It’s what I was waiting for. However, again, it wasn’t what I wanted. We find Elio beginning a romance with an older man. Side note: This book is almost like a guide book on how to date someone older. There was also a little sub-plot in this story of Elio and … trying to find out where a piece of sheet music came from, and it was so tedious and unnecessary. I don’t know why it was included.
The next section was told from Oliver point of view, who’s spending his last night in New York at a party, before moving back to Vermont with his wife. At the beginning of Oliver’s chapter, we find him mostly thinking about how he wants to have a threesome with a man and woman he’s come to know. Before his mind finally wonders to Elio and he makes a decision that will change his life. And lead the reader to what we’ve been wanting for.
The last section. The reunion. What I was waiting for. There’s no denying it, it was beautiful. Short but beautiful. I just wanted this to be longer. Even this chapter didn’t get a chance to really recapture the essence of what their romance was. It didn’t get to go as in-depth as I would’ve liked. But at least I was happy with how the story of Elio and Oliver ended.
I get it. I get that at the end of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Oliver left. He moved on with his life. And I get this book was an insight into their lives an individuals, and the journey that brought them back together. It just feels like such a departure from the first book. André obviously knew what we as readers were all expecting and he hasn’t given us it. And I get that. But would it have been so bad to give us what we want? Especially when what he has given us isn’t amazing.
Look, this book was beautifully written. It’s Beautiful. But what did you expect? It’s André Aciman. I truly believes the man is a genius with words. It was at points so beautiful, especially in Samuels section, that it made me cry. It hit me deep. André just has a way of, I truly believe, knowing what’s in your soul and putting it on the page. I had to stop a few times to dry up the tears. I also loved that the sections connected, and showed how time had moved on. It made the story feel more united, and it needed it.
However, where this book is told from the perspective of three characters, I found it lost it’s intensity. In ‘Call Me By Your Name’, you only get Elio’s perspective, his thoughts and feeling created some of the most intense literature I’ve ever read. And it was missing from this book. It tried. It tried in the romance between Samuel and …. And with Elio and ….. But it didn’t manage it. I also felt like it used sex to try and create the intimacy but that also missed the mark. And the lack of intimacy created affects the story, these two romances that happened almost instantly, just felt like the ‘instalove’ troupe instead of the passionate romance that sweeps you away in ‘Find Me’ predecessor.
This is one of the biggest LGBT+ books to ever be released, so it’s a shame there wasn’t more queer elements in it. Of course there is some, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. It feels like a missed opportunity. When they finally get together again, the connection is still there, I just wish we could’ve seen more of it.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! It’s beautifully written. But is it the story I was hoping for? No.
Also, I know I’ve spent the review comparing it to the first one, but I couldn’t help it!
Thanks to Faber and Faber for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. You’ll never know how grateful I am. This books comes out October 29th. Let me know if you enjoy it.
Until the next review