Book Review

Call Me by Your Name – Twitter Book Review

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Read “Call Me by Your Name” and I was frustrated. At the start it was just another gay romance being about how characters don’t even get to enjoy the romance.

I did a live-tweet reaction to the book which I will post here:

After finish reading Call Me By Your Name, I realized that it was a beautiful piece of text. Plot got iffy in the middle but the way it was written was beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experienced.

Loved the touch of melancholy and “the better to have loved and lost than never loved at all” thing was sweet. I still am tired of this type of narrative though…where all queer men just get unhappy endings but Aciman gets a pass because the story that he told was beautifully done.

At least no one died for the romance to end. It was just life.

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Film adaptation review: http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/call-me-by-your-name-review-1201966646/

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An Acquired Taste you’ll never forget – Part 1

Twitter is a weird and wonderful place.

You never know who you’ll met or why but it is pretty amazing what can happen on the social network…which is where I met Shameez Patel Papathanasiou.

I’d seen her tweet a few times with a few of my twitter favourites and soon enough followed her. She followed back and then over the course of a few months we became acquainted with each other.

I was scrolling through my twitter feed when I saw Shameez retweet (which means shared) a picture of a book someone had just received with her name on it. I was surprised because from out previous interactions I had never realised that she had written a book.

As someone who has unofficially written three books (its complicated), and has been itching to get one of these published. I decided that I wanted to meet her, also what better way to get to know someone than read their book.

We tweeted that we would meet up, and two weeks later when our schedules had cleared up, we met for coffee.

It is always meeting someone who you know online, but I had not known Shameez well enough so I didn’t have too many preconceived ideas about who she was. Meet her was like going on a date, but with less anxiety.

I did get lost on my way to the coffee meeting. I was very late actually so we didn’t get to chat properly but it was really cool. We were both a bit shy, and she had rightfully come with a colleague who made sure that she wasn’t meeting a creeper or anything.

Shameez did tell me a funny story though about how her husband was freaking out about our meeting because she was meeting a stranger from the internet. Stranger danger and all that…img_20161028_132836

We still joke about this actually.  Hi Shameez’s Husband…

After our meeting, not only did I walk away with a copy of her book, I walked away having made a new friend with someone who is too legit.

I couldn’t start reading the book immediately however because work was very busy and I was still in the middle of another book.

I’m embarrassed to admit that about almost a month after Shameez had handed me a copy of “An Acquired Taste” I finally started reading the book.

I was touched when I opened the first page and I came across this lovely had written message:

“@TheLionMutters
Thank you for the support. I wish you luck on your upcoming novel and thank you for your enjoyable tweets.
Hope you like it.”
– Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

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The story that she had crafted was one that took it’s time pulling you into the world, but when you were pulled and then it was a journey. The first one hundred pages were slowly plotted and I took my time casually reading the story, which I really enjoyed.

I was really planning to leisurely read the book but the more I read the book, the less likely that appeared to happen.

On a Saturday morning, all I did was read “An Acquired Taste” and the story had pulled me in so quickly that I finished it on the Monday.

I won’t be writing a traditional review about the book but instead, I was fortunate enough to score an exclusive interview with the author herself.

An Acquired Taste is not the novel you think it is, and that is a wonderful surprise. It tells a story that hits you hard, catches you off guard and will leave you with a lot of thoughts and feelings to process.

As a preview for my interview with Shameez Patel Papathanasiou, read an extract of it below:

I have always enjoyed writing and reading. Since I was a child I started writing novels, most of them left unfinished as I was quickly distracted by anything and everything.

In my final year, I was writing a thesis and planning a wedding. I needed an outlet, I needed to write something other than how bus schedules affect traffic and that was when ‘An Acquired Taste’ was born. I wrote something I wanted to write, something I wanted to read.

If that teaser has you scratching your head about why Shameez would be writing about bus schedules that affect traffic in the first place, you should definitely check back here to find out how that played a factor with her book, “An Acquired Taste”.

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You can find the book on these channels:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shameez-Patel-Papathanasiou/e/B019NDAQ9O

Loot: http://www.loot.co.za/product/shameez-patel-papathanasiou-an-acquired-taste/dhmg-3597-g990

My Website: http://shameez.co.za/

Book Review: I’ll Give You The Sun

I’ll Give You The Sun

By Jandy Nelson
So when I was out my friend, initially wanted to get myself the new Adam Lambert album and because the music store didn’t have the album in stock, I decided I would go get a book instead.

I had planned to get the Robbie Rogers autobiography but I decided that I needed something light because it had been a while since I actually bought a hard copy novel and read it. Also I am a Young Adult person, which at age 22/23 I am not ashamed to admit. 

I feel like I will move on to “adult” books when the time is right but for now I am content reading Young Adult fiction.

Anyhow, getting back to the novel that I want to speak about:
It was really a delightful read.

I had planned to take my time with this book but then I got sucked into it and within three days of starting it, I finished it. 

Here is the plot description:

Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. 
Now they are barely speaking – and both falling for boys they can’t have. 
Love’s complicated.” 
The novel tells the story of Jude and Noah in a split narrative.

Noah’s part of the story is told between the ages of 13-14, while Jude’s is told at age 16.

Noah and Jude are fraternal twins, who are inseparable but over the course of the novel they let jealousy and their own emotional difficulties push them further and further apart from each other.
One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because it manages to make both Jude and Noah’s perspectives of the story interesting.
Personally, I am always concerned about when authors tell the same story from a different character because it can be very boring to the reader, but Jude’s was interesting and I became invested in her story.

Another thing in terms of structure that I really enjoyed was that the novels follows the three act structure building towards a climax  but the time/age gap between their two perspectives is what made it so interesting.



There were so issues with the book that others online readers pointed out:

  1. Oscar being this young adult bad boy trope who then manages to get “saved/fixed of his emotional issues” because of his love for one of the characters.
  2. Zephur who gets reduced to being thrown into this bad guy role and made to be viewed negatively when there wasn’t enough evidence to make it believable why he would be relegated to that role.
  3. The unnecessary delay of resolution because it adds to the drama and tension. As a writer, I understand why writers have their characters avoid certain discussions because it adds tension to the story, but we live in an age where readers are getting tired of this device and see it as lazy writing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               – I think that while a certain amount of tension can be necessary, if your characters are not having a discussion (which they need to have with each other) only because you don’t want them to, then you have a problem and need to find another narratively logical justification for characters not speaking to each other.
  4. The twin’s father subplot being erratically dealt with. This is something that I felt was an issue because this subplot was dealt with okay but could have been handled better to have the ultimate resolution feel that much more earned.
  5. Noah’s narrative was made to feel a little immature. I understand that there had to be a separation and distinct difference in his characterisation at different ages, but he came off feeling a little too petty at times. 



Outside of this, I really enjoyed the deconstruction of the kids’ mother because so often we idealise out parents and in this novel, Jandy Nelson manages to deconstruct the twins’ parents (more their mother) in a very interesting way.

Every person has that moment when your parent is no longer this perfect person that you idolise but rather someone who you love, that also has their flaws and makes their own mistakes.

I loved that after the resolution of the climax the novel didn’t just end, it gave you time to process that we were reaching an ending. So often I find myself frustrated with how many novels don’t succinctly enough resolve the novel. You reach the end feeling like you had to jump over a ditch instead of the ditch being filled.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I know that eventually I will be reading the book again because of how everything managed to tie together.



I think part of my enjoyment came from the fact that I imagined these characters being slightly older than they are, which in some way may be a issue because it speaks to how Young Adult books a written where these young kids feel wise beyond their years, and can be unbelievable for some.
I enjoyed that they felt older than what their characters were. I only realised this after finishing the novel that when I kept imaging Noah as 16 when was 13, and then when Jude is telling her side of their narrative at age 16, I pictured them as 18 if that makes sense.



In summation though, you should make up your own mind about this lovely story.

I will give this an 8/10 because I thoroughly enjoyed it.



I do tend to skew my opinions of things in a more optimistic way because I enjoy something for what it is rather than actively find fault. 

I really hope that you at least take the time to give this book a try. If you don’t like it then at least you tried, if you do then welcome to the club.



Theo over and Out.
PS – Here is my favourite extract from the book: 

Love does as it undoes. It goes after with equal tenacity: joy and heartbreak.”
– (I’ll Give You The Sun, pg 412)

I really loved the use of metaphor in the book, it did colour in the world more and just felt natural instead of planted in and shoved in for the sake of it.

Author : Jandy Nelson