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Both a love letter to the queer community and a vivid snapshot of what it was like to be gay in New York during the nineties, this book is a vital read for those looking to better understand modern gay history and appreciate our roots, for both teens and adults. A perfect read for Pride month, it pulled on my heartstrings and I think it will for you too.
April— From When You Call My Name
"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.
A Buzzfeed New LGBTQA+ YA Novels You Need This Spring Selection
"Poignant and uplifting . . . The novel explores the tenacity and strength of queer friendship during the toughest of times, while paying homage to a city that faced significant loss." —GAY TIMES
"In 1990 Manhattan the paths of two young men intertwine. . .but the story is not just about their connection; it’s about the history of New York and the people who fought and coped, loved and lost, died and survived during the years when an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. The novel is a love letter to this time and place and to the people of Manhattan. It masterfully pulls at the heartstrings. . .a touching and beautiful story." —Kirkus Reviews
"Copious period-specific pop culture references pepper the novel, whose assured pacing and intimate tone balances elements of promise, possibility, and reality. In Adam and Ben, Shaw effectively captures the era’s feeling of pain, uncertainty, and liberation for the gay community." —Publishers Weekly