Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani Book Review

"Taja Brown knows her place and the restrictions within her conservative and tight-knit African American family, but she suddenly feels left behind watching her friends go through a world of firsts — from kisses to boyfriends to everything in between. But everything shifts when Taja falls in love for the first time. Tamani creates a raw, relatable, and eloquently-told coming-of-age story about finding your place, beliefs, and identity." --- BuzzFeed 

I can hear the voices of some of the greatest African American writers echoing in the voice of
Liara Tamani's debut novel, Calling My Name.

Reading Calling My Name had me reminiscing not only on some of those books I've read, by the aforementioned authors--but reminiscing of my childhood and adolescent years.

I found pieces of my childhood in this story, and it made the story that much more enjoyable for me.

In this coming-of-age tale, Taja Brown, seemingly struggles with her religious beliefs, and the realities she feels her family, simply doesn't get.

A blend of familial obligations, and realistic situations--Calling My Name was a story, the reader and myself won't soon forget.

With lyrical, poetic, and downright gorgeous writing, Calling My Name was a stellar debut.

Taja Btown is young, and she's just trying to figure life out--outside of what she's already been told. Taja's family, is a church family. The mother and father are apart of the church--and they're faithful to their religion. Taja struggles with committing to what she's committed to her entire life, and always feeling like there's more--more than what's she's been taught.

All the while exploring this, we get to know who Taja is, as she does the same. It was completely realistic and absolutely relatable.

I felt like I got it, because the exploration of ones self is something we all do at some point--and I enjoyed watching Taja do the same.

While religion was a heavy portion of the family's lives--and although it thoroughly dictated who they were and how they moved as a people--I definitely loved the way the parents were painted.

Dedicated, good-hearted people with realistic and non-harsh expectations of their children.

The son, is pretty much a play boy, but he does go off to college and attempts to make something of himself. Taja, eventually does the same. The overall picture is positive and it was wonderful.

Now let's briefly talk about the romance--because well we're all (some) looking for the romance. Or, maybe that's just me?!

Anyway, there is a little bit of romance but it is so realistic some of you may find yourself displeased. There's no slow burn or push and pull. It just kind of happens. Inevitably. Realistically.

It kind of just happens to you, and it was real. So be prepared for that. You won't be swooning but you'll be nodding your head in agreement.

With that aside it is a coming-of-age story--so there's not a lot of action. But it reads so well and so beautifully you won't miss it.

Without being too verbose--this is a solid debut. It was beautifully written and good reading. I'd definitely recommend it, and highly so!


  1. What is this book and how have I just heard of it? It sounds so beautiful! I love books that explore religion so I think I need to get this ASAP!

  2. The writing is pretty spectacular--hope you get and enjoy this!

  3. How have I not heard of this??? This sounds so like a book I would love. Thanks for sharing and great review!!

    1. It's a really solid read--and I hope you get to read it! And thanks!

  4. Wow, awesome review, Jazmen. This one sounds amazing. I like the focus on family - even when it’s about finding your own place within the family and possibly pulling away a bit in order to do that.

    Side note: Can my name please be Liara Tamani? I mean, how beautiful is that name?

  5. I love that you've had so many wonderful reads! Great review for this!

  6. Oh wow this is stunning, I've never seen it around? I would have definitely noticed that beautiful cover!

  7. This book sounds really interesting. I hope I'll find a copy here in the Philippines. :)

    Nice review!

  8. This book looks really gorgeous from the cover to the blurb! I love that it focuses on family and religion. That's not a topic you see discussed a lot especially in books. Great review, Jazmen!

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

  9. Sorry if this comes through twice, but I don't think my comment worked the first time.

    We we connect to a book on a deeper level, it resonates with us in ways it wouldn't otherwise. I love it when this happens! Sounds like this book hit all the right chords with you!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction