Calling My Name by Liara Tamani

Calling My Name

"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." --- Buz...

Details Calling My Name

TitleCalling My Name
Release DateOct 24th, 2017
PublisherGreenwillow Books
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Reviews Calling My Name

  • Lola Reviewer
    Such an elegant book.The cover is elegant, the writing is elegant, the atmosphere is whimsical and contemplative, the heroine is lovely, almost angelically so. Reading the whole story is just a pleasurable experience you won’t soon forget. Liara Tamani has written here a very beautiful story about growing up amongst family members that do not always understand you. Although religion is important to Taja, unlike her parents, she feels the need t...
  • Sarah
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)This was a YA contemporary story about a teenage girl called Taja.Taja was such a normal sort of girl with the normal sort of girl worries. I felt really sorry for her and the way she felt left out compared to her brother and sister, and the way she wasn’t prepared for her first period. She was also subject to a lot of peer pressure.The storyline in this w...
  • India Hill
    I think capturing the essence of being a black Southern girl who loves God is something so specific that you have to experience it firsthand. It’s in the way we love, the way we pray, view nature, are in tune with our bodies and that inner voice. Before reading this book, Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual was the only other thing that captured it for me. Calling My Name is so lyrical, so beautiful and captures that essence so perfectly.In 53 titled ...
  • Shortcake
    UPDATE 12/19/2017So I am bringing this review down to four stars because I realized what felt off about it: to me, it felt like I was seeing this through glass. It all felt... muffled. Does that make sense? Like, there was something between me and the plot/characters that made it hard to connect.*still super great though****Reading Calling My Name was like reading poetry. It was beautiful and carefully written and impacted me in a way I didn't ex...
  • Nikki S
    02/15/2017:African American girl. Growing up IN Houston, Texas?! GIMMIE.10/22/2017: Eh..... Real review to come.
  • Candace
    This is a quietly beautiful book. It's lyrical, soft and easy. It's a story that spans time with only light theme within it. There's no urgency and what kept me reading was the beautiful writing. While not in verse it had a similar feel to it. It has a theme of the MC being in a religious family and feeling those pressures to always be good. If I were to complain it would be that I wish it had expanded on this more. But that is largely because of...
  • Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
    I received a free copy of this book from Harper Collins Canada for an honest review. This story is told by Taja, from middle grade to high school, as she searches for who she really is and what she really believes. The book seems to take place around the early 90’s but we are never told this. Taja’s African American parents live their life around their faith and want to instil that in their children’s lives. The parents do have a different ...
  • love, ellie
    This book is a character-driven story about a black girl growing up and dealing with all the problems adolescence offers (and we all know it's a lot of problems). I have to admit that the main reason I picked this up was because of the cover, I think it's so BEAUTIFUL. However, the writing just wasn't for me. I really appreciate some little moments of it, but I got to like page 120 and all the side characters were flat and underdeveloped. Page 12...
  • Jazmen This Girl Reads A lot
    I can hear the voices of some of the greatest African American writers echoing in the voice ofLiara 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, se...
  • Elke (BEroyal)
    This story touched me a lot more than I thought it would. It's a beautifully flowing coming of age story about Taja, a black girl from a religious family. It's written in an almost poetic way, which made the audio book really pleasant. I loved how the book encompasses so much time, as we are with Taja whilst she grows from middle grade to high school graduation, and with that the topics of the story. It's in first person perspective, which I thou...
  • Shenwei
    a poetic coming of age story that portrays emotions in a viscerally engaging way. Taja's adolescent confusion, curiosity, and conflicted feelings about sex and her religion are captured very well.that all said, there were some really cringe-worthy microaggressions here and there that put me offTWs: body/fat-shaming, ableism, transmisia, slut-shaming/misogyny, racism-the most prevalent microaggressions were body/fat-shaming, and it was kind of hyp...
  • Rachel Rooney
    3.5 stars.This book took me a while to get into. In fact I almost abandoned it about a third of the way through. It is about an African-American teen from a very religious family who is questioning God and trying to figure out who she is. The writing is beautiful with lots of short chapters that are almost vignettes.
  • Kimberley
    Imagine yourself as a young girl, unsure of herself, and trying desperately to find your footing in a world where the messages are mixed (at best), and wrong (at worst). That’s where we first meet Taja. As she navigates the social spectrum—from middle and on through high school—she’s forced to answer questions about who she wants to be: her parents expect her to remain steeped in God. He is to be her eternal guide where all decisions of t...
  • Heather Hughes
    I would like to thank Greenwillow Books for granting me access to an early copy in exchange for an honest review.I was very interested in this debut from Liara Tamani. The reviews were all pleasant and praised Taja’s growth in this story. I definitely agree with these reviews.Tala’s story starts out when she is barely a teenager. She still hasn’t really hit puberty yet, but she definitely wants to. She wants boobs, a butt, a boyfriend, etc....
  • grieshaber_reads
    Calling My Name is lovely, literary, and lyrical. Liara Timani has crafted an elegant piece of prose that reads like poetry. It is a true coming of age story, beginning when Taja is in grade school and ending just before she heads off to college. In it, Taja questions much and struggles to find the answers that sit right in her heart. What makes this story different is the way it is told. Timani covers about ten years of Taja’s life in under 30...
  • Tiffany Nichols
    Loved this book! Having 3 daughters, I find it especially important expose them to books with main characters with whom they can relate. Not only is it a beautiful story, but the author does such an amazing job of transporting you right into the main character's shoes. We need more positive books like this! Great read!
  • Akilah
    I really liked this (obviously, hence the rating). It's a coming of age told in episodic vignettes, and it really doesn't have an overarching plot throughline except that it follows Taja from middle to high school. Tamani really explores the conflict between loving God while also bumping up against the rampant sexism and misogyny of the church (#notallchurches). My heart really ached for Taja during specific points, especially as she got closer t...
  • Jamie
    I received an Advanced Reader Copy at Book Expo 2017. A beautifully written coming of age story. We follow Taja from middle grade up through high school graduation. We experience all her firsts. We follow her as she tries to figure out who she is and what she believes. I especially loved her spiritual journey as she discovers how she wants to experience God, not just in church but in and around her.Highly recommend.
  • Caitlin
    Actual rating: 3.5 starsI received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Review was originally published on my blog, Turning Pages.I didn’t quite know what to expect when I read the description of this book, as it’s told in a lot of short, episodic chapters. However, once I got into the format and the story, I appreciated its message.The biggest thing Taja faces is religion. Her family is pretty devout, but as she grows ...
  • Mrs. Krajewski
    Meet Taja Brown. As she begins her story, she is an innocent, naive soon-to-be high schooler who doesn’t know who she is yet. She watched her older brother Damon get whatever he wanted, and her little sister Naima seems to have a lot more confidence than Taja could ever have. Now Taja needs to figure out who she is. As her high school years go by, she develops her first crushes, gets her first boyfriend, and later on wonders if God will ever fo...
  • Kiki Cole
    3 to 3.5 stars*The beginning of this book was throwing me off, but then it turned into the main character, Taja, grown up as a teen. That was when things were making sense. I feel like it didn't address racism as much as it probably should have, but that wasn't the reoccurring theme of this book. I think it was more about personal growth and acceptance. Dealing with sexism and being a woman and what a woman's role and standards are "supposed" to ...
  • Katelyn Patterson
    Really beautiful writing.
  • Rachel Strolle
    Quiet and beautiful. Reminiscent of Sandra Cisnero's HOUSE ON MANGO STREET
  • Kimberly
    Difficult to get moving, but worth reading. Rely on what is in your heart.
  • Jeanie Phillips
    Sometimes you need a nice coming-of-age story about a girl figuring out who she is inside and out. This was just that and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perfect for readers who loved Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming.