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A story about finding the people who become your home. Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he's excited to start his new life--where he's no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents' disapproval. From the outside, Marty's life looks like a perfect fa A story about finding the people who become your home. Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he's excited to start his new life--where he's no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents' disapproval. From the outside, Marty's life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he's made new friends, he's getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he's even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can't keep up the facade. He hasn't spoken to his parents since he arrived, he's tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn't even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?


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A story about finding the people who become your home. Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he's excited to start his new life--where he's no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents' disapproval. From the outside, Marty's life looks like a perfect fa A story about finding the people who become your home. Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he's excited to start his new life--where he's no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents' disapproval. From the outside, Marty's life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he's made new friends, he's getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he's even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can't keep up the facade. He hasn't spoken to his parents since he arrived, he's tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn't even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

30 review for As Far As You'll Take Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phil Stamper

    [eyeballs emoji]

  2. 4 out of 5

    theresa

    I will be honest here, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I have to admit that the marketing led me to believe it was more lighthearted than it was, with an equally cutsie romance. And although it did have its sweet moments and was in no way a depressing book, As Far as You’ll Take Me also dealt with some very heavy topics. Most of these were hinted at in the synopsis: his parents’ homophobia, his anxiety and everything not going exactly to plan. This wasn’t an issue and I enjoyed t I will be honest here, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I have to admit that the marketing led me to believe it was more lighthearted than it was, with an equally cutsie romance. And although it did have its sweet moments and was in no way a depressing book, As Far as You’ll Take Me also dealt with some very heavy topics. Most of these were hinted at in the synopsis: his parents’ homophobia, his anxiety and everything not going exactly to plan. This wasn’t an issue and I enjoyed the more personal journey Marty went on and felt that it was an honest representation of what so many other queer teens are struggling with. However, what I wasn’t aware of was that Marty develops body image issues which leads to disordered eating. Marty’s struggle with this as he enters his first relationship is something I’m sure a lot of readers will relate to, especially considering the toxic masculinity and expectations of body types prevalent in the gay community. But unfortunately it soured my reading experience, particularly as I felt the resolution of this plotline was a bit too quick and easy. I was completely unprepared to read this and had this not been a review copy with a quickly approaching publication date, I’d have put this aside to read when I was in a better place and more prepared. As it was, this element of the book and the lack of trigger warnings really negatively affected my reading experience and would have led to this book receiving two stars, had the ending not redeemed it. I will note here that I read an ARC and I don't know what the trigger warning situation will be with the finished copy. Nevertheless, I did enjoy a lot of things about this book. As with The Gravity of Us, Stamper’s writing style is gripping and easy to sink into, making reading fast and fun. I particularly enjoyed the direction the story took, showing Marty’s character development and growing confidence. I felt that this led to a really satisfying conclusion and created a really important story of the protagonist’s own development, rather than their romance, which I hope to see more of. I also appreciated the discussion of toxic relationships and the way this was handled in the book, as well as the new friends Marty found. Although I have no understanding of music, particularly the more classical / orchestral type featured in the book, I could tell this theme was handled with a lot of love and understanding and think music lovers would adore it. I also must admit that there were several other elements I didn't enjoy, notably the diary entries. Although these were important and I appreciated the insight, the lack of order made them confusing and took me out of the main story. Additionally, I felt no connection with Marty or any of the other characters and struggled to care for them. I feel that this is in part due to there being so much going on in a fairly short book; there were so many characters and plotlines that nothing was quite as developed as I'd have liked. Marty’s journey to finding his own place in the world was incredibly honest and I can see As Far as You'll Take Me becoming an important book for a lot of people. I just wish my experience reading it hadn’t been overshadowed by the lack of sufficient trigger warnings. I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars. Phil Stamper's upcoming book, As Far As You'll Take Me , is an enjoyable, moving story about finally making your own way and finding your own people. Seventeen-year-old Marty has never been more ready to leave his tiny, conservative Kentucky hometown. His parents disapprove of him being gay and have forced him to stay in the closet (what would their neighbors and the people from church think), so he’s headed to London for a summer music program. But the truth is, he never even got in 4.5 stars. Phil Stamper's upcoming book, As Far As You'll Take Me , is an enjoyable, moving story about finally making your own way and finding your own people. Seventeen-year-old Marty has never been more ready to leave his tiny, conservative Kentucky hometown. His parents disapprove of him being gay and have forced him to stay in the closet (what would their neighbors and the people from church think), so he’s headed to London for a summer music program. But the truth is, he never even got into the program and he hasn’t purchased a return ticket home. His plan is to get a job with an orchestra and stay in London forever, so he can finally live his life his own way. Of course, life never goes as you plan. Marty loves London and his independence but he’s struggling emotionally and he's having little luck finding a job. As he lands his first boyfriend, he’s torn between London and home, new friends and family and old, and it intensifies his anxiety. He's not sure where he fits in, and he doesn't know what he wants to do. Can he find his place, his people, his happiness without hurting anyone? Can he truly be himself without forsaking his old life completely? I enjoyed this book tremendously. So many of us have dealt with emotions and problems similar to Marty's, although I never went overseas to try and escape! I'm a big fan of how Stamper tells a story and I really liked the genuine way he treated Marty's struggles with anxiety and how those around him handled it. Trying to find your way is hard enough without dealing with emotional problems on top of it all! I loved Phil Stamper’s last book, The Gravity of Us , too. He's definitely a YA author worth reading because of the way he so deftly weaves emotion and humor. I was excited to be part of the blog tour for this book. Bloomsbury YA, Storygram Tours, and Phil Stamper provided me a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! As Far As You'll Take Me will be released 2/9/2021. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    DNFed and not going to regret it. I don't like the characters, especially the main character. And I really do not like the writing. And I am so done with such repetitive young adult stories. I guess it's time to think twice when it comes to pretty, pretty covers. DNFed and not going to regret it. I don't like the characters, especially the main character. And I really do not like the writing. And I am so done with such repetitive young adult stories. I guess it's time to think twice when it comes to pretty, pretty covers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    AnnaLuce

    / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / “How long does it take to fall in love with someone—hours, days, years?” This was okay but I was kind of expecting something different. At times As Far as You'll Take Me follows a bit too closely in the footsteps of other YA coming-of-age books. There also seems to be a rising trend for YA stories featuring American kids who travel/run away to Europe, where they make friends, fall in love, and realize that you cannot run away from your problems. As Far as / / / Read more reviews on my blog / / / “How long does it take to fall in love with someone—hours, days, years?” This was okay but I was kind of expecting something different. At times As Far as You'll Take Me follows a bit too closely in the footsteps of other YA coming-of-age books. There also seems to be a rising trend for YA stories featuring American kids who travel/run away to Europe, where they make friends, fall in love, and realize that you cannot run away from your problems. As Far as You'll Take Me is narrated by Marty who is nearly 18 and gay. Although his parents know they refuse to acknowledge his sexuality as they belong to a deeply conservative Christian sect. He decides that the only way he can be himself is by leaving his small Kentucky town behind and crafts a lie about having been accepted for a music summer program at a prestigious school in order to fly to London. Here he will stay with his cousin, who is also gay, and his aunt (who is largely absent due to work). Marty doesn't have clear plans, other than wanting to play his oboe. He falls for Pierce, a friend of his cousin, who is also a musician and happens to have a not-so-great reputation when it comes to love. There is a lot of busking, some traveling (to Wales and Italy), and quite a lot of angst. Marty's social anxiety turns seemingly ordinary exchanges and interactions into unsurmountable hurdles. He also begins to reconsider his relationship with Megan, his American best friend, who has always pushed him around, made fun of his insecurities, and who since his departure from the US has become even crueler towards him. I appreciated that Stamper portrayed a less than ideal friendship and romance. Those looking for a feel-good YA romance might want to steer clear of this book. In addition to toxic relationships and anxiety, this book also touches on eating disorders. Personally, I think that this subject matter could have been explored with more depth as it came across as being a bit too lightly addressed and resolved. Many of the relationships Marty forms in the UK also struck me as having formed far too quickly. Not only is there the insta-love with Pierce but his friendship with Sophie also felt very rushed. While there was an attempt in making Megan into more than a horrible person, ultimately, she comes off as cartoonishly bad. Similarly to another book featuring a gay teen who runs away to Europe to escape his conservative parents' disapproval, As Far as You'll Take Me is not very concerned with addressing Marty's own relationship to his religion. There are one or two passages that give the impression that he no longer believes due to the fact that his being gay is not compatible with his God but these merely scratched the surface of what could have been a more detailed discussion on self-acceptance and religion. Interspersed throughout the narrative are some unnecessary snippets from a 'project diary' relating Marty's previous summer in which his parents learned of his sexuality. These sections were totally unnecessary as they are so brief that they do not give us a real glimpse into Marty's relationship with his parents, who, remain a mystery for the whole of the book. He thinks of them now and again but we never learn much about them or of their life up to that point. All in all, I can't say that I particularly liked this book. I appreciate the issues the author touches upon but the narrative felt too rushed and somewhat formulaic. Maybe die-hard fans of YA novels will be able to relate to this more than I was.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Browse

    4.5 stars Full review to come

  7. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[coming out themes, nonconsensual outing, homomisia, religious bigotry, anxiety & anxiety attacks, body dysmorphia, disordered food & weight thoughts (including on-page crash dieting, calorie counting & self-imposed starvation), alcohol consumption, and toxic friendships discussed (hide spoiler)] . ▷ Representation: Marty (mc) gay, anxiety & eating disorder; queer & bipoc scs. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram ➸ Trigger warnings for (view spoiler)[coming out themes, nonconsensual outing, homomisia, religious bigotry, anxiety & anxiety attacks, body dysmorphia, disordered food & weight thoughts (including on-page crash dieting, calorie counting & self-imposed starvation), alcohol consumption, and toxic friendships discussed (hide spoiler)] . ▷ Representation: Marty (mc) gay, anxiety & eating disorder; queer & bipoc scs. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    imagine writing a whole book set in London and just... vaguely googling the details of british life love DNF'd at 25%. imagine writing a whole book set in London and just... vaguely googling the details of british life love DNF'd at 25%.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    More reviews and recs on my blog: https://thedanielhurst.wordpress.com As Far As You'll Take Me is about a gay teenager, Marty, who flees his religious household in Kentucky to try to make it as a professional oboist in London. As his time and savings dwindle, he also has to reckon with family and friends back home, new friendships and romantic prospects in London, and his anxiety. This is a lovely story, and it touches on a lot of issues without losing its heart. As in Stamper's debut, The Gravit More reviews and recs on my blog: https://thedanielhurst.wordpress.com As Far As You'll Take Me is about a gay teenager, Marty, who flees his religious household in Kentucky to try to make it as a professional oboist in London. As his time and savings dwindle, he also has to reckon with family and friends back home, new friendships and romantic prospects in London, and his anxiety. This is a lovely story, and it touches on a lot of issues without losing its heart. As in Stamper's debut, The Gravity of Us, the characters and relationships in As Far As You'll Take Me are messy and realistic. I appreciate how he explores all the gray area without telling the reader how to feel. At the same time, I was impressed with how vivid Marty's anxiety and feelings could be, even when the feelings were irrational. I thoroughly enjoyed this sweet story and the mature way that the issues are handled. I think a reader who can closely identify with the Marty, his religious upbringing in Kentucky and his anxiety, would particularly enjoy the book. Content warnings: outing, homophobia, F-word slur, disordered eating

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adri

    3.5 Stars CWs: bullying, toxic relationships, manipulation, homophobia, religious bigotry, graphic descriptions of body dysmorphia and disordered eating, self harm in the form of self-starvation, use of queer slurs, public outing without consent, near instance of sexual assault, anxiety and panic attacks, and several HP references As Far As You'll Take Me is an incredibly necessary story, but also a challenging one. Much like in his debut, The Gravity of Us, Stamper deftly writes about men 3.5 Stars CWs: bullying, toxic relationships, manipulation, homophobia, religious bigotry, graphic descriptions of body dysmorphia and disordered eating, self harm in the form of self-starvation, use of queer slurs, public outing without consent, near instance of sexual assault, anxiety and panic attacks, and several HP references As Far As You'll Take Me is an incredibly necessary story, but also a challenging one. Much like in his debut, The Gravity of Us, Stamper deftly writes about mental health, and thoughtfully explores the anxiety Marty feels as he leaves behind everything and everyone he knows an entire continent away. This story is much darker than TGOU, and takes an in-depth look at toxic relationships, eating disorders, and homophobia. If you're looking for a light-hearted book that celebrates wanderlust and traversing all across Europe while finding love, this may not be the book for you. (Though it should be noted that Marty does do quite a bit of travelling throughout the story, and it does bring him some joy—and also some pain.) There is definitely a strong element of found family and discovering new friendships that I found to be refreshing. But overall, this is a story that definitely puts Marty through the ringer as he embarks on a harrowing journey of self-growth. (Please do note the content warnings, as these subjects are often explored explicitly.) Things I Appreciated: - This book is a music geek's dream! Stamper clearly has incredible music chops, and that authentically comes through in the story. There's a lot of attention paid to musical theory, music technique, and music appreciation that is supremely satisfying to read if you're a musician yourself. (Like me! Former band kid reporting for duty.) It's also really wonderful to see characters connecting and bonding over music. Stamper perfectly captures what it feels like for a group of musicians to play together and challenge each other. It's rare to see such thoughtful portrayals of musicianship, and I loved that aspect. - Marty is a complex character with a strong voice. He has a distinct point of view, a pretty good sense of humor, and a hunger for acceptance and love. He's also racked with anxiety, and often uses lists to order and organize his thoughts/feelings. He's extremely hard on himself, and often unconsciously finds himself drawn towards strong-minded people who will mirror or echo back all the things he dislikes about himself. Though he definitely Goes Through It in this story, he leaves off in a hopeful place and learns a lot from his mistakes. - The story honestly and clearly explores the dangers of toxic relationships. This is something I feel is incredibly important for young readers to see, because many young folks will often find themselves trapped in toxic/hurtful relationships without knowing how to navigate them. The story does a good job of showing how Marty doesn't deserve to be punished or hurt just because he's imperfect, no matter how much he may believe otherwise. If a relationship doesn't serve you or build you up, then it's not a relationship worth keeping. I think many young readers will relate to Marty as someone who considers themselves an outsider, or a loner, and who feels like they can't afford to be "picky" in their relationships if they want to be cared about. But our space and our well-being is worth protecting, and I think the story does a good job of showing that. - The story affords Marty grace. In the beginning, he ignores people's offers to help him, he tries to keep his head down and isolate himself, and he does a lot of harm to himself (both mental and physical) in the process. By the end, he's learning how to be a better friend, how to show up for himself, how to show himself and others the love he deserves, and how to more healthily grow towards the future he wants for himself. Though he faces many challenges, those challenges are valid, and he grows through them. The Sticking Points: I want to be clear that even though this is a challenging story, that doesn't mean it's unimportant or that it shouldn't be told. The struggles Marty faces are struggles that many teens, especially queer teens, face. Those stories deserve space and the dignity of being told. - We don't get to see Marty's parents grow. The homophobia and religious bigotry Marty's parents both participate in and perpetuate is an integral part of this story. One could say his parents are the antagonists of the story, because it's their homophobia that drives Marty out of the States in the first place. Throughout the story, Marty is hiding the truth about his plans to permanently live in London, because if his parents find out before he can secure a long-term plan, it'll be game over. The acceptance Marty so desperately seeks is, at least in part, because it's exactly what he never got from his own family. As events in the story transpire, his parents do have to confront their own homophobia. But because Marty is separated from them by an entire ocean, we as readers are not able to witness that growth and gauge whether it's genuine or lasting, which feels like a major missed opportunity when it comes to the story's resolution. - The exploration of eating disorders (and self-harm in the form of disordered eating) felt surface-level. I think the reason why this plot point comes off that way is because it's fleeting. We see Marty slowly but surely developing an eating disorder, but after one intervention/blow-out, the issue slowly fades into the background. Marty is able to confront the problem and address it as being a problem, but there's no mention of recovery or how he plans to go about recovery, and by the end we're expected to just understand that he's "handled" the problem now and it'll never come up again. This feels disingenuous to those who have struggled with body dysmorphia and eating disorders, both experiences that take an extreme physical/mental toll and take a great amount of support to heal from. There's also a lack of intersectionality, I feel. Or rather, there was a missed opportunity for an exploration of how body image, mental heath, and queerness intersect. Body image is something that a lot of queer folks struggle with, especially considering the prevalence of unrealistically white, cis-centric, Western beauty standards—and with queer men having to contend with toxic masculinity and impossible body expectations, this is a pervasive issue within the community. But that never comes up, and that's never addressed in the story. Marty's boyfriend is simply calorie-obsessed, and his "healthy" habits rub off on Marty in the wrong way. - There is never an acknowledgement of privilege. I have a lot of admiration for Marty. Getting on a plane with all your most important possessions, flying to a whole other continent with no source of income or living plan, and fully intending to never come back is metal as hell. I don't know many people who could do that. And therein lies the problem, in many ways. While I respect the sheer amount of guts and the level of determination it takes to strike out on your own with no plan and no failsafe, a large part of why Marty is able to take that leap of faith is because he has white male privilege—whether he owns it or not. Even in the worst case scenario (being found out by his parents and sent back home) he has a cushion to fall back on. A lot of people don't. His ability to afford a ticket to London, to be able to spend what little savings he has on food and European travel, to know that he can stay in his Aunt's flat as long as he needs, to separate himself from his family and comfortably ignore them with little to no ramifications, (view spoiler)[to not be disowned when he is inevitably found out (hide spoiler)] —these are all privileges. Even though he experiences a great deal of anxiety over whether he'll be able to secure a living, find a paying gig, figure out a living situation, etc. it's never a question of whether he'll be able to do it. As a cis white man (and an extremely gifted musician, as many people note), his chances of getting a job, securing a flat, making money off a side hustle, are far higher than people who don't have the benefit of those privileges. This is never acknowledged in the story, though it should have been. It feels like a classic case of "well white people can experience hardship, too." Yes, they can, and Marty certainly does. But he can have problems and still benefit from his privilege. In Conclusion: So as you can tell, I left this novel feeling torn. I think it's a worthwhile story and one that definitely deserves telling, and it's also a story that's ultimately hopeful and has a lot of valuable things to say about self-growth. Though Marty faces a lot of difficult challenges, I think those challenges are realistic, and ones that many young readers will be able to relate to. For me, it's a story with a lot of really strong ideas that just doesn't quite stick the landing. There was a lot of potential, there was a lot of room to explore these challenging topics with nuance, but I felt like the story just didn't quite get there. I was still moved by the story and swept up in it. I still loved the writing of it, and I still very much consider Stamper an auto-read author. But I just wasn't able to love this one as much as his debut. Even with all that said, I'm excited to see what Phil Stamper writes next, because I'll definitely be reading it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I'm finding that I love the nuance and layers to stories by Phil Stamper, though I realize that it's not what everyone expects from a YA contemporary and some might want something more straightforward, less complex, or tackling fewer issues. That said, this is the second book I've read from this author and both times I have found them to be deeply moving, thought-provoking, and "going there" with difficult to tackle subjects. As Far as You'll Take Me brings something new to the oeuvre of queer c I'm finding that I love the nuance and layers to stories by Phil Stamper, though I realize that it's not what everyone expects from a YA contemporary and some might want something more straightforward, less complex, or tackling fewer issues. That said, this is the second book I've read from this author and both times I have found them to be deeply moving, thought-provoking, and "going there" with difficult to tackle subjects. As Far as You'll Take Me brings something new to the oeuvre of queer coming of age stories, this time in a narrative that includes such difficult subjects as: growing up queer in an evangelical household, toxic friendships and relationships, disordered eating and body dysmorphia in boys, and coping with severe anxiety. Is it intense? Yeah, it is. And there are no easy answers to any of this, which kind of mirrors real life, but this book begins those conversations through a character journey that I really loved. Marty is 17, has just graduated high school, and is escaping his religious family and conservative Kentucky hometown by traveling to London with his beloved oboe, hoping to find a new life and musical career. One where he can be openly gay. Back home he has a toxic best friend, and parents who are less than supportive or understanding. In London he has new friends, new opportunities, perhaps even a new romance, but also severe anxiety and a developing eating disorder. I won't say more about the story, but I really connected with this, messy as it sometimes was, and loved seeing Marty's journey towards being his own advocate and finding what he really wants. I do wish there had been more nuance to the handling of the eating disorder/body dysmorphia elements at the end because it comes across as a bit simplistic. But other than that, I really appreciated what this book was doing and think a lot of people will see themselves in parts of it. I received an advance copy for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Content warnings adopted from Adri's review (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... CWs: bullying, toxic relationships, manipulation, homophobia, religious bigotry, graphic descriptions body dysmorphia and disordered eating, self harm in the form of self-starvation, use of queer slurs, public outing without consent, near instance of sexual assault, and several HP references

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD! I love Marty's journey. I love everything this book deals with. I love how it's written. I just adore this novel and cannot wait for it to be released for everyone else to meet Marty. Phil Stamper really did that with this book. ***Detailed Review Coming Soon(ish)*** THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD! I love Marty's journey. I love everything this book deals with. I love how it's written. I just adore this novel and cannot wait for it to be released for everyone else to meet Marty. Phil Stamper really did that with this book. ***Detailed Review Coming Soon(ish)***

  13. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Stamper crafts a heartwarming coming of age story about a teenage boy named Marty who moves to London in order to pursue his dream of playing music as well as live in a place where he can fully embrace his sexuality outside of his parents’ conservative and judgmental views. Marty’s character is so relatable and authentic. He grapples with crippling anxiety, insecurities with weight (which leads to crash dieting to impress his boyfriend), and toxic relationships. But what I loved about Marty was Stamper crafts a heartwarming coming of age story about a teenage boy named Marty who moves to London in order to pursue his dream of playing music as well as live in a place where he can fully embrace his sexuality outside of his parents’ conservative and judgmental views. Marty’s character is so relatable and authentic. He grapples with crippling anxiety, insecurities with weight (which leads to crash dieting to impress his boyfriend), and toxic relationships. But what I loved about Marty was his passion for music and his determination to love him for him. Also, the found family that he encounters along the way is incredible! Thank you to Penguin Random House Audio for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions aware my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ✫erin✫

    I feel so bad for DNFing this book but the writing just wasn't for me! I really enjoyed the story and the plot, but wasn't able to push through. I feel so bad for DNFing this book but the writing just wasn't for me! I really enjoyed the story and the plot, but wasn't able to push through.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marieke du Pré

    Okay, some of my GR friends didn’t like this story very much, and others loved it. And I? Is it weird that I still don’t really know, even though I read the book and love queer YA?

I always make a lot of notes. About beautiful or remarkable sentences, about how I feel, and I shape my review while reading. In this case, at 30% of the story I noticed I hadn’t written anything; my mind was just empty. And it had something to do with Marty’s relationships with Megan and Pierce.

I liked the writing Okay, some of my GR friends didn’t like this story very much, and others loved it. And I? Is it weird that I still don’t really know, even though I read the book and love queer YA?

I always make a lot of notes. About beautiful or remarkable sentences, about how I feel, and I shape my review while reading. In this case, at 30% of the story I noticed I hadn’t written anything; my mind was just empty. And it had something to do with Marty’s relationships with Megan and Pierce.

I liked the writing (except the diary entries that were not in chronological order, and unnecessary in my opinion), I like YA stories that tackle heavy topics; in this story I loved reading about a male MC having an eating disorder, I liked the part when everything went wrong for Marty and his growth afterward, I loved the part about a chosen family, and the queer representation was simply wonderful. So I feel like I should love this book, but somehow I do not as much as I want to. Halfway the story I realized what was bothering me; I didn’t like knowing from the start that some of Marty’s friendships/relationships were unhealthy. I would have liked to discover it while reading, instead of finding out in the first pages (his own observations, the remarks of his new friends). It made me less curious about the story, and therefore, I could connect less to Marty and his friends than I wanted to. I believe the story could have been balanced differently, lesser pages for the first part of the book (maybe also taking more time for forming friendships), taking out the diary snippets, and more pages for the second part; leaving the readers guessing some more at the beginning, and wrapping up the story better in the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley i'n exchange for an honest review. As Far As You'll Take Me is my first book by Phil Stamper is a solid YA coming-of-age contemporary LGBTQ+ romance. I love just how layered it is. It's not just a fluffy romance with fun travel, but it tackles a few tough topics that give it a welcome complexity. I did like the fun travel elements as I've traveled to London in the past, so it was cool to see places I recognized through Marty's eyes. I enjoyed the story overall, bu I received an ARC from NetGalley i'n exchange for an honest review. As Far As You'll Take Me is my first book by Phil Stamper is a solid YA coming-of-age contemporary LGBTQ+ romance. I love just how layered it is. It's not just a fluffy romance with fun travel, but it tackles a few tough topics that give it a welcome complexity. I did like the fun travel elements as I've traveled to London in the past, so it was cool to see places I recognized through Marty's eyes. I enjoyed the story overall, but there were some things that kind of bugged me. The first is that Marty flies to London to escape his parents and start a new life with only his oboe and a little bit of money, but no concrete plan aside from knowing that he'll be able to stay at his aunt's flat. I appreciate the guts that kind of a move takes, but it stuns me that a teen who's just finished high school even has the financial means to accomplish this in the first place yet doesn't have more of a solid plan already in place before he gets to his destination. I just couldn't stop thinking about that and it pulled me out of my reading experience a few times. Overall, though, this novel is well worth reading and I'll have to give more of the author's work a try in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ava

    HFFNFGGGHHH YEAH THIS WAS REALLY GOOD. I have all the feels over this, really - After his parents don't react well to Marty informing them he's gay, he tells them he's been accepted into a prestigious music program in London (a lie) and he's going to stay with his cousin for a few months (the truth). While in England, Marty starts opening up and exploring his own identity, sometimes in heartbreaking ways: while trying to impress the boy he's fallen for, he struggles with his relationship with foo HFFNFGGGHHH YEAH THIS WAS REALLY GOOD. I have all the feels over this, really - After his parents don't react well to Marty informing them he's gay, he tells them he's been accepted into a prestigious music program in London (a lie) and he's going to stay with his cousin for a few months (the truth). While in England, Marty starts opening up and exploring his own identity, sometimes in heartbreaking ways: while trying to impress the boy he's fallen for, he struggles with his relationship with food, his family, and his friends. But lest I make it sound like this book is super heavy with no happiness, let me reassure you that it still contains the humor and fierce, found-family themes Phil Stamper gave us in his debut, THE GRAVITY OF US. During his stay in London, Marty begins taking risks and embracing challenges in a way he never could before. Heartfelt, humbling, and ultimately an ode to the unknown, this book was such a joy to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tib

    4.5/5 CW: bullying, toxic relationships, manipulation, homophobia, religious bigotry, graphic descriptions of body dysmorphia and disordered eating, self harm in the form of self-starvation, use of queer slurs, public outing without consent, near instance of sexual assault, anxiety and panic attacks This was a lot heavier than I expected. I mean, look at all those content warnings. Almost all of those are explored fairly deeply. Which is a lot for a book that's shy of 350 pages. But that doesn't m 4.5/5 CW: bullying, toxic relationships, manipulation, homophobia, religious bigotry, graphic descriptions of body dysmorphia and disordered eating, self harm in the form of self-starvation, use of queer slurs, public outing without consent, near instance of sexual assault, anxiety and panic attacks This was a lot heavier than I expected. I mean, look at all those content warnings. Almost all of those are explored fairly deeply. Which is a lot for a book that's shy of 350 pages. But that doesn't mean it was an unpleasant reading experience, just a challenging one. I mean, I flew through this in less than 12 hours. Marty escapes his home and his super religious family as he moves away to London to live with his cousin and aunt to pretend to go to a music summer program that he failed to get in because he botched the audition after coming out to his parents a year prior didn't end so well. You know, thinking about it now, I probably should have figured out that this was going to be more hard hitting than a romcom galivanting around the UK. That's on me. Anyway, Marty is an anxiety riddled teen who has uprooted himself and moved across the ocean to follow his musical dreams, which honestly, is super impressive. I know I would never have been able to do that. I mean, I did run away from my unaccepting family and found a more supportive one, but I only traveled from New York to Maine, and that was more than I could handle most of the time. Stamper writes in such a way that Marty's anxiety is palpable and you can tell he's writing from experience with a lot of the mental health dealt within the book. Even the experiences within London were written so you felt like you where there (did you know Phil lived in London for a bit?). Unfortunately, because his writing is so immersive, I feel like it can be triggering to read at times. I know when Marty started to fall down the hole of disordered eating, it brought back flashes of high school and my own disordered eating patterns which were almost exactly like his for the same reasons. I still feel like Marty's story is still an important one to have out in the world. We don't focus much on boys'/men's mental health as a society and when one thinks of disordered eating, it's usually a woman/girl that is pictured, but it doesn't happen to just girls and women. My only critique for this being in the book is that it felt resolved a little too quickly and cleanly. Like, Marty's friends had one intervention and suddenly it was all cleared up and fine a few chapters later and we're left to assume he has it all figured out and handled just because his friends said what he was doing wasn't healthy. This book also focuses heavily on toxic relationships, both romantic and platonic. Megan can honestly choke for all I care, she was shit to Marty from the very beginning and I couldn't stand her, but I understood Marty's desire to keep her in his life. Marty has basically no self-esteem and any sort of attention that isn't blatantly "I hate you" or "You are living in sin and are therefore going to go to hell" is good attention. I felt his need to be accepted and loved and, while from a reader's standpoint I hated that he jumped on Pierce romantically so quickly, I can't say I've never done it myself when I was his age. Unfortunately, that got me into a series of toxic relationships that looked exactly like Marty and Pierce's. (view spoiler)[I'm glad that at the end, Marty comes to terms with both Pierce and Megan and finally establishes the boundaries he needed from the beginning. Just wish it didn't take an almost assault and an outing for him to get there, but we live and we learn and sometimes some of us have to learn the hard way (hide spoiler)] All in all, I related a little too much to Marty and his story, despite never living in London, and I'm only taking half a star off for the few issues I had with the story overall. While I would love for everyone to read this book, I'd highly recommend taking a look at those content warnings, as those issues are discussed in detail, and keep in mind this isn't a fluffy travel romcom.

  19. 5 out of 5

    KTReads

    This was such an amazing sophomore novel that I would definitely recommend! This book follows our main character Marty who after some rough experiences coming out he travels to London for the summer. Upon arrival, he meets some friends gets a boyfriend but his anxiety is getting worse and he doesn't feel like he can belong anywhere. As someone with anxiety, the anxiety representation in here was amazing. I loved how the reader could get a sense of Marty's triggers and how he was feeling while no This was such an amazing sophomore novel that I would definitely recommend! This book follows our main character Marty who after some rough experiences coming out he travels to London for the summer. Upon arrival, he meets some friends gets a boyfriend but his anxiety is getting worse and he doesn't feel like he can belong anywhere. As someone with anxiety, the anxiety representation in here was amazing. I loved how the reader could get a sense of Marty's triggers and how he was feeling while not being triggering to those with anxiety themselves. I thought that the topic of eating disorders was handled respectfully though I can't speak on that myself. I also loved the topic of toxic relationships and how toxic friendships were as much of a topic as toxic romantic relationships. There were so many things that were discussed in this book that I really appreciated. I loved the characters and how much I grew to love them, especially Marty, throughout the novel. I think that this is such an important book that everyone should read! TW: homophobia, fatphobia, eating disorders, anxiety/panic attacks, outing, f slur, toxic relationships, manipulation

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    This was adorable yet raw in a way I wasn't prepared for. Another Aces hit for Stamper. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review This was adorable yet raw in a way I wasn't prepared for. Another Aces hit for Stamper. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Braatz

    Oh this book... As Far as You'll Take Me is an absolute knockout! Starting off, I was a little hesitant on whether or not I would love this book after hearing it compared to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and the works of Rainbow Rowell. However, Stamper did not disappoint. As Far as You'll Take Me follows Marty Pierce and his journey of self-discovery in London. From rural Kentucky, Marty has only had a few chances to see the world. Sheltered by his Christian family, his one prior trip to Lon Oh this book... As Far as You'll Take Me is an absolute knockout! Starting off, I was a little hesitant on whether or not I would love this book after hearing it compared to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and the works of Rainbow Rowell. However, Stamper did not disappoint. As Far as You'll Take Me follows Marty Pierce and his journey of self-discovery in London. From rural Kentucky, Marty has only had a few chances to see the world. Sheltered by his Christian family, his one prior trip to London turned disastrous due to the presence of a Pride parade. Marty is desperate for an escape and hopes that a move to London could be the perfect reset. As a budding musician in London, Marty meets a variety of people along his journey to self-discovery. This book was so perfect. It had such an interesting plot and I loved the additions of the journal entries. Stamper wrote convincing characters that evoked ample emotion. Most of all, the story felt real and believable. How many books have you read where the ending is imperfect but still perfect in its own way? Marty struggles with fitting in, his personal image, and mental health throughout the entirety of the novel. His friendships and relationships also weren't always perfect. In real life, you don't always get the guy. Maybe that can be true for books too. I was also amazed by the diversity in As Far as You'll Take Me. There were representations of many sexualities and races. I literally cannot speak highly enough of this book. I related to it so deeply that it has quickly earned its spot in my top 5 books of all time. Thank you to NetGalley for providing this ARC. The above review is my honest opinion.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Inkish Kingdoms

    For the full review visit: 💻Website For Social Media: 📷 Instagram / 🐦Twitter As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper is a book that promised hot mess London greatness but that only managed to deliver a bland mess. – Inkish Kingdoms Thank God this is over 😖😖😖😖😖 For the full review visit: 💻Website For Social Media: 📷 Instagram / 🐦Twitter As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper is a book that promised hot mess London greatness but that only managed to deliver a bland mess. – Inkish Kingdoms Thank God this is over 😖😖😖😖😖

  23. 4 out of 5

    Britt

    Music + pride + coming of age + international travel = a permanent smile. Seriously, Stamper’s done it again. I desperately want a movie so I can watch it over and over again on the days I need a pick me up and can’t manage to crack open a book. This entire story is utterly marvelous and takes on big issues (sexuality, toxic relationships, eating disorders, religion...) in incredibly accessible ways. Thank you, Phil. This heartfelt ode to found family and finding yourself is exactly what I neede Music + pride + coming of age + international travel = a permanent smile. Seriously, Stamper’s done it again. I desperately want a movie so I can watch it over and over again on the days I need a pick me up and can’t manage to crack open a book. This entire story is utterly marvelous and takes on big issues (sexuality, toxic relationships, eating disorders, religion...) in incredibly accessible ways. Thank you, Phil. This heartfelt ode to found family and finding yourself is exactly what I needed most - I can't tell you how much.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeann (Happy Indulgence)

    Trigger warnings: disordered eating, body image issues, anxiety, toxic friendships, homophobia (parental), forced outing Set in London where Marty decides to travel abroad, As Far As You'll Take me is a queer romance novel about music and discovering yourself. I enjoyed the travelling parts of the novel where we see some of the landmarks of London and learn little pieces of history along the way. We also see some parts of Italy which was fun as well. The anxiety representation was also fantastic, Trigger warnings: disordered eating, body image issues, anxiety, toxic friendships, homophobia (parental), forced outing Set in London where Marty decides to travel abroad, As Far As You'll Take me is a queer romance novel about music and discovering yourself. I enjoyed the travelling parts of the novel where we see some of the landmarks of London and learn little pieces of history along the way. We also see some parts of Italy which was fun as well. The anxiety representation was also fantastic, with travel there is always a lot to worry about but in the end, it ends up being worth it. As Far As You'll Take Me definitely isn't a cute travel romance, it delves into some deeper topics, such as: - coping with a super religious family while being gay - body image issues that come with dating and disordered eating - anxiety with being in a new place and travelling - toxic friendships where the "best friend" manipulates and uses what she knows about Marty against him I do think delving into these topics are definitely important, but there were some things I couldn't bear to see such as Marty falling for Pierce even after some of the problematic things he did (such as obsessing over food labels and fat content around Marty). I did like how the novel focused on Marty's growth, including discovering his found family and learning more about himself and his preferences, after all your late teen years are all about life lessons and learning about yourself more. There is also a very big focus on music in the novel, as Marty is an oboe player who hangs out with others from a musical academy. It was interesting learning more about orchestras and how they work. As Far As You'll Take Me had some aspects that I enjoyed, but overall, I think it wasn't really for me. The characters were quite complex, but the thing that didn't quite gel with me was seeing how damaging the main relationship was for Marty. I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Check out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    3.5 stars This is a pretty cute and easy read. We follow Marty as he leaves for London to live with his cousin Shane and tries to make it as a professional oboist. He decides to live as an out gay man and quickly gains a sort of boyfriend. Unfortunately, not everything is easy and Marty struggles with anxiety and self image. I liked Marty as our main character. He's cute and easily makes friends. He's a good oboist and I wanted to see him happy and successful. Marty has never had a boyfriend so w 3.5 stars This is a pretty cute and easy read. We follow Marty as he leaves for London to live with his cousin Shane and tries to make it as a professional oboist. He decides to live as an out gay man and quickly gains a sort of boyfriend. Unfortunately, not everything is easy and Marty struggles with anxiety and self image. I liked Marty as our main character. He's cute and easily makes friends. He's a good oboist and I wanted to see him happy and successful. Marty has never had a boyfriend so when Pierce starts getting close, Marty jumps right in. He begins trying to change himself into a person that he thinks Pierce would like and the results aren't necessarily positive. I felt bad that Marty thought he wasn't good enough and had so many negative thoughts. Luckily he made some great friends who looked out for him and encouraged him to be healthy. One of the author's points is that you can make your own family of people who love and support you just as you are. Blood doesn't make a family and you can choose to surround yourself with positivity and love. I was also happy that Marty didn't totally give up on his parents and they showed that they want to understand him and do still love him. The story had a few slow moments and I would have liked more to the plot, but I enjoyed reading this overall. If you liked the author's first book, you'll see some similarities and you'll have fun reading this too! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna Clark

    First person POV YA novels always make me so grateful to no longer be a teenager.

  27. 4 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper is a story all about found family and finding where you belong. I loved the parts of the book that feature music, especially since the oboe is a pretty unconventional instrument in YA, and the main character is realistic. What I wasn’t expecting was the book’s darker tone compared to Stamper’s debut, but while this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for at the moment, I would still recommend it to those looking for a more se Full Review on The Candid Cover As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper is a story all about found family and finding where you belong. I loved the parts of the book that feature music, especially since the oboe is a pretty unconventional instrument in YA, and the main character is realistic. What I wasn’t expecting was the book’s darker tone compared to Stamper’s debut, but while this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for at the moment, I would still recommend it to those looking for a more serious contemporary. Sick of having to hide his true self in his conservative hometown, Marty travels to London to escape it all. What his religious parents don’t know is that instead of just a trip, Marty has decided to stay in London permanently, planning to join an orchestra and explore his sexuality without their disapproval. I loved the musical aspects of the book, and I actually learned more about the culture of music school and orchestras than I was expecting. This, combined with the descriptions of London had to be my favourite elements. ❀ MARTY IS A STRONG CHARACTER I really felt for Marty, and he is such a strong character. He has a lot on his plate with his parents who don’t accept him, a toxic friendship back home, and homesickness. Marty’s struggles are so real, and I enjoyed how the author doesn’t shy away from his more heartbreaking conflicts. Eating disorders in men are severely underrepresented in literature, and I particularly appreciated this presence. ❀ HEAVY THEMES I’m still not entirely sure what it is about this book that didn’t hook me. I think what it comes down to is the fact that it is much heavier than I was anticipating. There are many serious topics including anxiety, toxic relationships, outing, and eating disorders that are depicted, and I was surprised at the darker tone this one has compared to Stamper’s first novel. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad book–I actually found that each of these topics are handled with sensitivity and care–but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for at the moment. I would still recommend this one, although please be aware of the heavier themes. ❀ A HEARTFELT STORY As Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper is a heartfelt story about finding yourself and your home. I loved the musical elements, and the main character’s strength is admirable. However, this book is heavier than I was expecting, which wasn’t for me right now. Despite this, this is a realistic story that I’m sure many others will love.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Just as music can transport us to another place, this story transported me to London with Marty on his journey and all the hope, passion, worry, and joy found there. It's such a beautiful coming of age story and Phil Stamper writes in such a way that my heart ached when Marty's did, soared when he was soaring, and was filled with hope as he found his hope! I loved seeing Marty evolve into who he dreamed he could be as he found first love, friendship, and family all while playing his oboe. This s Just as music can transport us to another place, this story transported me to London with Marty on his journey and all the hope, passion, worry, and joy found there. It's such a beautiful coming of age story and Phil Stamper writes in such a way that my heart ached when Marty's did, soared when he was soaring, and was filled with hope as he found his hope! I loved seeing Marty evolve into who he dreamed he could be as he found first love, friendship, and family all while playing his oboe. This story will stick with me and I hope it does the same for you! Please pick this one up in February! P.S. Marty went to SO MANY of my favorite places I traveled to in the UK! Shout out to Cardiff Castle with its gorgeous views from the top and to Pret for the best pastries! I'm glad Marty was able to experience these too! :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    rhi ✰

    i will probably be forever confused about my rating for this book. i have literally slept on it to come to the same conclusion: while this was sweet and normally the sort of slice-of-life story i love, this didn't work for me for some major reasons. i'm not getting into it all here, and i wish i loved this more because the parts that worked for me are worth a lot, and they're the reason this isn't a lower rating. but i was considering a 2.5 star - and i tend to give out anything below a 3 rarely, i will probably be forever confused about my rating for this book. i have literally slept on it to come to the same conclusion: while this was sweet and normally the sort of slice-of-life story i love, this didn't work for me for some major reasons. i'm not getting into it all here, and i wish i loved this more because the parts that worked for me are worth a lot, and they're the reason this isn't a lower rating. but i was considering a 2.5 star - and i tend to give out anything below a 3 rarely, jsyk - for this because of some things. this may turn into a bit of a rant review, but i need to get my feelings out there. however, the things that didn't work for me are not indicative of what you will like, and the audience of this book (not me) will probably be fine with it, because i know the queer community does often have some problems with the main thing i felt annoyed me about the book. **i'll try and spoiler mark explicit things, but go into this knowing i'll be discussing themes that may be considered spoilery** first, i hated most of the characters. pierce especially, and marty for doing all that stuff (and this is mostly directed at my hate of feeling second hand stupidity from characters. one of the things i absolutely LOVED about this book was the anxiety rep in our MC, because that was so relatable and absolutely incredible. 5/5). dani, ajay, sophie, and shane? i love you, would die for you. it was also a situation where the side characters (eg. anyone except the MC and their love interest) were trying so hard to be fleshed out and individual, but it only kind of worked. megan and skye... don't get me started. since i should be somewhat positive, i'll alternate - one bad thing for one good thing! my good thing, and the saving grace of this book: the anxiety representation. barring a couple of exceptions that will always mean the world to me, this book has one of the best anxiety portrayals i've seen. it was painfully relatable as a teen also with anxiety, and while it's a broad spectrum that won't be the same for everyone, this specific rep for me meant a lot. marty is me, and has been in a lot of cases in my life. thankfully i've never had a megan or anyone like that, but his experience is one of my favourites in YA right now, and i love it so much. here is where i get pretty spoilery. and what i'm about to say is a bit controversial, but screw it. the way religion and christianity is portrayed in this book is very antagonistic, and i wish there had been something to show that on the blurb because i would have gone into this book with a very different mindset. i understand many queer people have a less than great relationship with the church, and this is in no way meant to invalidate that. i am sorry if you have ever felt less than or not enough or anything that makes you feel upset or uncomfortable because of religion. i personally have a very complicated relationship with religion, and while i don't want to get into it i feel there were some aspects of this book that focused on the church as the villian in this story, and the way marty constantly rejects this and has this belief that all christians are homophobic is painful to read. this idea isn't challenged until the end, where (view spoiler)[his mother sends an email that tells him that they (his parents) are finding another, more inclusive church (which i can only assume means not homophobic, in this case) (hide spoiler)] . other than this, the whole way through the book (with the exception of the scene at the Duomo) religion and the church is showed to the reader as the be-all and end-all of queer pain. i have many problems with this, but i do recognise that many people - and many queer people, who are the 'main audience' for this book - have issues with the church. religion was not forced on me like it was marty growing up, and it has never been a problem for my immediate family to accept members of the queer community. i know that this is not the case for many, and especially in kentucky, where the majority of the hate takes place. this is by no way your fault, however i was hurt by this portrayal. i also wish that given how heavily the topic features in the book, that there was some warning or some description in the blurb. one of the best queer and religious representation in books i've read is autoboyography, which deals with religion in the forefront, yet is much less antagonistic about it. i would highly recommend that for another perspective from similar topics (and no, it doesn't end with the queer character being 'cured'). for my other positive thing, i guess the music? and the toxic friendships and relationships, and learning to cut that out of your life!! you don't need it!! overall, i wasn't impressed with this book like i thought i would be, but i think that's a lot to do with me and what i thought this book would be, versus what it actually was. this was definitely a 'it's not you it's me' thing, and once again, i'm in no way trying to invalidate the people who's experience is similar to marty's (or the authors) because i understand how painful that could be. <3 (the more i wrote of this review the less i liked the book.... 2.5 it is) **OH!!! SIDE NOTE FIVE MINUTES AFTER!!! along with no warning for religion (and look, it probably could have been inferred. i'm just sad.) there was no warning for the disordered eating?? and the unhealthy relationship to food that marty experienced that once again, is a massive part of the book?? unlike picture us in the light (which also deals with content that could be triggering to some), where to explain this would be spoiling a big part of the mystery of the novel, the addition of this would cause little to no effect on enjoyment of knowing how it plays out, except people who are triggered by this likely wouldn't pick this up or would have sufficient knowledge. once again, something that i feel could have been mentioned.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    Damn. I came into this with no expectations at all and I may have just found a new treasure trove author for heartfelt contemporaries. This was smart, funny, and held that hard to define and hard to find emotional climate all YA books strive for. I didn't just feel for Marty, I felt with him. Since the release date is a ways off, I'll try to keep this as close to spoiler free as possible. In short: we get a story about my fellow Appalachian runaway Marty and the way we try to find ourselves, and Damn. I came into this with no expectations at all and I may have just found a new treasure trove author for heartfelt contemporaries. This was smart, funny, and held that hard to define and hard to find emotional climate all YA books strive for. I didn't just feel for Marty, I felt with him. Since the release date is a ways off, I'll try to keep this as close to spoiler free as possible. In short: we get a story about my fellow Appalachian runaway Marty and the way we try to find ourselves, and define ourselves, by letting other people do it for us. This is a book about defining and loving yourself, no buts or cuts allowed. If this isn't on your TBR, it should be. It's that good. :) *An ARC was provided by NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review*

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