After graduating from high school a year early, Marty moves to London. He’s a talented oboe player, but he’s not going to the conservatory like he planned, but his parents don’t exactly know that. He’s supposed to be going to church every Sunday, but he’s not doing that either. Marty came out to his parents last year, but it didn’t go very well. Still, they’ve allowed him to go to London, and Marty’s determined to make the most of it.
Marty is always looking for places to showcase his musical talent; there isn’t a lot of demand for an oboe player, but the opportunities he finds prove to be rewarding. He’s also coming to terms with being out. Back home, he’s only out to his parents and his two best friends, but in London, he can be fully out, and that means that he can find a boyfriend.
I loved the way the book handled both anxiety and eating disorders with such tenderness, presenting these issues both realistically and without judgement. I think it’s especially important to have male characters affected by EDs; while a lot of progress has been made in recent years, they are still thought of something that teen girls contend with. I don’t want to give away too much, but I also appreciated the way that relationships—both friendships and romantic—were handled, showing the signs of an imbalance in the dynamic.
I would absolutely recommend As Far As You’ll Take Me. This was such a sweet and tender book, and I enjoyed every minute of it. As a parent, this is exactly the sort of YA novel I would want my kids to read, and I’ll be passing it along to them next. I’m already looking forward to reading Stamper’s next book.
I received an ARC of this book from Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books/NetGalley.