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Miles Away from You

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3.20  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  91 reviews
It's been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a talented and dazzling transgender girl. Eighteen months since a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support. Now Miles isn't sure who he is without her, but knows it’s time to figure out how to say goodbye.

He books a solo trip to Iceland but then has a hard time leaving the refuge of his hotel room. After a little push f
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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3.20  · 
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 ·  311 ratings  ·  91 reviews


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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Note: All of this is coming from my cis perspective. I can only do the best that I know how to do, but if you are a trans individual who disagrees with my perspective, or if you have an own-voice review for this book, please let me know in the comments and I would love to help boost your voice!

There are some minor spoilers ahead, because I couldn't discuss all of the problems I had with this book without them.

Content warnings: suicide, self harm, abuse, transphobia, mental illness, homophobia,
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C.G. Drews
Oh wow, so this was basically about a Iceland and sex and sex in Iceland. Aaand that's about 89% of the book RIGHT THERE. 0_0 I also realise this is a controversial one, and I totally acknowledge people's concerns. I'm not trans, so I won't critique that aspect, but I do point you to a twitter thread by a trans person in publishing that talks about why it's problematic and I highly encourage you to read that.

+ Look I really really REALLY don't want to rant, but Miles was also horrible.
I mean...t
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Katie
Dec 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm gonna withhold judgment until I know more about this, but am I the only person who doesn't want to read about a trans girl getting fridged for the sake of a cis white boy's character arc...?

Edit 1/11/18: Now that I've seen a lot of people I respect who read ARCs of this and pointed out the transphobia and racism, and having read the book in draft stages and seen the problematic aspects then (and knowing now that the author didn't change anything since then), I'm giving this a 1-star rating.

T
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Janani
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I see that a bunch of people have tagged this as an ace-spec book (and lord knows I'm always looking for ace and aro-spec contemporary/non-SFF novels), but I don't need to read this Black trans teen's suicide-inspires-white-boy-to-see-the-world story (that's not written by a Black trans author). Not when Black trans folx are already at such high risk IRL, and not when publishing still doesn't give equal opportunity to Black trans (and other marginalized) folx.
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This book was an intense and difficult read that I surprisingly enjoyed immensely. Before going into this book, I do have to put the disclaimer out there that it deals with heavy content some of which is sexual/physical/emotional abuse, bullying, suicide, and depression. Honestly, that is such a small description of the depth and heaviness in this novel.

In opposition, this novel is incredible in that it truly packs a punch when it comes to diversity. What I mean is that, considering the length o
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Riddhi (desiderium.)
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am getting a feeling that this book is going to be a tear-jerker.Can't wait for the emotional ride.I know I'd love it.Please, release it already.


Amy
Jan 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Well, that was awful.

Before I start -- I know there's been some discussion on the premise, and the fridging of a trans character -- I was uneasy going in, but honestly, I wanted to read it because I heard Miles was Demi, and I'm Demi, and I so rarely see Demi characters in books that I was willing to take what I could get.

This was HORRIFICALLY BAD Demi rep.

Quite frankly -- Miles is not Demi.

Just gonna flat out say it. I totally get that everyone has different experiences in the community, and t
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K.A.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writer-friends
This book was hilarious, beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking, and downright sexy in places.

Miles, the MC, was easy to relate to. He had a great sense of humor, and instantly felt like a friend. The voice was perfect, the setting phenomenal; the author added so many little details, which made the Icelandic setting all the more real for me. If you're someone who's ever struggled with what they thought was right, or struggled to find themselves in a world that is constantly trying to define them, f
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Brooke Banks
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Oh hell no with this sacrificial black trans woman to teach a lesson nonsense. Fuck this transphobic and racist shit. BLACK TRANS* WOMEN AREN'T YOUR PLOT POINT.
Nicole
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review can also be seen on: NicoleHendersonReads

This was originally one of my most anticipated releases of this year solely because of its intriguing plot and cover. But that was before I read some very negative reviews about this book, involving using a trans character’s suicide attempt as a plot device and portraying people of colour to be terrible people. I also recognized that this book presents the white saviour trope (as almost every character is white and the blacks in this book are
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Weezie
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: just-awful, 2017
I DNFed this around the halfway mark. Review coming with thoughts and why I DNFed.
Kirsty McGhie
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF. I was so looking forward to this as the MC is pansexual but he’s a white cis dude and it’s all about his experiences after his black trans girlfriend commits suicide and we literally do not need another story about a black trans girl killing herself to further a white guys development.
Lulu (the library leopard)
a book that uses the suicide of a black trans girl to fuel a white cis dude's plotline?
hell nooo
call me back when ya fiction is publishing books with #ownvoices representation of black trans girls in charge of their own stories.
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The contemps this year have been hella good. I don't typically dole out this many five stars in a row. And this one is no exception.
So I want to preface this by saying this is not my kind of book.
You may misunderstand what I mean. I don't typically prefer/read male type protagonists and not typically into road trips/traveling abroad to find oneself. So this book was chock full of stuff that I don't usually like or read, and yet... and yet...
Miles is so typically boy but not. He is fluid on the
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Tara
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was exactly what the stars describe.. Ok. It's also hard to review, besides saying that I wasn't a fan of Miles, so..

As this was entirely from his perspective, you can imagine how this affected my enjoyment of the story.

Still, it was quick and easy to read, with lgbt+ diversity galore (the only characters of color were the religious, transphobic parents of the girlfriend, though, so that's an issue).

2 stars.

Edit: One of the stars is for the eventual love interest, who I actually reall
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Mars
Mar 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
TW: suicide, self harm, abuse, transmisia, mental illness, homomisia, pedophilia.

This book handles consent (or the lack of) horribly. I was literally the vomit face emoji throughout the whole book, and there was no consent given in many situations & it’s not addressed directly or handled in a sensitive way. It’s all swept under the rug or laughed off and the MC still remains an ahole.

Also as an ownvoices trans reviewer and as an ownvoices ace reviewer, I thought that the author handled the
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Diverse Reads


This book has been called out multiple times for using the White Saviour Trope and the problematic portrayal of themes related to Vivian, the black transgender love interest. Miles' demisexuality is an #ownvoices portrayal but the representation has not been supported by most (if any) #ownvoice reviewers, like so.

I recommend reading Destiny @ Howling Library's review for more information but I am currently in the process of collecting relevant reviews/Twitter threads. If you know of any well-wri
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Liz Ellor
Jan 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Transphobic premise. Should not be read by teens
Jazmen
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Grief is a funny thing, it's usually messy--and rarely neat--with the barest of touches, it makes a wreck of your life.

Miles Away From You is a wreck of a novel, in that it totally encapsulates grief, it's effects--and what it's like to, try to move on.

Miles' girlfriend is in a coma, and everything outside of her seems wrong. The art website and magazine they've worked on together--seems like a space that will never be filled again.

Everything is just off, and Miles is barely dealing with it. A
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Joanne
Jan 12, 2018 marked it as will-never-read
Note to self:

Will not read due to racism and transphobia. See here.
Trisha
I have now published my review at my blog, Trish Talks Texts.
Hazel
I hate that most reviews on Goodreads the reader has to state that they're a "cis" or not. I don't think that makes a difference when sharing your opinion on a book.

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up Miles Away from You but it's about a boy named Miles who --- in letter format --- talks to/about his trans girlfriend Vivian who recently overdosed on pills and slipped herself in a coma. They come from two completely different worlds; Miles was raised by lesbian mothers and was free to b
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Amanda Hanson
Edit 1/11/18: After coming across a couple threads on Twitter about how problematic this book description is for trans youth (and really, anyone) I am removing my rating. I will leave the review here, but I'm going to sit back and let the involved community handle this one.

This book surprised me in a really good way. I didn't know how I would feel about the format - the instant messages from Miles to Vivian that made up the story - but it ended up reminding me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower,
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Hope Decker
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, 2018, fiction
Reading and reviewing YA literature is something I think is very important, and I hold YA authors to a higher standard than I do authors of adult fiction. This is because the audience of readers is generally in their teens and early adult years, and to a certain extent, this can make them vulnerable. That being said, when I read a YA book that has an outcry of criticism from a group of people I respect, I tend to listen. Miles away from you is one of those books, and I'll do my best to explain m ...more
Ilonita50
I received the e-arc from Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Children's Book Group, thank you!

Warning, the book, however most of the plot is being set in Iceland, it doesn't focus on travel, it is about curing the depression and finding sexuality, finding ways how to be with someone else and see life again, however weird it may seem for someone outside.

This young adult novel tells about Miles, who lands in Iceland, being sent there by his two moms and doesn't know what to do there for a whole month. He
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Bethany
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbtqia
Miles is a (queer) teen whose (trans) girlfriend has been in a coma for the past 18 months after she swallowed too many pills in a suicide attempt. To help him find closure and move on, Miles's moms send him on an impromptu one-month vacation to Iceland. There, he meets Oskar, his concierge at the hotel. However, it turns out that Oskar unexpectedly and semi-accidentally becomes more friend than hotelier. Oskar takes Miles on tours of Iceland, of his heart, and of his closure. Together, they fal ...more
Melissa
There is a lot of talk around this book that says it's problematic. And I agree, vehemently. There's nothing new that I can say about that subject that hasn't already been said, and furthermore, I'm not exactly who should be speaking to that.

But on top of that, I don't like the story. It took me five months to read it, because I was uninterested and unimpressed. Miles is a selfish, obsessive boy that I didn't connect with. And his parents just paying for him to go to Iceland by himself when bare
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Colleen
Apr 28, 2018 marked it as not-for-me
I only got about 20 pages in and then read a slew of reviews about how problematic this book was in regards to race and people who are transgender that I decided not to read it. I picked it up specifically because of the transgendered character but it appears she was only a plot device.

I honestly don’t usually let reviews affect whether I read a book or not, but there were enough warnings about this one that I feel justified not reading it.
Stephanie
It's a really well-done book about a whole bunch of difficult subjects. It's hard to say I enjoyed it, but there are some things I did very much enjoy.

I liked Miles, actually. He sounded and acted like a teenager, including being internet/tumblr-literate and having the correct terminology for concepts such as dysphoria and demisexuality. He mentions actually reading up on dysphoria once for Vivian. I liked that he made some bad/silly choices, and sometimes there were consequences for them, but i
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A.B. Rutledge is an optician from Southeast Missouri. She likes '90s alternative music, dresses with pockets, and leaving Halloween decorations up all year long. When she's not up at 3 a.m. scribbling out stories, you can find her in her art studio covered in paper scraps, paint, and cats.