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As Far as You'll Take Me

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  97 reviews
The author of The Gravity of Us crafts another heartfelt coming-of-age story about finding the people who become your home--perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli

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 exp
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  146 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Phil Stamper
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
[eyeballs emoji]
Larry H
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, blog-tour
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
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbtqia, own-on-kindle
More reviews and recs on my blog:

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
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
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
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ownvoices, arc, queer-lit
3.5 Stars

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

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 e
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

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)***
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing

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
Jessica Braatz
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Becky Abertalli, Rainbow Rowell, and real relationships
Shelves: arc, favorites
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
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drc
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 ...more
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reads-of-2020, arcs
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
Dec 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Some good surprises in this one in terms of what it discussed and moves by the MC that had me turning pages much faster than usual for a romantic coming of age. Really appreciated the conversations about body image and toxic friendships, and God I love MCs who are really nerdy about their passions. (I learned way more about oboe than I expected, for sure!) Very happy to see this added to the gay YA canon!
Not as strong as Stampers debut, but yet a feel good, easy to read, coming of age novel.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much, Bloomsbury USA Children's Books and Bloomsbury YA, for the chance to read and review one of my most anticipated reads of 2021.

TW: anxiety, eating disorder, abusive relationship, underage drinking, forced outing, homophobia

Marty is seventeen, when he decides to leave his own home in Kentucky, where he feels unwelcomed and trapped as a gay young man and to move to London. With his meager savings, his oboe and the support of his cousin Shane, Marty is determined to live his life,
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook-copy
Thank you Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book.

Marty knows that he can’t stay in his small town in Kentucky. He just came out to his Christian parents and it didn’t go very well. He decides to lie to his family about entering a prestigious summer programme in a music school in London. He packs his oboe and moves to London where he tries to start his career as a musician. His parents don’t know Marty doesn’t have a ticket to fly back and he doesn’t intend to. He must
Lisa Pineo
"As Far as You'll Take Me" by Phil Stamper, Bloomsbury YA
Category: YA LGBTQ romance
*I received this ARC from Bloomsbury YA via a Goodreads giveaway in return for an honest review.
My rating: 4 stars
TW (trigger warnings): Homophobia, bullying

Description from the publisher:
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 sexu
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of As Far As You'll Take Me in exchange for an honest review.

After reading (and enjoying) Stamper's The Gravity of Us, I think I was predispositioned to expect a certain type of story here and actually originally thought I wasn't going to like this because of it based off of how the story starts but I was quickly pleasantly surprised. Marty's story focuses mostly on his personal development and character growth and it was a delight to watch him trans
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as to-read
Can’t wait for this one!
Hmm. I’m not sure what to think, on one hand I really understood the main character and feel like the author’s writing has really grown since The Gravity of Us (which I didn’t like), but on the other hand, I think the book still needed a lot more development, especially with the main romance and the relationship between Marty and his parents. It tried to tackle a lot in a very small amount of pages and I think that’s where it struggled. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a good book, but I do thin ...more
Emilie Willis
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peregrine Marie
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like everyone has a few books that are just perfect for them. Like, you pick it up expecting a good read and somehow you get everything you could have wanted AND everything you didn't know you wanted, too.

This book was that for me.

Some content warnings: it deals heavily with self-esteem issues surrounding weight and unhealthy dieting / not eating regularly or well. The main character also has anxiety, and while I felt it was portrayed in such a great way, if being in the POV of someone
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, read-in-2020, arcs
3.8/5 stars.

TW: eating disorders, forced outing, homophobia, anxiety.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this arc in exchange for an honest review.

As Far as You'll Take Me is a raw intense book about our main character Marty trying to make a new start in London, away from his small town and parents who aren't accepting of his sexuality. It depicts his anxiety incredibly well, as something that surrounds him and every move he makes, and encompasses the struggles of a gay teenager trying
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Release Date: Feb 9, 2021

'As Far As You'll Take Me' is a contemporary YA featuring Marty, an oboist who lies to his parents about being accepted into a prestigious London music program in order to escape the homophobia of his tiny hometown. In London, Marty deals with severe anxiety while navigating the difficulties of maintaining old friendships and forming new ones, coming to terms with his first situationship, and trying to survive in an expensive city with no job prospects and dwindling savi
3.5 stars

This one was a slow read for me....but not because of the story, at least not directly. I loved Marty and his journey of self discovery and how he traveled to London and did things even if they were out of his comfort zone. I loved the side characters and would love to have learned more about them or to have companion stories. This was a slow read because the setting was just so real....and in these days of Covid-19 restrictions where I can't travel to my favorite places it just made th
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: panic attacks, anxiety, homophobia, forced outting, restrictive eating and conversations about eating disorders

As Far As You'll Take Me is for all the music enthusiasts, for everyone struggling in toxic friendships, for anyone searching for some bravery to be ourselves. From the beginning, this book twisted my heart with how cute it was. Marty's narration feels casual, like someo
Chelsea Paige
Jan 09, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 **

Thank you NetGalley and the author for an early e-reader copy!

This book is a coming of age new-adult following Marty who has been determined to leave his hometown in GA & get out of his comfort zone!
I enjoyed this book enough, it really covered self love like I have never read. Marty struggles a lot with himself being queer, as well as not 'attractive' in his eyes and tons of other things.

Marty & the characters all have unique personalities with focus around music. I enjoyed the pacing, th
Received an ARC for reviewing purposes on Netgalley.

I really enjoyed Marty in this book, his anxiety, his issues with his weight and the issues he had with his parents not accepting him made him very relatable. I enjoyed how descriptive the parts about the oboe were because I know nothing about oboes or any kind of musical instrument and the writing made it so easy to picture it all. To me, the story was missing something. Not much happened in the first half and the rest was just missing a spar
Not sure how to rate this one. I loved Gravity and have conflicting feelings about this. A lot going on - anxiety, toxic friendship, homophobia & a public outing, an eating disorder, problematic/abusive relationship, and religion...all in a span of a few weeks. Primarily character driven. Maybe just not for me?
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Phil Stamper grew up in a rural village near Dayton, Ohio. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Publishing with Creative Writing. And, unsurprisingly, a lot of student debt. He works for a major book publisher in New York City and lives in Brooklyn with his husband and their dog.

THE GRAVITY OF US is his first novel, but he’s no stranger to writing. His self-insert Legend of Zelda fanfiction came

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