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As Far as You'll Take Me

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  129 ratings  ·  87 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: February 9th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  129 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Phil Stamper
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
[eyeballs emoji]
Larry H
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia, own-on-kindle, ya
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
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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  ·  review of another edition

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  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Becky Abertalli, Rainbow Rowell, and real relationships
Shelves: favorites, arc
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
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, reads-of-2020
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
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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!
Dec 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
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,
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
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Can’t wait for this one!
Emilie Willis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2020, lgbt
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  ·  review of another edition
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
(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
Thalyta S.
As Far As You'll Take Me tells Marty's coming of age story. He moves to London to pursue his musical career and search for an inclusive and supportive family. He's also looking forward to escaping his not so gay-friendly hometown and family.

I loved so many things about this book, including Marty's journey to accepting who he is and learning what he wants from his relationships with his family, friends, and boyfriend. I actually loved seeing Marty being in a toxic relationship after a toxic relat
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020, net-galley
Review to come closer to the release date!
Not as strong as Stampers debut, but yet a feel good, easy to read, coming of age novel.
Amber K.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really loved this one!! I haven’t read the authors first book, but I plan to. If you’re look for a cute YA with depth, this is for you!
Dec 30, 2020 added it
Shelves: 4-stars
This review and more can be found at

I received an ARC of AS FAR AS YOU'LL TAKE ME in exchange for an honest review, and I'm really glad that I did, because we loved working with Phil Stamper on his debut novel, THE GRAVITY OF US, last year, so when I found out that his sophomore novel was in the works, of course I added it to my TBR. After making AS FAR AS YOU'LL TAKE ME my last read of 2020, it's safe to say that I'm glad I got to close out such a chaotic year on
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and meagre savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to begin his new life - no longer the closeted kid who slips under the radar and is now free to explore himself and his sexuality without his parents’ disapproval looming over him. From the outside, Marty’s life seems like the perfect fantasy: in a few weeks he has made new f
Starr ❇✌❇
I received an ARC from Edelweiss
TW: internalized fatphobia & eating issues, emotionally abusive friendship, outing

As far as Marty's parents know he's heading to London because he nailed his audition to the academy and he'll be back home in lovely, God fearing Kentucky in three months time. In reality, after the terrible audition he'd had the year before, the academy was never an option- but moving to London was. As long as he can just find a job, he won't ever have to go back again. But he
B.S. Casey
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Release Date: Expected Expected 9th February 2021

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / LGBT

Marty doesn't think he's the protagonist in anyones story. But now he's getting his own story. After months of meticulous planning, he's heading across the world to London to stay with his cousin under the guise of reauditioning at his dream music school ... but he isn't coming back. With an overly religious family who can't quite accept him, questionable friends and anxiety that is almost crippling him, there's
Dec 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Far As You'll Take Me is a YA coming of age story about a teenager trying to find his place and purpose away from his family and hometown. Marty's been dealing with his religious parents' disapproval since he came out to them last year, but now he's taking a leap into the unknown, and going from Kentucky to London to try and live his dreams of becoming a musician. Only problem is, he's lied to his parents about why he's there (he didn't get into the music school he was hoping for and is inste ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I highly enjoyed Phil Stamper's space-race YA romcom 'The Gravity of Us', so I was incredibly excited to read his new novel 'As Far As You'll Take Me'. As a music nerd (clarinet) and (up until very recently) Londoner, I loved the focus on a group of passionate musicians trying to make a living in our wonderful capital city. Marty is from Kentucky, a conservative small town, coming to London for a summer music programme at a prestigious academy... Or at least that is what his very religious and j ...more
Kera (featherboundbooks)
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully sweet and sad book about discovering who you are through ups and downs.

Marty is a gay teenage boy in a very conservative town... and family. While he has a couple of really good friends and his parents DO know he is gay, he is still stuck. Hating everything about small Kentucky life, he ventures off to stay with his cousin and aunt in London.

It all starts when a trip to London the previous year with his parents goes drastically wrong. He tanks his musical audition for entry into a
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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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