I read As Far As You’ll Take Me in a day. Talk about an entertaining, heart warming, and endearing story about love, bravery, and friendship. I actually could not stop reading because I was so invested in Marty and his journey of agency. Keep reading this book review to find out the exact reasons I loved this book!
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?
(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 someone, your best friend, is confiding in you. Because of that, the pages kept flying through my fingers. Marty is endearing, compassionate, and vulnerable on the page. His love of bullet point lists, extensive use of Google, and need for preparation struck a chord within me.
As Far As You’ll Take Me delivers conversations about toxic friendships, about the people we love hurting us the most, and found family we continue to choose. Marty’s story begins with his first opportunity to stretch his own wings and possibly fly. On his own, Marty embarks on an adventure of self-discovery, agency, and friendship. It’s about realizing when things need to end. Realizing we need better. Seeing the words on the wall and being honest with ourselves.
It’s hard to change and be honest with ourselves. To take the next step and transform. It’s a process of being terrified and it’s so difficult. Which is why Marty’s journey became so relatable. We deserve to be surrounded by people who love us, but also enrich and support us. As Far As You’ll Take Me is emotional, hilarious, and so relatable. It hits all these highs and lows and was the perfect book to end 2020.