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Miles Away From You


Miles Away From You

Miles loves Vivian. The two fell in love over a period of years at an LGBT+ summer camp that Miles’ parents run. Miles loves Vivian, but Vivian has been on life support for a year and a half after a suicide attempt. While Miles has been fighting for Vivian to be taken off of life support, Vivian’s conservative parents insist on keeping her on it so her soul can be saved. They’re also refusing to acknowledge the fact that Vivian’s transgender and are instead referring to her with a gender she doesn’t identify with. After a year and a half of constant heartbreak, Miles’ parents send him on a month long trip to Iceland. There, Miles learns to process what has happened and learn about how strange love is.

First of all, I want to mention that this book does deal with some heavy topics such as suicide, homophobia and abusive relationships, so it is definitely not a book for everyone. Personally, I would say that this book is meant for people in their late teens and young adulthood. That being said, I was extremely impressed with this book and consider it a favorite now.

"I was so, so pleasantly surprised by this book. So much, in fact, that I’m thinking about reading it again. MILES AWAY FROM YOU is a debut that shouldn’t be missed."

Miles is was what I like to imagine all people should be. He was generous, kind, aware of his power and privilege in society and, above all, was in touch with his emotions. It was wonderful to read a young adult novel where the main male character cried and focused on how his emotions made him feel. There are a wide array of other characters who Miles meets on his journey throughout Iceland and my favorite was Oskar. Not only was Oskar funny, he was a huge support for Miles.

A huge part of this book narrows in on the process of dealing with trauma. Both Miles and Oskar are going through separate traumas in their life that connect on a bigger scale. While Oskar’s trauma isn’t revealed until later in the book, Miles is obviously processing the suicide of Vivian. I particularly liked the way this book discussed the aftermath of suicide compared to other young adult novels that try to do the same. Miles was constantly being reminded that Vivian’s actions were not his fault, and they weren’t even Vivian’s fault. Throughout this book, Miles goes through a transition period of learning how to best preserve Vivian’s memory while also allowing himself to try to carry on his life.

I also enjoyed how this book discussed romantic relationships. Miles identifies as queer, and like with his feelings, he’s very aware of who he’s attracted to why he’s attracted to them. Miles also prioritized having safe, protected sex which was appreciated. The book also remodels how to support your partner when they’re dealing with body image and feelings. On the other hand, Oskar was in an abusive relationship with his partner and Miles was able to be a support for Oskar’s liberation.

I was so, so pleasantly surprised by this book. So much, in fact, that I’m thinking about reading it again. MILES AWAY FROM YOU is a debut that shouldn’t be missed.

Reviewed by Reanna Hensley on March 27, 2018

Miles Away From You
by A. B. Rutledge