Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this before publication, and it’s another story that takes you through some of the highs and lows faced by many teens finding their way in the world.
Marty is not yet eighteen, a keen oboe player and struggling to feel comfortable with announcing his identity as a gay man to his conservative parents. With the help of his cousin, Marty concocts a rather elaborate scheme to step out into the world in his own terms.
From the outset I feared for Marty. I felt awful that his situation might still be a common one, and yet he retained such optimism about how he might start to live his life in the way he chose to.
We follow Marty to London where he tells his parents he’s attending a summer school. He’s not, but he hopes to play music and do whatever he needs to in order to live happily. We see him forge new friendships, and summon the strength to call out some less positive older friends. There’s a tentative relationship, but the thing that really struck me was the strength of character shown by Marty in working through a challenge, persevering with something scary and the determination to live the life he wants.