Sunday, July 29, 2018

Miles Away from You, by A. B. Rutledge

With his trans girlfriend in a coma, Miles is talked into taking a vacation in Iceland to get away from it all.  There, he befriends Oskar, a generous and sexy concierge who helps facilitate a series of wild adventures in Reykjavik and surrounding areas.  The experience allows him to come to terms with his loss and also to further explore his gender identity in sometimes funny and sometimes poignant episodes.

Rutledge is a rarity:  a female writer who gets boys down tone perfect.  Because even if Miles's sexuality is all over the map and the other male lead is gay, young men regardless of gender identity talk and act in a certain way that the vast majority of female writers just don't get.  That in itself would impress me, but Rutledge is also a very adventuresome writer (who else has created a character like Miles -- floating aimlessly across the Kinsey spectrum -- so matter-of-factly and so humorously?) who so effortlessly finds the humor in sadness and the sad in fun.  There were moments when things could drag and I didn't find the story particularly "heartbreaking" (as promised in the back cover quotes from heavy hitters Russo and Wittlinger), but this quirky Icelandic romp was well worth the read.

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