Because You’ll Never Meet Me
author : leah thomas
pages : 344
release date : june 2, 2015
favorite characters : ollie & moritz (obviously!)
In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.
Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.
A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.
For some strange reason, I ended up receiving advanced copies of a few different books that were all slightly similar in that their main characters all needed to deal with illness and it factored into their lives in different ways. This one was my favorite.
I loved Moritz’s and Ollie’s strange little pen pal relationship. I know how excited I am when I receive a letter in the mail and can’t imagine how much that must be amplified when you’re a hermit out there and it’s one of your only communications to the world, like it is for Ollie. Or feeling so incredibly isolated, even in the world, that a letter is the only place where you can express yourself–like it is for Moritz. They were such different characters that it was great to see them interact with each other in the beginning. Ollie was really like a hyper little puppy whereas Moritz was much more refined and held back. I won’t give anything away but there’s a great amount of character development in this book which was just awesome to see.
I love books that have interesting secondary characters, too, and this one is filled with them. Not only do they play into the mysteries that linger in Ollie and Moritz’s past (and made me feel like I was suddenly reading a science fiction novel!) they’re just as captivating to read about as the main two boys. Of course, they’re the only ones really writing the letters, so the reader only gets to see it all through their perspectives. Unreliable narrators all the way through.
I couldn’t possibly choose which of the two was my favorite to read about. Moritz was at first, partially because he was so stubborn and I wanted to know more about his secretive life. Then Ollie’s hermit life fell to bits and I felt so horribly for him that I wanted to keep reading on about him because I had to find out what was going to happen next!
I’m definitely going to be recommending this book. The characters were great and I rooted for them through their best and worst moments. This is a book most people would enjoy!