Thursday, September 17, 2015

Because You'll Never Meet Me | Book Review

Author: Leah Thomas
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5

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.


This book… It was fantastic!

The book is written in epistolary format, through letters between two teenage boys with unusual disabilities, and each letter is a new chapter. It is the first time I read a book in this format and I really, really enjoyed it.

The first character is an American boy called Oliver (Ollie), and he’s allergic to electricity. He lives in a cabin in the woods with his mother, and receives occasional visits from a doctor. His allergy to electricity makes it impossible for him to live in the city because electricity repels him and causes him to suffer seizures, or he repels electricity and causes a short to the device.

On the other hand, we have Moritz, a German boy who was born without eyes but somehow managed to develop the ability of echolocation, which allows him to practically “see” with his ears. He also has a pacemaker, which is why Oliver and he aren’t able to meet (putting physical distance aside).
These boys began exchanging letters thanks to Ollie’s doctor, who told him about Moritz, and they start to tell each other about their lives and the people around them.

I love how Leah Thomas managed to create individual voices for them; it was wonderful to see how much the “voice” changed remarkably every time a new chapter began, you could easily tell who was writing the letter just by reading a couple of lines. To top it off, the character growth and development throughout the book happens in a subtle yet visible way, it was so well handed! Plus, there’s also a hidden mystery that connects them both.

This book has all the feels you can imagine. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me feel worried or a bit angry sometimes too. All I could think about while finishing each chapter was “man, the feels!”, actually that’s what I felt throughout the whole reading process. And I just couldn’t stop reading it… I fell in love with the characters since the very first chapter!

Because You’ll Never Meet Me makes you think about what you’re doing with your life, makes you reflect on who you are and motivates you to accept yourself. It is full of motivational and hopeful quotes from both of the characters that will be forever imprinted in your mind.

All that said, I can only add that this is, by far, my favorite book from 2015. It’s really worth reading it… Please, do it.

I still can’t believe this was a debut novel. It was wondrous.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Wearing a mask cannot change that you are wincing underneath.
Even if you are powerless, your words are not.
Dwelling can make things fester.
I am telling you to celebrate what is real in your life. Celebrate who you are.
What you look like is who you are. 
You keep trying, Moritz. That’s the most human thing.
Lots of Love,

- Salha - 

*This book was sent to me via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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