Author: Leah Thomas
Published: June 2nd, 2015 (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction
Rating: Five stars
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.
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Cover Thoughts: The cover is really simple and I like that. I love the Utility/Telephone pole shown in the cover because it kind of represents one of the boy’s conditions and just gives me that “letter’ vibe shown in the book.
First Line: Dear Fellow Hermit, My name is Oliver, but most people who meet me end up calling me Ollie.
*Cue heaving sobs*
I’m. Not. Crying.
Oh my gosh, guys, I LOVED Because You’ll Never Meet Me. It is a book I’ve been dying to read for several months now, at least since January when it made one of my top ten most anticipated debuts of the year. I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for it to finally show up on Netgalley for request and when I all but lost hope, there it was. I then immediately requested it. It is really such a unique story with a very distinctive writing voice. Leah Thomas is pretty flawless and I will read every single Young Adult book she puts out.
I loved everything about this, the letters, the characters, the mystery, the emotion.
How would you feel to become close friends with someone that you could never meet? It’s not easy, let me tell you. I’m in that situation right now and that’s one of the reasons I was so excited to read Because You’ll Never Meet Me, I wanted to relate to characters in a similar situation and I did. It’s a painful experience and Ollie and Moritz felt the same way, repeating in several of their letters “you’ll never meet me”. This contains one of the strongest, most honest friendships I’ve ever encountered in all of fiction. I loved how the characters would be honest with each other when they ticked them off. They weren’t afraid to offend the other one.
Okay, so Because You’ll Never Meet Me revolves around the two characters, Oliver (Aka Ollie) and Moritz. Not only are our leading characters separated by twisted circumstances, they’re also separated by distance. Ollie is allergic to electricity and lives in a cabin in the woods away from everything in the United States. Moritz has a pacemaker due to his heart and lives in Germany. Do you see why they could never meet now? Meeting each other would kill either one or both of the boys.
In the beginning, it was hard to get a good grasp on because the characters were quite wordy and I am….well, quite not. However, after a few chapters, I was all into the story. I loved how the boys didn’t spill everything about their lives right away. Ollie was definitely an open book seriously giving his life story and Moritz was quiet about his life. The fantastic thing about Because You’ll Never Meet Me is that it’s told all in letters, which I adore in fiction AND there are alternate viewpoints. It was lovely.
I could relate to Moritz wanting to sort of distance himself from Ollie, It was hard to watch because I just wanted Moritz to let down his barriers fast, but I love how realistically it played out. Moritz isn’t the type to just go and spill everything about his life and feelings.
I could relate to them wishing they could help one another, I could relate to how it felt when Moritz didn’t write Ollie for a while and I could relate to how much it sucked not being able to meet each other. I fell in love with Ollie and Moritz. I could just really relate to this book if you couldn’t tell. I highlighted a ton of Because You’ll Never Meet Me in my eARC. Paragraphs and pages, really.
I favored Ollie at the start of Because You’ll Never Meet Me since he was just so positive, charismatic and lovable and it’s like, how could you not love him? I loved him so much. As the story got deeper though, I craved Moritz side as he was cynical and pessimistic and of course I can relate to that.
I seriously hurt for both boys. My heart broke. Ollie lived in the cabin with his mother and that was almost the only contact he really had. Besides his mother though, he had contact with Liz, a childhood friend and Auburn-Stache, his doctor. Auburn Stache is the one that got Moritz and Ollie writing letters in the first place. As Ollie and Liz get older, those two begin drifting apart, with Ollie being stranded and Liz going to high school, it’s not surprising it happened. It was so sad to read about though. Ollie also dealt with his mom being over-protective and always wanting to leave her.
Moritz lived with his parents who he’s not really close to. In addition, Moritz doesn’t really have any friends at all, he’s actually bullied at school. I loved how realistic this book was despite some of it’s ‘unrealisticness’. Ollie and Moritz dealt with home and school and friends or lack thereof. They had their happy days and their dark days and rough spots between them.
I found myself being unable to turn away from this book aside to make a Goodreads Status about what it was doing to my emotions. I was so drawn into this story. At one point in the story, something happens to a character and I totally freaked out about it. I was so confused and worried and oh my gosh, guys, scared. It was hard to see Ollie and Moritz struggle with their limitations, Ollie never being able to watch a simple thing like a movie, Moritz being isolated because of his own condition.
Of course, while Ollie and Moritz get to know each other and deal with their daily life, we learn more and more of sinister doings. These sinister doings definitely freaked me out and threw me and I was really shocked at them.
Overall, I adored this book like no other and it shot sky high to the top of my favorite releases for this year. I loved the friendship between Ollie and Moritz and the darkness that it had. The only thing I have to say is that there were several Daredevil references which I did not understand.
I know some people have issues with this book dealing with the genre which is completely understandable. I however, thought the genre fit and while I don’t think it’s a straight “it’s this genre” or “it’s that genre,” I don’t think it matters. I thought there were all kinds of hints that there was more going on to the story than what we were shown. Some of the events are a bit out there, but I can’t say I was surprised by them. That’s not a negative thing either. I love, love, love, love, love this book.
The great thing about Because You’ll Never Meet Me? There will be a sequel. I found this out minutes after finishing BYNMM and I could not be more excited for it.
Sometimes friends in crappy situations can be unfriendly and crappy themselves.
Maybe we’ve never met and never will, but I think I’ve made it clear that I want to be your friend.
Anyway, maybe the reason people avoid you is because the emotions your brain sends out when you click are kind of… negative emotions?
Let me tell you a wondrous story. For once, let me be the shining one. It is springtime. Birds are noisiest now. I can almost see the shape of the sky.
Secondly, you are correct. We will not be meeting. This has little to do with your deafening personality. I am electric. Exposure to me would floor you.
Even if you are powerless, your words are not.
The noisier someone is, the more I can see. Perhaps you could help me see something that I have never seen before. Perhaps I could see the world with your optimism? But I will never meet you.
You think that Liz would lose her soul if she lost her eyes? She could look like anything, so long as she was being Liz. I mean, come on Moritz. What you look like isn’t who you are. If Liz wouldn’t be soulless without eyes, neither are you.
When someone tells you for the first time in your existence that you are heroic, it is difficult to remain sensible.
Maybe I could climb out of dark places, if someone pulled me out. It can’t be you, Moritz, because you’ll never meet me. And maybe it can’t be Liz, either, but it used to be.
Do I Recommend? YES
Would I Purchase? YES.
Who Do I Recommend It To?
Fans of science fiction, comic books, speculative fiction
Stories told in unique ways