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BECAUSE YOU’LL NEVER MEET ME
by Leah Thomas

Book review by Parinitha Prasanna

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.

When you read the title without reading the synopsis first, you’ll think, “Oh it sounds so nice! It must be a really cute, romantic book!” But it is far, far from cute and romantic.

This is one of those rare books by a debut author that touches your heart right from the beginning and makes you want to rip it out of your chest by the time you’re finished. Yes. The feels are real with this one.

This is also one of those books by the end of which you’re not sure what genre it is. It doesn’t matter to me, but I do know that a lot of people stick to what they like and don’t explore much. This book offers a new perspective of different genres across its pages, so it is a fabulous opportunity to dip your toe into something else if you are uncomfortable getting out of your usual genre.

This book started out innocent and funny enough. There’s Olly, who has a rare disorder and lives like a hermit. He starts writing letters to a boy named Moritz and as they’re exchanging letters, they form an unbreakable friendship and discover horrifying truths about life, themselves, and their births. Finding all this out makes them do unthinkable and unimaginable things throughout the book. Basically, they end up changing each others’ lives.

It takes a very dark turn but it never loses its charm or humor (dark humor, I must say). I was very sad when I finished it. I felt like I had lost a vital piece of me that was necessary for my survival. When I tried closing the book, I couldn’t. I had trouble breathing and tears started pouring out of my eyes. I’m not even sure why. I was just so attached.

The characters are brilliant. Olly and Moritz couldn’t be any more different from each other. But of all the characters, my favorite is Fieke (pronounces as Fee-kuh). You’ll know it when you read it.

I’m sure we can anticipate more amazing books from the promising debut author, Leah Thomas. I can’t wait to read more. This one definitely set the bar high!

My rating: 4.5/5
Recommendation: If you love humor, friendship, a little mystery, and a whole lot of contemporary with feels lurking in every sentence, you’ll love this book!

Date of Publication:
July 2, 2015
Published by:  Bloomsbury Children’s books
ISBN:  9781408862629

Page Count: 344 pages
Format: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle

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