Because You'll Never Meet Me
Author: Leah Thomas
Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
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.
The thing is, I couldn't put Because You'll Never Meet Me down, even though I wanted to at times, it's nostalgic for me because it brings me back to when I was twelve (or 13, can't exactly remember) and started writing to my pen pal, although I wouldn't call her a pen pal now, because she's become such a great friend (hey, Britt!) and it's true, you really can say anything that you might not tell someone you know, without worry or judgement, because you've never met them.
That being said, that's the only thing I could connect to in Because You'll Never Meet Me, this is going to be more of a What I Like Vs Issues again, because Is seem to get around to what I want to say properly that way. So...
What I liked
- · How it was written
Because You'll Never Meet Me is written in letters, which you don't get a lot, and it always fun because you get to be in the heads of the characters properly and unfiltered, and you really do get into Ollie and Mortiz's heads, and for kids like them, who are totally different in ways but the same in others, you need that, because there's no other way to get to know them.
- · Unique voices.
Ollie and Mortiz had strong and unique voices, they were easy to differentiate from and while their voices in the beginning were stilted and standoffish (well, Mortiz's was, Ollie's was kind of like an overactive budgie) I loved seeing how their voices changed and evolved as they got to know one another. They do have mature voices, way too mature for their ages, and while I have no problem with this, I do tend to lean more towards the mature voices in YA, you might think they are older than they are and it doesn't sound realistic, but, there's one reason-for me-why it felt realistic. They are two kids with a disability nobody understands (and I'm not talking just about their...unique situation, but disabilities in general) they are in situations that have made them grow up quickly and lonely, especially Ollie. They have strong mature voices because they've had to be.
- · The family dynamics.
Parent and parental figures are present, which honestly, would have been really unrealistic if their wasn't, and I loved how Because You'll Never Meet Me portrays realistic struggle, physically and mentally.
What I had issues with
- · Pacing.
I had trouble with the pacing, which is weird, since it's written in letters and doesn't really have a pace, but I liked it in the beginning, but then I started to get bored for a good 100 pages before I got interested again.
- · Connection
I didn't have a connection with the characters, I admired them, and it's hard not to care for them, especially with what they go through, but yeah, I couldn't connect with them.
- · The Sci-Fi element
Bet you've been waiting for that, right? Anybody whose read it knows about it, but I won't get too into that because it does blur the lines between contemporary and Sci-Fi, to the point it was unrealistic.