By Leah Thomas
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: PublisherOllie 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.
Review: If you know anything about me, it's that I love my romances. That being said, I rarely ever read anything that's not a romance. When I picked up Because You'll Never Meet Me, I wasn't so sure about this story about two boys with very different problems who strike up a strange friendship. I decided to give this one a try anyways and I was definitely in for an interesting story!
From the moment Ollie decides to write Moritz, they strike up a friendship and confide their insecurities, hopes, and problems to each other through letters. They soon become best friends, but know that they can never meet. Ollie is severely allergic to electricity and Moritz must use a pacemaker to live. If they ever meet, Ollie would seize. Moritz and Ollie bond over their inability to blend with society, but end up pushing each other to face their fears and find their place in the world.
Wow, this book was definitely unlike anything I've ever read before. Ollie and Moritz are two very unique characters with quite distinct personalities. I loved how this book was written in letter format so that we actually heard the voices of the characters. Ollie was hilarious and I loved his sarcasm. Moritz was definitely a pessimist but his letters contrasted Ollie's perfectly. Of course, they were very hesitant trusting each other at first, but their letters slowly became more open and trusting, so a lot of secret insecurities and background information were revealed to the reader as the novel went on. While it was written in letter format, the story still flowed very well, showed major character development with both Ollie and Moritz, and really kept my attention.
While Ollie and Moritz were the ones writing the letters, there were so many more vibrant characters in the story. Moritz slowly made some new friends while Ollie had his mom, doctor, and Liz, who was his only friend out in the real world. And what I didn't expect from this book were the emotions I felt. Both Ollie and Moritz were bullied in some form and it was heartbreaking to hear them tell each other about it. I was cheering them on the whole time to finally accept themselves and try to put themselves out there in the world instead of hiding from it.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Some parts were a little bit slower than others and I definitely did not pick up on something about Moritz, so I think that was a bit forced about his character. Other than that, though, this was definitely a great, unique read from an excellent debut author!