Wednesday 13 February 2019

Book Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Last Updated: 7 September 2021

Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas book cover

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.

Because You'll Never Meet Me has been on my to-be-read shelf since 2015 and yes, I did vow to read it in 2018 (and failed miserably). However, this year I'm determined to clear my backlog and catch up on as many of the books I've been meaning to read for ages as I can - it's going well so far!

Having finished Because You'll Never Meet Me, I'm now irritated at myself for leaving it unread for so long. This book is a masterpiece of Young Adult literature; very rarely have I seen such raw, emotional writing in YA fiction.

The book is haunting, thought-provoking and engaging in equal measure. It's a real stand-out novel for me and one of the best that I've read in a long time. 

Because You'll Never Meet Me gets off to quite a slow start, but this allows you to get to know Ollie and Moritz, the two main characters, in a great amount of detail. Although they initially appear to be very different, it's not long before you can see the similarities between the two, and how the fact that they are hermits from society has impacted their lives.

The story is told entirely through letters, which adds an extra personal feel to the events that unfold between the pages of the book. Ollie and Moritz each tell their own story, meaning that everything is told entirely from their own perspective. It feels intimate, honest, and at times, unflinchingly raw. 

The entire book is layered with emotion, with the boys' deepest secrets and fears veiled beneath humour, curiosity and self-deprecating jibes. It isn't until they really begin to trust each other that they really open up, and the full extent of their story is brought to light.

Because You'll Never Meet Me is very well written, and it's a story that I certainly won't be forgetting in a hurry. I've already added the sequel, Nowhere Near You, to my bookish wish list and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Rating: 5 stars

Because You'll Never Meet Me is available to buy now.

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Have you read the book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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