Ollie and Moritz are two teenagers who will never meet. Each of them lives with a life-affecting illness. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures while Moritz has a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. If they did meet, Ollie would seize, but turning off the pacemaker would kill Moritz. Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong bond of friendship that becomes a lifeline during dark times - until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.
©2015 Leah Thomas (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
On its face, I wanted to like this book. It had an interesting plot summary, with unique introspective characters... but Kirby Heyborne's "German" accent was affected and stilted and came and went... and the depiction of a blind character who can navigate solely with echolocation and have never learned to read braille just didn't do it for me.
I am a person who is blind, so I know most of the general tools in the toolbox of someone who can't see. Sure, denial is part of coming to grips with one's life circumstances, but this kid fooled everyone... really?
By the time I stopped reading this book, sci-fi elements had started to enter the plot, but by that point the blind-person stereotypes had already been written on the page for 3 hours and I couldn't take it anymore.
Eric Michael Summerer was terrific; Kirby Heyborne has always been hit or miss.
This book had SUCH promise... it really did. Even as I KNEW to some degree what I was getting in to from blind friends who've read it, I couldn't slog through the worst stereotypes about blind people, that make us look more socially awkward and more comic-book hero than we really are.
If you treat this like a sci-fi novel from the get-go - granted, one with terrific insights about denial, isolation, and friendship - it's worth the read. But I feel like I was expecting a friendship story that happened to include a blind character. Clearly, the author went with the sci-fi angle, did NO research about blind peoples' capabilities, and tried to suck in readers with a general-market fiction novel.
When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas is a young adult contemporary novel and tells of the pen friendship between two isolated young men, Moritz from Germany and Ollie who lives in the US. Each of the two young men has a physical ailment which limits their interaction with mainstream society. These same limitations – for Ollie an severe reaction to electricity and for Moritz a heart defect requiring an electronic pacemaker – precludes their ever meeting face to face. Their friendship develops through the letters they write to each other. The novel is written in the style of letters exchanged between the two.
I loved this book, which I listened to in audiobook format.
What I liked
The characters. I adored both Ollie and Moritz and was emotionally invested in their journeys. I was really rooting for them both. Their two differing points of view are beautifully brought out through the letters they write to each other. Each has a unique writing style which gave a wonderful insight into their characters. It is a mark of how invested I was in the two that when Moritz finally comes back into contact after an absence of several letters, I had a big smile on my face.
The friendship. The relationship between the two is wonderfully developed, starting from an initial slow building of trust to the deep bond they share. It’s clear that both of them are stronger people in the end for the friendship, which encourages them to push beyond their comfort zones.
The audio narration. Because You’ll Never Meet Me is a perfect book for the audio format given that it is written in letter format. You are hearing the characters’ words directly. There were two narrators, one for Moritz (with a gorgeous, slight German accent) and one for Ollie. Both narrators were brilliantly able to reflect their characters’ personal growth through their performances.
What I didn’t like
In all honesty, there was very little I didn’t like about Because You’ll Never Meet Me. At one point I did have concerns that Thomas was going to go for the real cliché in the connection between the boys, but she avoided that.
I gave Because You’ll Never Meet Me a well deserved four and a half stars out of five.
"I loved this so much!"
the narrators are so good! they get the sarcasm but also seriousness and make it come alive!
Both male main characters!
I honestly can't choose, a lot of it I was curled in a ball under the covers just waiting for what would happen next! It was amazing! I loved it!
yes, but I have a busy life so sadly had to listen to it in about 3 days, I found it so hard to put down though!
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