Review “Because You’ll Never Meet Me” – Leah Thomas

August 13, 2015 Book Review, Initial Reaction 8

Review “Because You’ll Never Meet Me” – Leah ThomasBecause You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Published on: July 2nd 2015
Published by: Bloomsbury
Pages: 344
Series: Because You'll Never Meet Me #1
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA SciFi
Format: eBook

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

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.



My Thoughts

Oh I feel so disappointed about this book. Which is probably not the thing you want to read right at the beginning of my book. But I’m all for being honest and just getting straight to the point… this book was not what I had hoped it would be.

I liked the way it was written. I’ve only ever read one book written as letters before and that was Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie. I ended up very conflicted about that book, because I loved the unique way of writing, but at the same time I really missed the actual physical interaction between characters. We did get a little bit of that interaction in Because You’ll Never Meet Me in the form of flashbacks written in the letters, but still it wasn’t quite enough for me. So yet again, one of the things that I really liked about a book is also the things that makes me not like it as much.

“But family is compulsory. Family that does not care is not family. Perhaps friends that do care are something more than family?”

On starting this book I really liked Ollie and found Moritz kind of snotty and annoying. But the fascinating thing was that by the end of the book I found myself like Moritz more than Ollie. I just felt like Ollie’s free spirit changed Moritz for the better, whereas Ollie just seemed to become more and more subdued and I would sometimes find myself skimming parts of his chapter to get back to Moritz’s. Both voices and personalities were distinct and clashed at times but also beautifully complemented each other and over the space of the book their trust in each other, so therefore their friendship grows as well.

“I do not trust you, Oliver. People like you do not realize what power words can have. Words are impossible to see. Words can be twisted in so many different directions. Some of us need to be more careful with them.”

So we have to talk about the illness aspect of this book, which is very cleverly thought out, and at first seems such a good concept. I really liked the idea of these two boys who become good friends but can never meet. I found myself coming up with theories in my head, most with either one or both of them dying after meeting each other, and I was really intrigued to see where Leah Thomas was going to take it. That was until the point where she took it in a direction that I was not expecting nor did I want. She made it a Sci-Fi, and it got very weird. It starts a very realistic YA contemporary and so the switch to Sci-Fi felt wrong and clumsy and just ruined the whole feel of the story for me. That sadly is where Leah lost my interest.

“I am telling you to celebrate what is real in your life. Celebrate who you are.”

Lastly, the cover. Like with the book, it seems to have such potential to be something great, and then it just doesn’t quite get there. I like the image, the electricity lines which are very important to this book, Ollie’s story especially. But the title, it just looks wrong. Why couldn’t it be straight? I read a review for this book a few days ago by Confessions of Carlisa in which she says “maybe the cover is a symbol for the genre. Just kind of all over the place. No? Okay.” which is just so true and made me laugh so much.

“Even if you are powerless, your words are not.”

You can’t not praise Leah Thomas for this very unique debut. Her writing is great and the concept really pulled me towards this book and made me want to read it. Which was why I was so disappointed when things started going in a direction that I didn’t particularly want them to. These ‘off bits’ did slow down my reading because I seemed to always pick something else over reading this book, but I eventually did finish it and I am glad that I did, mostly because I had spent money on it.


Final Thoughts

This book has had some great reviews, which was what made me pick it up. So don’t let my review put you off if you want to read it, because everyone has different opinions and maybe you will love it. I’d just advise maybe getting it from your local library rather then buying it… just in case.

Re-Readability: Probably Not

I would recommend this book to fans of: YA contemporary, sci-fi, books with multiple genres, deep childhood friendships, unique format, books with letters, characters who are pen-pals, books with characters who have disabilities/illnesses.

Have you read Because You’ll Never Meet Me?

Have you read any other books with characters with unique disabilities/illnesses? How about books written in the form of letters between the characters?


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8 Responses to “Review “Because You’ll Never Meet Me” – Leah Thomas”

  1. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I was one of the ones with a great review! I just loved their friendship so much. Also, I knew about the genre switch going in so it didn’t bother me all that much. But I can see how a lot of people wouldn’t love that either. Great review!

    • Brocs Bookcase

      Haha, yours was one of the ones I was thinking about! I don’t know if I would have liked it, even if I knew it was coming. It just wasn’t right for me, but it was great for some people. Don’t you just love the mixed opinions of the bookish community?! 🙂

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Omg, I AM EXACTLY THE SAME ABOUT SO MUCH OF THIS. Particularly not-liking-Mortiz-to-start-with but then having him become the favoured character. HE WAS ADORABLE. They both are, but Olly lost his spunk which is the whole reason I loved him and that’s sad. And the ending??? omg what. I think this book is more solidly sci-fi and has been marketed as contemporary and it just shouldn’t be >_< The ending absolutely threw me.

    • Brocs Bookcase

      It makes me so happy that I’m not the only one who feels this way! I hate feeling like that outsider peson who doesn’t like the book that everyone else loved. Yeay I’m not alone! 🙂
      Yeah, I definitely agree it should be made more clear about the sci-fi, but then I guess they didn’t because they were scared that non sci-fi readers may stay away. 🙁

  3. Tanya

    Don’t you hate that? A synopsis sounds so interesting and unique and you’re all excited about it and then… it just falls flat. Interesting that you and Cait both mentioned sci-fi elements because that isn’t even hinted at in the synopsis. Sorry this one didn’t work for you.

    • Brocs Bookcase

      It’s not even hinted at in the majority of the book, the story just suddenly twists part way through and you’re left like ‘What?! I thought I was reading contemporary?’

  4. Vania

    Thankyou for the review.

    I haven’t heard about this book, but after reading the review I think I agree with you. I like surprises, but not surprises that change the whole plot or genre ??

    • Brocs Bookcase

      Yeah, it was a bit of a disappointment, but I would never tell anyone to not read a book just because I didn’t enjoy it as much. Give it a try, you might like it. But maybe borrow it from the library or a friend rather then pay full price for it, just in case! 🙂