Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Review: Electricity Boy & German Daredevil

July 20, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Review: Electricity Boy & German DaredevilBecause You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
Published by Bloomsbury Australia on July 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
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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.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me is a charming story of two penpals with unusual conditions – Ollie who is allergic to electricity, and Moritz, who has no eyes and needs a pacemaker for his heart. I’m glad I was warned this was speculative fiction – because it would have been a bit hard to believe otherwise!

The boys approach life, their conditions and needing to write to each other in different ways. Ollie is a cheerful, talkative and bubbly individual who embraces the opportunity to write to Moritz. Moritz is prickly, guarded and pompous, who first insults and appears repelled by Ollie’s letters.

“Like I said, you’ve got all the makings of a comic book superhero! If people give you shit for being pretty cool, stand up and peel your goggles off and scare them away. Laugh maniacally and send happy dolphin-waves-” – Ollie

The evolution of Ollie and Moritz’s friendship was a beautiful focus for the novel. As the two start to open up, they connect through their disabilities, mutual feelings of loneliness and general curiosity about each other. They eventually divulge their past, secrets and fears. I’ve never met a pair as charming as these two, and I loved their distinct voices and personalities.

Moritz was hard to like at the start, but I ended up really liking his character. It’s completely freaky that he has no eyes (there’s only skin where his eyes should be) but he’s pretty much a German Daredevil! With his hilariously formal way at approaching things, avoiding topics and taking on board Ollie’s encouragement, he has a charm of his own. I liked hearing about his experiences in Germany and was shocked to learn about his past.

“I finally despised you then, Ollie. My head was tearing itself asunder. I could not filter a single whispering thing out. The thing about having no eyes is that you can never close them.” – Moritz. 

Ollie on the other hand, was such a darling. He had so much curiosity, an eagerness to make friends and a confidence boosting effect on others. I loved all of his talk about superheroes and comics. Ollie slowly reveals his crush on Liz over the course of his letters, and how he ended up in a cabin in the woods. I wasn’t a fan of Liz however, she got rather selfish and short-sighted at times and I felt so let down by her. Thankfully, the romance was a subplot though.

Things get pretty dark and shocking towards the end, where you’ll have to suspend your disbelief. I appreciated the attempt to explain the two unlikely diseases in a somewhat ‘realistic’ manner, but the ending is rather open-ended, which isn’t for everyone.

“I spent so long being unseen. Until you wrote me, no one would follow me to dark places.” – Moritz.

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Because You’ll Never Meet Me is charming story of friendship, disability and bonding over mutual circumstances between two boys with crazy superpower conditions. Although the plot gets a bit outlandish at times, I really enjoyed the story of growth and companionship.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this book for review. 

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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47 responses to “Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Review: Electricity Boy & German Daredevil

  1. YAY for liking this book. I really loved both of the boys, and how their true colours were slowly revealed over the course of this book. And their friendship hit me right in the feels. IT WAS SO CUTE.

    Apparently it is a genre bending book, and the ending was supposed to be sci-fi? I didn't see it, and just thought of it as intense, out of this world science, but hey. The author said that she totally gets why people see this as straight up contemporary.

    And as for the open ending, there's a slated sequel for 2017! 😀 I really want to read it, because I want the boys to meet.

    Oh yeah, I really didn't like Liz to be honest. I thought she was really cruel to Ollie at times, which broke my heart.

    Lovely review, Jeann <3
    My recent post Review: Resonance by Erica O’Rourke

  2. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Hmm, this sounds like a very unique read! I would have thought this book was all contemporary, but it's interesting that it mixes genres a bit. I'm glad it wasa good read for you – your review does a great job highlighting how interesting a read this is!
    My recent post Review: Thornfield Hall

    • Thanks Charlene, it was definitely interesting with how it handled some of the more unbelievable elements, but in a realistic way.

  3. Faye M.

    I just adore the premise of this one! I have never read it before, but a book about FRIENDSHIP between two MALE HEROES who have DISABILITIES?! I mean, just the capitalized words are enough to send me to a frenzy of flailing 😀 It sounds way awesome and your four stars is making me do grabby hands right now. I still can't somehow imagine having no eyes and only having skin over the sockets though O_O
    My recent post Top 5 Book Boyfriends of 2015 (So Far)

    • I know, how awesome was the friendship! Mannn I think you'd like it too Faye! It's pretty freaky, that's for sure. But then he had Daredevil powers so that makes it better ^^

  4. Ahhh I do love me a good old bromance! Tbh, I don't really mind suspending my beliefs a bit for books, because I just pretends it's some kind of urban fantasy and that's fine. As long as the characters are golden then I'm all for it.

    Aaaaand now I'm curious about the darkness toward the end!! Good thing this was already on my TBR

    • Omg Allie I have missed you so much *squishes*. This book was amazing, I just loved the friendship and the sci-fi Xmen like elements and everything!

  5. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    I thought I wouldn't click with this book precisely because of the unbelievable aspects, but you make me think otherwise. This book sounds wonderful. Plus, who can resist a German Daredevil? Lovely review, Jeann.

  6. Contemporaries are always a hit or miss with me but i'm tempted to give this one a shot since I know many people are loving it these days. Plus, I'm all for great character dynamics. Lovely review!
    My recent post Reader Life #1

  7. Did he have skin over his eye sockets? I thought he had gaping holes there. I loved this one too Jeann, the friendship between the boys went from awkward, to such a loving support for one another, even if Moritz didn't always show it. I found Ollie to be the much more engaging character, his waiting in the driveway each Wednesday made me tear up. The poor little poppet. The ending completely threw me, I had no idea about the twist and assumed it was purely contemporary.

    Wonderful review Jeann, really glad you enjoyed it too <3
    My recent post Lorali by Laura Dockrill

    • Yup, it was smooth skin Kelly! Not even eye sockets or anything, he mentioned how he couldn't even close his eyes. It's pretty darn freaky isn't it? I loved both of the characters, they were so sweet.

  8. keionda

    This does sound like a very good read! And I'll admit I was a bit freaked outhe as well when you said there was only skin where his eyes are supposed to be. And now…I am unable to shake the image of Lord Voldemort out of my head. I know, I know, Voldemort had eyes but at first I don't think he didn't? Sorry for this off topic comment. Teehee

    • I know right, that's actually a great point about Voldemort lol! Although I always thought he had eyes? Not too sure…

    • I really loved the friendship aspect, it was really sweet. I didn't mind the ending, but now that I hear there's a sequel it makes me happy!

  9. booksbonesbuffy

    I would never guess this was spec fiction by looking at the cover. It definitely sounds like something I would try, although the guy with no eyes might take some getting used to. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

    • Neither would I, and that's the biggest factor in whether I would enjoy it. No problems, hope you enjoy if you get the chance!

  10. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    I really enjoyed this one. Their friendship was everything. I knew the ending got a bit out there so I had that in my mind when reading. I also liked that it was a bit open but I guess there will be a sequel so there's that – Great review!
    My recent post Review ~ Follow Me Home

    • The friendship was such a beautiful focus for the book! I'm glad I was warned that this had some unbelievable/speculative elements to it. I'm so happy there'll be a sequel!

  11. I love loved the contrast of their personalities. Olly is a total adorable darling. I LOVED HIM SO MUCH. And Moritz had such amazing character development!! I wasn't such a fan of the ending though…gah, I think I just expected it to be realistic and then it wasn't? And I felt cheated? But stilllll. Loved those characters.

  12. aentee @ read at midnight

    I love the sound of this book, I find it hard to read contemporary as I'm personally stuck in dystopia land or some epic fantasy world -but this looks like the perfect novel to start branching out with. The premise sounds so interesting, and I'm glad to hear that the relationship between to two leads are well developed. Great review!
    My recent post Book Review: Falling Kingdoms