Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet, because if they ever did, one of them would certainly die. As recluses from society, they develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline.
Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong friendship which 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.
This is a story of impossible friendship and hope from a brilliant new speculative fiction writer.
For someone who reads a lot of Young Adult fiction, I often find that the books follow a trend. They become samey. Once it was vampires and then fairies but most recently it has been stories of illness and suicide. I hate to lump Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas in a category such as ‘Young Adult: Illness’ because this genre of novel has almost become a cliché yet that is best way to pigeonhole this novel. The flipside of this is that Because You’ll Never Meet Me is unlike any book I have ever read. And it is bloody brilliant.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me is the story of an unlikely friendship between two boys – Ollie and Moritz – who bond through letters. Both boys lack a social life; they are reclusive, kept away from others due to their medical conditions. However, through their conversations we see both characters grow within their constraints and learn to live with what life had to offer them rather than slowly rotting away.
Normally, I find stories told in letter format quite jarring but it is a testament to Leah Thomas’s writing that I didn’t find Because You’ll Never Meet Me cloying and detestable. She is very accomplished at making you empathise with her characters but what I found myself thinking is just how lucky I am to not have to live with such a debilitating medical condition. Because You’ll Never Meet Me makes you realise just how good you have thing in life. This book should be on the shelves of every junior library because the message within it is so darn strong.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me is one of the most impressive books I have read this year.
Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas is available now.
Follow Leah Thomas (@blunderkinder) on Twitter.