by Leah Thomas
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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.
I really, really, really like this book, but I didn't love it. I was close though. I was so close to loving this book. It honestly was an amazing story. I loved that this was through letters, but it was not just a diary like The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Instead, this book was told through two different distinct voices, and it worked VERY well.
I don't think I have ever read a dual-perspective book that captured the voices of each character so well. I think I could flip to a random page, and know who was writing the letter since each voice was so developed. You really got to see everything the character had to say, and he told it in his own way, and it was amazing what the author could do with both perspectives.
What was in the letters, however, killed me. It was so emotional, and there were many times in this book where I was on the verge of tears (I never cried though). The letters told the life stories of the character writing them along with some of the things they were getting up to in that moment, and of course their commentary on their life and actions.
What I am wondering is how in the hell did they remember every word to a conversation from years ago? I don't remember every word from a conversation from today much less months or years ago. I get that this was just to make the story go smoothly, but still. This element was in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading it. Don't be alarmed, fellow readers, it did not at all affect how I read this book. I still appreciated it just as much as if they forget a word or two.
I enjoyed the characters so much in this book. I don't think I have read about such strong characters in a very long time. They had such troubled pasts, and have dealt with so many awful things, it was no wonder that they were how were. The character arcs of both Moritz and Ollie were so endearing. They grew so much as people just from writing letters to one another.
The mystery element in this book was fantastic also. Both characters were hiding something from one another, or there was something about their past that they didn't know. Them finding that out was probably the best part of the book. I loved how close the two boys got, and how comfortable they were with each other. Neither boy would be the same person that they were at the end if they stopped their letters or never started them.
My only real problem was that there wasn't an epilogue. I want an epilogue. I know this is probably never going to happen, but it would be more than amazing if the author wrote a novella about six months after this book ended. There are just so many questions that I still have about the characters and what happens next. I just want more. Leah Thomas, if you're reading this: can you please, please, please write a novella; all I need is thirty pages.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.
* If I gave half-stars, this would have gotten a 4.5