Friday, January 29, 2016

Distiller: Hikari Loftus
4/5 Stars

Because You'll Never Meet Me
by Leah Thomas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens (June 2, 2015)
352 pages

Oliver is allergic to electricity. Get anything electric near him and it sends him straight into a seizure. So, in order to live, he and his mother live in the middle of nowhere, in a home with absolutely no electricity.

Moritz is blind. And by blind I mean the guy was born without eyes. Just smooth skin where eye sockets and eyes should be. But the truth about Moritz is that he can see everything. Moritz has the gift of echolocation. But Moritz also has a pacemaker, and that means Ollie can never ever be around him.

In order for them to cope with some of the hardships that come with their strange circumstances, the two are paired up by their parents to become pen pals. It's through their correspondence that they learn some of the most important lessons about living life and what it means to be human. But it is through their secrets that they reveal the truth. And since they know they can never ever meet, do their choices of truth and secrets even matter?

Okay. Upfront, this book was straight up weird for me. Ha. It looks like a contemporary, but reads like Science Fiction. (But if you ask Ollie and Moritz, this is NOT science fiction.) And after reading so many straight forward stories, i realized not knowing how to classify the story was distracting me. (Just go with it and quit trying to fit everything into a category, guys. GEEZ.)

That's not to say I didn't love every minute of this read. Written as correspondence, we get to read two clashing personalities share some of what it's like to be totally isolated or alienated by the world. It will make you sad. It will make you furious. It will break your heart. But mostly, it will give you hope.

For me, this read made me reflect on what's important in my life. Things like attitude, bravery, courage, love, pushing boundaries, and knowing when to leave things be. If you wanted to, you could treat many of the situations as a metaphor for any barrier in your life.

I absolutely adored both these characters. Ollie for making me laugh and Moritz for his skeptical approaches, and both for the character arc they traveled.

So yeah, I thought this was a weird story. Haha. But weird can be great.


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