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.
When you read the title for the first time without reading the synopsis, you’ll go, “Oh it sounds so nice! It must be a really cute romantic book!” But it’s far, far from it.
This is one of those rare books by a debut author that touches your heart right from the beginning and makes you want to rip it off of your chest when you’re done. This is also one of those books by the end of which you’re not sure what genre it is. It doesn’t matter to me but I do know that a lot of people stick to what they like and not explore much. This book offers a new perspective of different genres across its pages.
This book started out innocently and funnily enough. There’s Olly, with a rare disorder, not quite a disease, and living like a hermit. He starts writing letters to a boy named Moritz and as they’re exchanging letters, they form an unbreakable friendship and discover horrifying truths about life, themselves and their births which makes them do unthinkable and unimaginable things. They end up changing each other’s lives.
It takes a very dark turn but it never loses its charm or humor (dark humor, if I must say). I was very sad when I finished it. I felt like I had lost a vital piece of me that was necessary for my survival. When I tried closing the book, I couldn’t. I had trouble breathing and tears started pouring out of my eyes. I have no idea why.
The characters are brilliant. Olly and Moritz couldn’t be different from each other. But of all the characters, my favourite one is Fieke (pronounces as Fee-kuh). You’ll know it when you read it.
I’m sure we can anticipate for more amazing books as this one by the promising debut author Leah Thomas. I can’t wait to read more!
My rating: 4.5/5
Recommendation: If you love humor, friendship, a little mystery, and a whole lot of contemporary with feels lurking in every sentence, you’ll love this book then!