Nowhere Near You (Because You’ll Never Meet me #2)
by Leah Thomas
Following up her acclaimed debut, Because You’ll Never Meet Me, Leah Thomas continues the stories of Ollie and Moritz in another heart-warming story of unique friendship.
Ollie and Moritz might never meet, but their friendship knows no bounds. Their letters carry on as Ollie embarks on his first road trip away from the woods–no easy feat for a boy allergic to electricity–and Moritz decides which new school would best suit an eyeless boy who prefers to be alone.
Along the way they meet other teens like them, other products of strange science who lead seemingly normal lives in ways Ollie and Moritz never imagined possible: A boy who jokes about his atypical skeleton; an aspiring actress who hides a strange deformity; a track star whose abnormal heart propels her to victory. Suddenly the future feels wide open for two former hermits. But even as Ollie and Moritz dare to enjoy life, they can’t escape their past, which threatens to destroy any progress they’ve made. Can these boys ever find their place in a world that might never understand them?
Awww, this book reminds you that despite all the terrible and selfish people out there in the world, genuinely kind people still do exist.
A friendship we’ve read previously blossoms even further in this sequel as Moritz and Ollie find refuge in each other’s words from the harsh reality out there. It’s a bittersweet, heart-warming story about the power of friendship, love, kindness and the written word.
Ollie and Auburn-Stach take on the road as they meet other ‘blunderkids’. I really admire Ollie’s resolve and determination to tell these kid’s stories. He does it with such a pure hearted and innocent nature that you literally want to jump into the story and give him a big hug. I imagine that he’s so huggable! His humour is also so very childish but also hilarious. It’s not crude or derogatory in any way, just very simple and effective. But Olle isn’t always isn’t this bundle of positive energy, this book ensure that we get to know Ollie in a much deeper way, delving into his insecurities and absolute fear of hurting anyone which is why he finds it hard to control his ‘power.’ It’s here that I really admired to Ollie. At the beginning he seems weirdly joyous after losing his mother in the previous novel but we then understand that this is his coping mechanism. Optimism and story-telling is how he deals with his grief, burying it all under a facade of smiles and laughs. It really makes you admire him even more.
Onto Moritz now. If Ollie is the sun in this dynamic duo, Moritz is the moon – more mysterious but equally as admirable. Moritz encounters his own troubles, attending a liberal arts college, becoming friends with the girl who tried to drown him when he was younger and ironically, she isn’t even a problem. What Moritz must confront is his own insecurities about his eye (or lack thereof), the actions of his mother and how that influences how he interacts with others and how he sees himself. I really loved how in this book, we begin to see a shift of Moritz being just as important as Ollie. I feel like Ollie takes the spotlight a lot of the time (rightfully so) and we see Ollie as Moritz’s saving light but in this story, its revealed how Moritz is also Ollie’s.
We meet new ‘blunderkids’, the term given to those who are like Ollie and Moritz – extra – special. Molly, Arthur and Bridget were such fantastic new characters – so emotional and complex. Molly has two mouths. One at the front and the other at the back except the latter seems to have a mind of its own, revealing the truth behind what comes out of her normal mouth. She was a feisty character, witty and sharp but also very compassionate in the most unexpected ways. It’s because of her that Moritz comes out of his shell and defends himself. In addition, Arthur has the ability to heal (regrow bones, rejoin joints) at a super fast rate whilst also have very brittle and delicate bones. He has the same sort of boisterous personality as Ollie but with a much drier humour and more mature attitude. Nevertheless, still loved him with all my heart. Bridget, oh Bridget. What a complicated but amazing person was she. She probably had the most weirdest ability – being able to take her heart out of herself to avoid feeling. She had the most troubling past and as she gets used to removing her heart in the most confronting times, she begins to not want her heart anymore. A lot of Ollie’s grief was not only his personal and internal problems but also his constant yearning to want the best for other people, especially Bridget. Ahh Ollie. I loved seeing how these three characters added to Moritz and Ollie’s character development – letting them know that they are far from alone.
All in all, ‘Nowhere Near You’ is such a fantastic story about how friendship and kindness overcomes all. There such great messages ingrained in the story itself, so much so that this will be a story you’ll hardly forget.