This is like no other book I have ever read before. Based around Ollie, a boy born with a severe allergic reaction to electricity who lives in a remote forest in America and Moritz a German boy who was born with no eyes and relies on a pacemaker to keep him alive. Both boys begin writing letters to each other and so unfolds an emotional, inspirational and intriguing story.
When I say I’ve never read anything like this before I mean I’m unsure as to where to place it. It has elements of young adult but also could be enjoyed in adult fiction. In saying this, it doesn’t really matter because ultimately this is a book about overcoming obstacles, self discovery, friendships and about believing in yourself.
Ollie has only ever had one friend, Liz who he is also in love with, but the trials of his life as a ‘hermit’ come between them more often than not. Moritz has never had friends until a bully at his school makes him cross paths with Owen, who he is attracted to and his sister.
Owen also happens to have no tongue so is therefore mute. I know it sounds crazy and a little farfetched at parts but it actually worked really well considering the story itself is centred around ‘Superhumans’ or people who are different in some way.
When Ollie and Moritz begin their correspondence, what begins as a pen pal friendship results in two lost boys finding themselves. They ultimately help each other begin to live the lives they never imagined possible.
Parts of this book are hard to digest such as the stories about the laboratories and the experiments that were carried out on children there. Also reading about Ollie’s mother brings a sadness to the story. How she was dedicated to a life without electricity and gave up everything she knew for her son in order to keep him safe.
I’m assuming by the way it ended that there may be a sequel which would be great in order to pick up the relationship of Ollie and Moritz where it left off. This book is quirky, different, a little crazy and in some ways hard to stomach. However the good bits such as the love between the friends, bittersweet endings and living through life lessons definitely outweighs the bad. This is a fantastic book for anyone with a vivid imagination who wants something a little different from the rest.
Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing and Netgalley for an Advanced Reading Copy of this book.