This post is dedicated to every reviewer on Goodreads because you are WRONG, ALL OF YOU!
I love books. I love to read. But I cannot tolerate stupidity in my literature, which means that I check out every book on Goodreads before I purchase it. Because You’ll Never Meet Me somehow fell on my radar, and was on sale for half price at Chapters so of course I looked it up on Goodreads first. I hummed and hawed over buying it because EVERY REVIEW said they loved this book but the ending sucked! Who wants to read a book that only disappoints with a crappy ending? It was my friend Joy who convinced me to buy it, telling me that she felt I have the ability to appreciate endings (at first I was going to deny this, but then I realized that I usually *am* that person who defends even the crappiest of endings). So I bought it. And I read it. And I fell in love. And that ending? It was perfect.
So a brief, spoiler-free summary: Because You’ll Never Meet Me is about two boys who become pen pals. Ollie is allergic to electricity, and Moritz has no eyes. They can never meet because Moritz depends on a pacemaker to keep him alive, and the pacemaker would set off Ollie’s “allergy.” Ollie is given Moritz’s address by his doctor and is told nothing about him, other than he thinks that they could be helpful to each other. Eventually, these two lonely boys form a friendship, and they help each other out through their difficulties of their life. Through their letters, they start piecing together how they’re connected to each other, which is, obviously, revealed in the end which everyone apparently hates.
The thing is, I don’t understand why people hate it. Do they not like the sci-fi aspect of it? I mean, the book is about a boy with an allergy to electricity and one who has no eyes but can see (read the book, you’ll understand). What else can you expect? Obviously there’s some science fiction at play here. In the very first letter Ollie hints at this, at how he’s aware that this isn’t something that just *happens* to people. Do people not like the optimistic ending? I was ready to throw the book out the window if it didn’t end happily (it ends in that bitter-sweet optimistic way that every book should end with). Do people not like the development of Ollie and Mo’s friendship? I thought it was one of the most gentle and yet strong male-male friendships I’ve read in years. Especially since they seem to know each other so well despite the fact that they’ve never met.
So personally, I thought the ending of this novel was the perfect end for this story. Everything made sense and fell together. There were plot twists that I didn’t see coming but felt so natural– as though I had been forcing myself to look the other way. There was extraordinary character development and relationship building. There was sadness and optimism and reveals that took my breath away. This book had so much good, and so much beauty in it, that I’m surprised to see so much negativity around its ending.
Just because it’s not what you wanted it to be, doesn’t make it any less beautiful.
Maybe I’m bias. Maybe I came into this book wanting to like the ending. Or maybe I just want something from endings that other people don’t. Either way, Because You’ll Never Meet Me is one hell of a beautiful book about friendship and family and growing up different. It’s about love, a love of humanity, a love of others, a love of the self. And it’s a book that I love.
5 international friendships out of 5.
(If you didn’t like this ending, let me know why! I really want to know what it was that turned you off.)