The Children’s Book Review | February 7, 2017
Written by Leah Thomas
Age Range: 12-16
Paperback: 385 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (2017)
What to expect: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Realism, Friendship
Sometimes, the best stories are those which invite you to live within their pages, become one of the characters, and struggle through a life that is not your own. In Nowhere Near You, sequel to the gripping Because You’ll Never Meet Me, Leah Thomas creates a world that is intensely internal, personal, and enveloping. Written as a dialogue of letters between two friends, it not only offers a plotline rife with mysterious technologies and scientific secrets, but also an intimate exploration of the familiar pains of growing up and being different.
Ollie and Moritz have never met, and probably never will. However, Ollie’s allergy to electricity has not prevented him from embarking on a road-trip to meet other experimentally abnormal teens like himself, and he is determined it will not prevent him from one day meeting Moritz in the flesh, either. For Moritz, it is only the persistently upbeat letters from Ollie which draw him out of his daily struggle to carve a future for himself despite his lack of eyes, and the strange telepathy that allows him to infect others with his mood. Ollie wants to be a writer, and is overwhelmed by the vastness of the world and the crowds of people he has yet to meet. Moritz seeks escape from his condition and his past, yet is drawn to the temptation of Art School and the lure of other children. As both boys struggle to determine where they fit in a world that both created and rejected them, there letters serve as their life line, comforting them, motivating them, and slowly revealing to each of them truths they could never have discovered on their own. In the end, however, both boys remain haunted by the same question: will they ever meet in person?
Nowhere Near You is not only a gripping and action-filled adventure, it is also a rich and multi-textured language experience. The dialogues that make up the book are complex, intertextual, lively, and fresh, bring the characters to life and absorbing the reader in their thoughts, impressions, and emotions. Lurking behind it all, the sinister world of experimentally altered children and adult conspirators adds spice to an already intense story. Highly recommended.
About Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas frequently loses battles of wits against her students and her stories. When she’s not huddled in cafes, she’s usually at home pricking her fingers in service of cosplay. Leah lives in San Diego, California and is the author of Nowhere Near You and the William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist, Because You’ll Never Meet Me.
Nowhere Near You, by Leah Thomas , was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Nowhere Near You by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Dystopian, Friendship, Science Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction.