*ARC provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review*
“Beyond parks are often graveyards.”
This was the second book I’ve ever read by Leah and… it might be my last. Not because it wasn’t for me, but because it tore into me with a ferocity that I haven’t felt in a long, long time. It reduced me to a hollow shell of the human being I used to be. That quote above most definitely captures what I’m feeling. Desolate and forgotten. I experienced one of the worst emotional roller coasters ever with this book and I don’t think I have it in me to go through this again. I felt like I was suffocating with every word since it was so hard to swallow them. Hopefully this review gives this masterpiece the praise it deserves because in my mind, it deserves every single one in the book.
“Don’t tell me fiction is fruitless, Moritz. Sometimes it’s the only escape we got.”
For those of you who don’t know this already, this is a sequel to Because You’ll Never Meet Me. It continues to tell the story of two of the most unique (and phenomenal) characters I’ve ever read about. Ollie and Moritz are not your typical pen-pals and this story is told only through the letters they send each other. The last book left us in such a cliffhanger that I was hoping would happens so this sequel was one of my most anticipated sequels ever. If I would’ve known how shattered I would be at the end of it all, I might have put it off longer. I was still treasuring every word through out the month it took me to read it but it wasn’t long enough for me.
“There’s nothing so frightening as the full weight of who you are.”
This book was inundated with beautiful and mind-blowing quotes which is why I couldn’t just choose one to feature. Revisiting these characters was everything I knew it would be, plus everything I didn’t. My heart was completely stolen by Ollie and Moritz by the end of book 1, so it was astounding to witness as they managed to steal it a second time around. Ollie’s optimism and ridiculous humor was the light of my life until it dimmed. Moritz’ pain was my own until he learned to accept it and work to end it. These two made my maternal instincts go haywire; I was utterly protective of them which backfired on me. I had to witness life throw some horrible things their way without any way of helping them shoulder the pain. I felt useless and I wanted it all to stop, but Leah only enhanced it, breaking me even more. These two have come so far from book 1 that my heart was unbelievably heavy with pride whenever they learned new things about themselves and how to navigate the world around them. To think, that their lives are just beginning and they’ve already experienced so much… It was a tough thought to wrap my mind around. I absolutely loved seeing the world through Ollie’s fresh and untrained eyes. It enabled me to change my perspective over the smallest of things; So not only did Leah give me stunning characters to meet, but she also made me learn things about myself.
Speaking of main characters, they aren’t the only ones we meet. The side characters that Ollie and Moritz meet throughout their journey are as memorable as the two of them. They easily crawled into my heart where there will always be a special place for them. I was 100% invested in all of their lives and they all ripped ugly sobs from me with their life stories.
“Sometimes we only have delusions and sometimes that’s better than remembering.”
There is another quote that captivated my entire being but I won’t write it down here because it has the potential of being a spoiler, if you look hard enough. So I’ll just tell you, that I will definitely be getting a tattoo that represents said quote.
This book has torn me apart in every way possible which by doing so, it gave me an experience I will never forget. It deserves to be in so many more bookshelves, and hearts, so I will make sure to help with that. This book was raw, heavy, and most of all, uplifting at the most dire of moments. This was 400 pages of glorious heartbreak. It had the most beautiful ending, but being the greedy person that I am, it ended too soon. This book is utterly precious to me and it has become one of my absolute favorite reads of ALL TIME.