If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, then it’s time to pick up Althea & Oliver. The two title characters are teens who have been neighbors and best friends since early childhood. They are just beginning to fall for each other when Oliver comes down with a bizarre and frightening illness: Kleine-Levin Syndrome, which causes changes in his consciousness for weeks at a time.
Oliver’s illness causes both teens to go on a journey to find themselves–and each other–as they confront the issues that are pulling them apart. When Althea violates his trust, Oliver runs away to join a clinical study in New York City; hoping to mend fences (and their broken hearts) she runs away from home to follow him. Separated for the first time in their lives, Althea and Oliver begin to question what they really want.
This book is an unflinching look at the reality of young adulthood and teenage love. Both teen and adult readers will recognize and come to love both of these characters for their struggles and quirks. High quality writing makes this a great summer vacation read. If you are a parent with older teens, this would be a good one to share with your kids and a great way to start a talk about trust, friendship, boundaries and first loves. Adults will appreciate the finely tuned 90s nostalgia and genre-defying conclusion of this tender romance. Recommended for ages 16 and up.
Find it in the library: Althea & Oliver