Taking place during the mid-90s in a small town in North Carolina, Althea & Oliver is a powerful and bittersweet story about friendship, identity, and the loss of innocence. Best friends for as long as they can remember, Althea and Oliver have maintained a very close and strong bond for over ten years. However, things begin to get complicated when Althea develops romantic feelings for Oliver, who has recently fallen victim to Kleine-Levin Syndrome, a rare sleeping disorder. It all comes to a head once Althea makes a decision that will permanently affect their relationship and change the course of their lives.
Cristina Moracho was able to create a very enjoyable story that I had no difficulty finishing in just a couple of days. Most of the characters in the novel were easy to fall in love with, and Moracho’s writing style complimented her story. That being said, I disliked that the story was in third-person point-of-view because I did not feel as close to the main characters I would have like. I also felt that some of the events in the novel were unlikely to happen in real life, therefore making the story not very realistic.
It was very memorable to read about the Kleine-Levin Syndrome because it is a real and incurable disorder that I had never heard of before.
Reviewed by Maryum, grade 11, Twin Hickory Area Library