Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Althea & Oliver” as Want to Read:
Althea & Oliver
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Althea & Oliver

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  3,614 Ratings  ·  627 Reviews
What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close,
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published October 9th 2014 by Viking Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Althea & Oliver, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Cran Berry
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Actual Assholes
If you like pretentious asshole hipsters and rapists this book is for you.

Did I just say Rapist? Spoiler Alert - Fuck yes I said rapist! In fact I don't think this is a spoiler, It should be some sort of disclaimer when you start the book that says something along the lines of "Althea makes the worst bad decision ever and that decision is to RAPE her fucking best friend." There is no argument, there is no gray area and I am not using this word lightly. The bad decision mentioned in the blurb tha

Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Before I read Althea & Oliver, I have decided that I'm in love with it already. Best-friends turned to lovers (sort of) is my favorite trope ever.

I should have run away when I heard this book is similar to John Green and Rainbow Rowell's work but guess what?!? I am ambitious and thought I would genuinely like it.

The start is really impressive. I love it. Althea and Oliver are such a great characters who have so much chemistry together. Where did it all go wrong?

I think, I will need a strong
Feb 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
You’re probably under the impression that this is a cool, edgy love story about two best friends falling in love. I know because that’s the assumption I made before starting Althea and Oliver. I was horribly disappointed. I don’t write book reviews, but this book made me so angry I had to.

This book is an unbelievably sexist mess. Moracho tries to make Althea seem like cool, angry, confused badass but only successfully creates a whiney rapist. RAPIST.

Because what’s described in the synopsis as “t
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Althea & Oliver is a different take on the best friends-to-lovers trope. A very different take. I’m not going to waste any time or words on dealing with anything other than . . . .

The story here is that Althea and Oliver have been best friends since their first game of Candyland when they were six years old. When Oliver develops a strange illness . . . .

A line gets crossed that can never be uncrossed.

Bottom line is: Althea rapes Oliver
Althea Ann
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I read this book because of the title. Yeah, that's my name... and when the blurb told me it was about a punk rock girl moving to New York... I was sold.

Well, it's not, really.
It's about a girl whose best friend from childhood comes down with a rare and life-changing illness. Althea has to face both the difficult time Oliver is having, and the normal strains and stresses about how relationships - and one's sense of self - change as one grows up.

Yes, as part of growing up, Althea
rebecca ɤ
Oct 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Grochowski
Althea and Oliver have been best friends since age six, their very different personalities somehow balancing and combining to form a whole. Life without the other is unimaginable, until Oliver develops a sleeping illness tears them apart for weeks and months at a time. While Oliver loses chunks of his life to the disorder, Althea is adrift. Confused and angry, she makes an irreversible mistake from which their relationship might never recover. Althea and Oliver is one of those dirty, raw, and ho ...more
Beth June
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really wanted to love this book. The synopsis sucked me in and I was gunning for a great coming of age novel. Tho the storyline was pretty good, the book was so slow in some parts!!! I had a little trouble connecting with the characters at first. I give this book four stars because the writing was great and very descriptive. Sometimes I felt like I could actually smell the cigarette smoke. The ending wasn't my cup of tea. But I would recommend this book if you are a fan of open ended coming of ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really good. I loved the writing. It was so rich and beautiful and raw and real. I grew very attached to the two main characters, Althea and Oliver. I liked this much, much more than I was expecting to, thanks to the undeservedly low ratings here on Goodreads. This was a pleasant surprise. I definitely want to read more from this author in the future. A very solid contemporary. 4/5 stars.
Eunice Moral
Nov 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is anything but typical.

Do not expect the mushy cheesy type. Do not expect swooning and gushing. Do not expect for the typical love story. Expect what real raw love is. Expect the unconventional affection. Expect that reality isn't always as beautiful as you hoped it to be, that reality is reality and most often than not, it is ugly.

From the moment I read the synopsis, about two best friends, one wanting more than friendship and is set in mid 90's with mix tapes and whatnot - I was
Wendy Darling
2.5 stars I think fans of WHITE LINES or BROOKLYN, BURNING will appreciate the style. I liked the first half better than the second, though I liked the atypical ending. But yeah, (view spoiler) regardless of context.
Tellulah Darling
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-adore
I want to stand on a rooftop with a bullhorn and proclaim my love for this story. Then fling said bullhorn to smithereens on the ground at how this gorgeous tale broke my heart. It's a funny, sweet, sad story about best friends - one of whom wants more and one of whom just wants life to go back to normal. It's about how complicated and wonderful and awful relationships are when the other person knows you better than anyone. I literally just finished and it's all so raw and precious that I can't ...more
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
I don’t even know where to start with this… I didn’t think it was a bad story, I just don’t think it was the story for me. I also don’t think it’s a story for most people. The misleading summary is just one of the many issues I had with this book. I was expecting a best friend romance, a somewhat dysfunctional one, but I was expecting a romance nonetheless. This and the fact that this book is set in the 90’s are just a few of the reasons I wanted to read this. While this story was very beautiful ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it

Althea is a fighter and Oliver is not. Except, when Althea fights it's for her feelings and Oliver can't requite them. They've been best friends for years -- for a decade and some change -- but Oliver doesn't want more and Althea does. For all she pushes, the more he pulls away.

Which is convenient when he begins suffering with a sleeping disorder and is out for weeks at a time. In one of his more lucid moments, Althea (view spoiler)
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Let me begin by saying that I understand the complaints against this book. We'll put those out of the way first:

1) Althea and Oliver's relationship is deeply unhealthy. They're overly dependent on one another. They're mean to each other. They're looking too hard for the other to fill all the holes in their lives. Such relationships almost always end in tears.
2) There's a violence to their relationship that is uncomfortable. The language they use with one another can be harsh and the physicality
Ringrazio immensamente De Agostini per avermi concesso l’onore e il piacere di leggere in anteprima questo libro in cambio della mia onesta opinione. Non ne sono mai stata più entusiasta.

Recensione anche sul mio blog:

“Althea & Oliver” è il libro d’esordio di Cristina Moracho ed è stato un grande regalo da parte di DeAgostini che lo porta in Italia, nella sua collana Young Adult il 14 ottobre quasi in contemporanea con l’uscita americana. Una storia int
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Althea & Oliver is probably the YA that the naysayers don’t realize exists. It’s literary, it’s layered in its storylines and the emotions build up in all of them, and not even close to fluffy. In fact, I would call the general feeling of this book melancholy.

If you haven’t guessed from the above description, Althea & Oliver is not exactly a story you are going to fly through. I was unsure if I w
Nov 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library, read-2015
It's probably a bad sign when the book is named after the two main characters and you can't really stand the two main characters.

Althea & Oliver felt really unnatural, while also feeling completely expected.

I felt no genuine connection between our two title characters. They grew up together, became great friends, and have stuck together ever since. Okay. Fair enough. But, if these two are going to be written as best friends, I want to be able to believe it and I couldn't. Despite having som
Gabriela Kozhuharova
Ако се съди по анотацията и корицата на "Алтия и Оливър" – малко банална coming of age история за двама най-добри приятели, които израстват заедно и чиито отношения в един момент започват да еволюират в нещо повече. Все пак реших да си я взема, защото е на "Екслибрис", а "Екслибрис" издават от готини до шантави неща, досега не са ме разочаровали. Прецених, че и в тази им селекция ще има нещо необикновено. И точно така се оказа.

Романът си има две лица. От една страна, много нежен, интимен разказ
Sep 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Woah isn't the premise exciting! I CALL YOUR BULLSHIT I CALL YOUR BULLSHIT I DO!
I don't even know what I just read. This book is a disaster after the first few chapters. Disaster.
Everything's alright, every thing's merry and then, thunk! everyone becomes an idiot, how convenient
Lucy Valeski
Dec 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you like John Green, you'll like this book.
Then again, if you don't like JG, you also might. I don't know.

The book stars Oliver, one of the blandest characters you'll ever meet, and Althea, who's almost-but-not-quite one of those manic pixie dreamgirls that have saturated the market these days. (Hey, still better than a Mary-Sue.)

From that sentence, this sounds like a book that I would hate, and I should. But I didn't, because the tropes were played well. Cristina Moracho has a gift for writ
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*Also posted at Oops! I Read A Book Again*

So much ache. So much love. To quote the book:

"It feels good, and it still hurts."

That's exactly how I felt. I'm so glad I read the book and it blew me away but it really broke me too at five in the morning when I finished it. Cristina Moracho, you owe me a night's sleep (But who cares? Definitely not me.) but I'd gladly give it to you all if you keep on writing books like this.

Grittily beautiful - that's how I'd describe this under the radar gem (well,
Althea and Oliver have been best friends ever since Althea moved in down the street from Oliver at the tender young age of six. Now in their senior year of high school, they are still inseparable, but complications are arising in their usually-easy friendship. Althea is starting to develop a romantic interest in Oliver. Oliver, while not adverse to the prospect of advancing his relationship with Althea, is busy dealing with a strange illness that causes him to fall asleep for weeks, even months, ...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Aw, lovely and felt like real life. A sweet (yet grungy) story of two teenagers who are best friends and then kinda fall in love, oh and one of them has a sleep disorder. Reminded me a little of Nick and Nora.
Ruben (BooksVlogs) Arauz
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fiction
Dec 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
Trigger warning: This book contains sexual assault and an abusive relationship between friends


I was excited to read this book because it was supposed to be a coming of age story about punk rockers. Instead I got a friendship story about two kids in North Carolina that reminded me of Dawson's Creek. Althea & Oliver are an unlikely pair, like Joey and Dawson, that have been inseparable since they were six. Like Joey and Dawson both have feelings for each other they don't k
Debbie Gascoyne
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, from-library, ya
I see a lot of dissent amongst reviewers of this book - some love it; some hate it. I don't have a lot of sympathy with those who dismiss it because the incident that is the catalyst for the central conflict is "just wrong." It is wrong, but I don't think there's any claim by the author/narrator, or by any of the characters, that it was anything but wrong. It also, if you allow yourself to think about it, opens up some extremely interesting ethical questions. I think it's somewhat short-sighted ...more
Marissa (Rae Gun Ramblings)
Aug 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: listened-to
This book is about rape and is NOT shown in a bad let alone serious light. It happens early on so I don't think it's a spoiler. For a book that is marketed to young adults I'm honestly horrified. I was SO disturbed by the character's actions and reflections on the rape. Let's be clear people GIRLS CAN RAPE BOYS. YOu're completely screwed up and sexist if you think otherwise. It might be harder to do but the author sets up a scenario in which one character has sex with another who is UNABLE TO CO ...more
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was really really REALLY hoping this book would be good. The plot seemed to me like a best-friends-fall-in-love kind of plot. However, this really was not the case. To me, the characters were shallow and I didn't really get into them or experience how they were feeling like I usually do in other books. It seemed like what they had for each other was more lust than love. The author kept saying Althea was in love with Oliver, but she didn't really show the readers how much. I did not like Althea ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What did you guys think about how this ended? 2 18 Jun 23, 2017 02:28PM  
  • Like No Other
  • Starbird Murphy and the World Outside
  • The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
  • We Are the Goldens
  • 100 Sideways Miles
  • Diamond Boy
  • That's That: A Memoir
  • When I Was the Greatest
  • Chasing Shadows
  • Haiku
  • The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
  • Picture Me Gone
  • Fugue State
  • Angry Young Man
  • What We Hide
  • Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
  • The Law of Loving Others
  • Perfectly Good White Boy
Cristina Moracho is a novelist and freelance writer/editor. Her debut novel, Althea & Oliver (Viking), will be published this October. She lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where she makes all the bad decisions.
More about Cristina Moracho

Young Adult Deals

  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Gold-Son
    $3.99 $1.99
  • How to Say I Love You Out Loud
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Scat
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • I See London, I See France
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Little Monsters
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Lost Voices
    $5.99 $2.99
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Isle of Blood and Stone
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Haven (War of the Princes, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Siren
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Into the Dim
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Curse (Blur Trilogy #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fury (Blur Trilogy #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Crash (Crash, #1)
    $4.24 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Storm (Elemental, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things We Know by Heart
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Secret of a Heart Note
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Internet Famous
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Kissing in America
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Genesis
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • After the Game (The Field Party, #3)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Ticker
    $3.99 $0.99
  • How To Keep Rolling After a Fall
    $7.09 $2.99
  • No Love Allowed
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Concealed (Lakewood, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
“How superfluous other people can seem when you are convinced you already have the only ones you need.” 14 likes
“There is only one way to go now: forward, into the unknown” 10 likes
More quotes…