Book Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

July 15, 2015 Young Adult Book Reviews 4 ★★★★

Book Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin BenwayTitle: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by: HarperTeen on June 23, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Source: NetGalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Click it: Goodreads | Amazon
four-stars

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One Line: I loved everything about this book.

In My Opinion: Add to cart!

I’ve read a few kidnapping books in my past and I have to say that this might be one of the better ones. Most of the time we get the story from the one who was kidnapped, so it’s interesting that Benway told it from the friend’s perspective. With that being said, I loved that she did that because it pushed the reader to understanding that this was more about Emmy and Oliver than about Oliver being kidnapped. The story is about friendship and how amazing and important it is, despite the life you’ve been dealt. Despite such a dismal premise, Benway turned it into a sweet and touching story that left me feeling pretty good in the end.

Emmy and Oliver were so sweet, cute, and innocent together. I loved getting those glimpses into their friendship as kids and it definitely helped to paint a beautiful picture of their relationship and how significant it is. I will admit, I would’ve loved to have been inside Oliver’s head, but they connected really well and Oliver opens up to Emmy quite a bit so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Their relationship was tentative and rocky at first, which was understandable, and I liked the slow-build and subtle nature of how they rebuilt their friendship and then turned into lovers. It’s hard to understand what goes through the head of a kid like Oliver, so I appreciated Emmy doing whatever she could to salvage and rebuild their friendship as well as getting him to accept his life for what it was and to help him move on.

Emmy and her friends will charm you and even though the parents drove me crazy, I totally empathized with them and I liked how Benway handled all kinds of relationships in this book. I totally sympathized with Oliver’s mother more than with Emmy’s parents, but I got where they were coming from. With such a tragic event, it was interesting to see how it affects everyone surrounding it and not just those personally involved in it. I’d say, If you’re looking for a good book about tough and emotional subjects without it being overly depressing, then I’d highly recommend this book. If you love a good book about friendship and sweet teenage romance, then this is also the book for you.

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