Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen
Published on June 23, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon--Buy on B&N--Buy on Audible
Add to Goodreads
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?
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.
Emmy & Oliver was a cute, surprising romance between two best friends and their complicated past. When Oliver is seven years old, his father kidnaps him and takes him away from the life he’d known. Then, inexplicably, ten years later Oliver turns up in New York. He’s home and things can go back to normal. At least that’s what Emmy hopes will happen. But when you’ve missed the last ten years, do you even know where to begin again?
If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be “complicated.” This story is all about learning the other person’s side of the story. Emmy has held on to the idea of her best friend, her Ollie, for ten years. As the two of them find their way to one another, they find some healing.
Just like Emmy and Oliver, I realized that this book might not follow the normal trajectory I’m used to in YA contemporary. These characters have a bit more baggage than most, and with that comes complications. I was expecting a lighthearted romance with only minor complications. You know, best friends being jealous, miscommunications, parents being parents. Don’t get me wrong, all those familiar elements were present, and they were handled with humor and originality, but there was also a darker thread to this story. All the characters, and I mean all, were dealing with trauma caused by Oliver’s kidnapping.
The thing about trauma is that is can be interpreted differently by each individual; no two people are going to internalize an event the same way, even if it’s caused by the same event. That’s what impressed me so much about Benway’s writing – she was able to talk about trauma without waving it around like red flag. The stories of pain and healing were so effortlessly woven into a story of two best friends finding each other again, and loving one another so deeply – it was a touching read.
One thing I wanted more of though, was the friendship interaction between Emmy and her two best friends: Caro and Drew. They were delightful and their humor lightened some intense situations. Both had interesting storylines that made me care about them, and I had just wished that Emmy had cared a little more about those she had been friends with for so long, but maybe that’s just high school?
Overall this story was satisfying from start to finish, even if the characters found satisfaction in unexpected ways. It only added to the charm and depth of this book. Emmy & Oliver is a great summer read with a healthy dose of romance and reality combined for the perfect mix of feels.
Latest posts by Hannah (see all)
- Hannah’s Review: Front Lines by Michael Grant - February 24, 2016
- Hannah’s Review: Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore - January 4, 2016
- Book Review: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens - November 23, 2015