I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen on June 23rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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 and Oliver were inseparable…until his father kidnapped him ten years ago. Emmy’s parents keep her close, afraid that something might happen to her. When Oliver comes back, Emmy expects everything to go back to normal. But is anything ever that simple?
This is my first Robin Benway book but it won’t be my last. She intertwines humor and drama is such a flawless way. This combination makes Emmy & Oliver a roller-coaster of feels. I have to admit that the story is a bit too dramatic (maybe a little soap opera-esque) but I was in the mood for a romance with a little something different added to the mix. I think I ended up liking it so much because it was exactly what I wanted to read that day.
Even though everything (from the title to the cover to the blurb) categorizes this book as a romance, in reality it is so much more. The romance is there but it isn’t as important as everything else going on. First of all, the family dynamic is pretty excellent. Every single relationship is complex and interesting. The relationship between Oliver and his mother is so fragile and heartbreaking. Then, there’s the relationship between Oliver and his father, which is super confusing but completely believable. You also get a look at Emmy’s overprotective parents and how Oliver’s disappearance changed their lives. This spotlight on the families is so great to see since most YA novels are known for having the Absent Parental Figure Syndrome. Emmy & Oliver not only includes parents but they are not flat and/or useless characters! So this one gets a big gold star in that department.
Another gold star goes to the rest of the characters. They are all amazing. Seriously, all of them. The characters’ personalities and their development is so well written. Even though I have a lot of love for Amy and Oliver, Amy’s friends are FABULOUS. You know you have a winner when the secondary characters shine just as bright as the main characters. Basically, all the elements come together to tell a pretty solid story. The only thing I didn’t like is that Emmy kind of forgets about her (fantastic) friends as soon as she starts hanging out with Oliver but I don’t consider this to be a deal-breaker.
This book warmed my heart so much that I couldn’t put it down. I barely got any sleep the night I picked it up because it hooked me from the beginning. I experienced so many emotions that I was completely drained by the end. But it was totally worth it.