Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

June 22, 2015 Book Review, Young Adult 1 ★★★★½

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

Emmy & OliverEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen on June 23rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
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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.

Guys, this book was adorable! Emmy & Oliver is about two young friends who parted ways when one was suddenly kidnapped by a parent as a kid, how this affected their lives, and how they find their way back to each other once more.

Throughout the novel there is just a few little snippets, glances back at the past when Emmy and Oliver were little. The first of these shines a little light on the bond these two developed early on. Oliver was kidnapped one day from school by his father when he was only 7 years old. Emmy was his friend and next door neighbor. The affects of this kidnapping was widespread. Emmy not only missed a friend but dealt with parents who became incredibly overprotected of her, causing her to hide some of her interests and dreams from them, knowing they’d feel it was all too dangerous. Then one day, 10 years later, Oliver is found and comes home to a whole new life.

He looked like a stranger, and then he met my glance, and it was like I had never stopped seeing him.

The plot was incredibly intriguing. You hear on the news all the time about missing children, taken by a parent. Oliver had a lot of issues to work through because though he was taken, he didn’t lead a rough life on the run. He had been happy with his father, unaware for a long time that anything was amiss. He is quickly taken out of that life and thrown back into his old one with a new family, a new school, and old friends he wasn’t so sure were still friends. Emmy wasn’t completely sure how to handle this change but she does so by making Oliver feel… normal. She’s incredibly awkward with conversation, saying really ridiculous things at times but she was pretty funny and made me laugh! She just wanted to help Oliver in anyway he needed. And Oliver was so great with opening up to her when he felt like he couldn’t breathe around everyone else. Emmy’s family life was one I enjoyed reading. Overprotective parents yet they kind of joked around and had fun with each other too. Sometimes in YA, parents are conveniently absent while their teenagers run amok. Her parent’s had a strict curfew and wanted Emmy to not go away for college. It was quite an interesting dynamic. More than anything, I love Oliver and Emmy together! They were so perfect and even though they learned to lean on each other, they also didn’t develop an unhealthy attachment, learning to also stand on their own two feet and become the individuals they hoped to be.

This book was a wonderful addition to the contemporary fiction world and one I’d absolutely recommend! Friendship, family, and being who you are are all great takeaways for the readers.

Oliver pulled me closer, tighter than ever this time, and kissed me again. The only way I could describe what kissing him felt like was, like the last day of school, knowing that months of freedom and sunshine lay before you, the feeling that you could do anything you wanted and time stretched out in endless possibilities. That’s how I felt in his arms, like the future was limitless just because he was there. He was finally there.


About Robin Benway

I’m the author of “Audrey, Wait!”, “The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June”, and the AKA series. My new book “Emmy & Oliver” will be released on June 23, 2015. I live in Los Angeles with my extremely stubborn shih tzu, Hudson. I’ve gotten a lot better at cooking. I still love coffee. We should be friends.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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