Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Genre: Young Adult – Romance, Coming of Age
Blurb (from 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?
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?
This is another one of those books that sucked me in from the moment I picked it up. Had my weekend been a little less scheduled out this surely would have been a 1-dayer..but life does happen and I didn’t want it to pass me by, so I kept to my schedule (and maybe lost a little bit of sleep to finish).
What I Loved: I absolutely love the friendship between Emmy, Caro, Drew and Oliver in this book. Yes, Oliver is finding his way back into the friendship – but the camaraderie is still there. They are funny, sarcastic and just perfect together. Emmy and Oliver deals with some pretty tough issues, probably more than any one group of friends would normally have, but I really enjoyed how these four friends rely upon each other to get through, and yet they still have their problems; both personal and with each other.
I really loved Emmy and Oliver’s relationship, how it started and grew. At first I was hurt (probably as much as Emmy) when it seemed like Oliver didn’t really know her very well when Oliver came back, but it was nice to see them come together. The interludes of Emmy and Oliver’s childhood were fun as well!
Honestly, reading this book felt a bit like watching a movie – I loved the writing style!
Not So Much: There is a part of me that wishes that instead of this book being mostly about Emmy and Oliver, that it was opened up more to include the entire group. I really wanted more of Drew and Caro’s thoughts through the whole thing, and to see more behind the scenes of their homes and lives; they had just as many issues to deal with. Clearly, this would have changed the title of this book all together, but I really just loved the group as a whole so it was natural to just want to see more of all of them.
While I did say that reading this book felt like watching a movie, I did feel like the “action” was a little eh, so/so. I LOVED the friendships and growth and really found the book fun, but if this were a real movie, the story arc would be a little flat with a bit of a pitch at the climax.
This book is appropriate for mature teenagers. The setting is the last year of high school, and they are dealing with appropriate issues. There is, however, quite a bit of cussing and some alcohol in this book. Overall though, I do recommend Emmy and Oliver. It’s a great coming of age book!