Book Review: Emmy & Oliver (Robin Benway)

 

 *I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 352
Release Date: June 23rd 2015
Summary (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?

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.
Review:
This book was a really gentle read that did a great job of showing one traumatic event from more sides than I ever imagined.
When Oliver’s dad kidnaps him, it’s not just his family that is affected by it: it rocks the world of all his family friends and neighbours, and it’s an event they never really ger over. And when Oliver comes home, their world is changed again. The most fascinating part of this for me was the way everything with Emmy at home seemed to stand still while Oliver’s world moved on. It’s understandable of course: his mother is traumatised and no one knows what has happened to him, whereas for Oliver, life is different without his mother and old friends, but he’s young and he bounces back easily.While to everyone else Oliver’s return home is an amazing event and his father is a criminal, to Oliver it’s still his dad, the man who brought him up when his mother didn’t – even if that wasn’t her fault – and it was really interesting to see the conflicts he had.

I found Emmy a really likeable narrator and it was interesting to see how this kind of event has rippling effects across those enarest to the victims, but I did think it would have been more interesting to see things from Oliver’s point of view. That’s obviously a bit of a different story, but it would have got right to the heart of his conflict rather than seeing what he confesses of it to Emmy.

This was quite a slow, quiet read, enjoyable but without anything too dramatic happening until right near the end. I wasn’t overly interested in some of the minor storylines – Emmy’s parents over protectiveness, Drew’s family problems, etc –  and I found the end flashback-esque scene a little weird. Fans of contemporary and romance will definitely enjoy, but it’s not for those seeking something fast paced or action packed.
My Verdict:
 
 

I enjoyed – give it a read

If you enjoyed this, you may also like If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch