Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
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?
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 had 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.
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will devour 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.
I don't usually do this, ever, but I've YA contemporaries this month. I enjoyed Emmy & Oliver so much, even though it was a book that I had passed over initially. One of my librarian coworkers read and loved Emmy & Oliver, and after listening to her rave about it, I absolutely had to get my hands on a copy. Emmy & Oliver was just as good as she made it out to be.
I want to be honest with you about how I felt about Emmy & Oliver when I first saw its summary - I wasn't buying the "maybe even more" part of their friendship because Oliver was kidnapped when he was seven. I have an eight-year-old, and "maybe even more" isn't something that's on the kiddie brain. However, after I actually started reading the book (imagine that!), I saw that there was a lot more to the story. Maybe even a little about how their thoughts on how childhood love should play out was challenged was featured. Maybe.
I thought Emmy & Oliver would be told by dual points of view from the way it was "pitched" to me, but the novel is told only through Emmy's POV. Oliver does open up to her and fill her in on the ten years that he was missing, but Emmy is the main protagonist. I find that I was pleasantly surprised that the book was more about her than her and Oliver, though I would like to see something about him. (Maybe in the future?) I also want to say that I thought Drew was a great secondary character who just happened to be LGBTQ. I say we give him his own book, too.
Emmy & Oliver is a really great read that is good for both younger and older teens, as it is clean, and the only issue that parents would really have a problem with is Emmy's repeated lying to her parents about surfing. Anywho, I loved Benway's writing style, and if any of her books are as cute as Emmy & Oliver, I'll definitely be checking them out!
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.