by Robin Benway
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Publication Date: June 23rd 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
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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. (Goodreads)
Emmy’s life changes the moment Oliver is kidnapped by his dad. Her whole world is completely crushed by the loss of her best friend, and through the pages we get to see what it was like for Emmy to have to grow up in that environment, and see how it affected not only her, but everyone around her. I can’t even being to imagine how her parent’s felt in the situation, but I can see how they would want to put her in a plastic bubble and keep her safe from all the bad things in the world. But you just can’t do that, because in the end it will end up pushing kids away. Fortunately Emmy was such a great kid, so very strong, especially considering everything that she had been through in her young life. She takes everything in stride the best she can, especially when Oliver reappears in her life 10 years later. Oliver is a really great kid as well. The poor guy has so many conflicting emotions throughout the story, and you can’t help but sympathize for all that he has been through. Together, Emmy and Oliver make a really great team, and I can totally see why they were such great best friends from the start.
There are a lot of great secondary characters in the story as well. I adored Emmy’s best friends Caro and Drew, they were both really awesome and I really loved them. As I mentioned before, the parents in the novel were a bit over-the-top, which was understandable considering all they went through just seeing how Oliver’s kidnapping affected everyone around them. While they drove me crazy at times, I couldn’t help but appreciate them anyways.
One thing that I really loved about the book is that given the storyline, you will go into this book expecting it to be an emotional read, but you won’t expect to feel such a wide range of emotions as you turn the pages. Yes, the book deals with a lot of sensitive issues, ones that will make your heart hurt in many ways, but there are also parts that will make you feel so many happy emotions as well. Also, there is romance in the story, and it was cute and sweet and totally swoon-worthy.
Overall; I found Emmy & Oliver to a really great read. I went into the story expecting to feel completely overwhelmed by the storyline, but instead I ended up really enjoying the story and the characters as well. I’m really, really looking forward to reading more by Benway in the future!!