13132816Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ALAMW15
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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

Review:

Emmy and Oliver is the story of two best friends that grew up right next door to each other and were everything to each other, even at a young age. Unlike that moment at the age of seven that rips apart an entire neighborhood. Oliver’s father kidnaps him and Emmy’s life is ever the same. While one expects the child who was kidnapped to forever be changed, but no one thinks of those who were left behind.

In an interesting turn of events, Oliver didn’t know he was kidnapped. He thought his mom left him and his father. He had no idea at all that his father stole him, and carries a lot of guilt about in the decade that he’s been gone. When he’s found, everyone believes and treats him to be the same person that he was when he left. But he was 7 and now he’s 17. Everything changes when you’re actually present, but to be put back into a life you barely remember, it’s like a mini life bomb and has ripple effects. Emmy parents essentially watched her like a hawk and wouldn’t let her do anything. Because of this Emmy actually learned how to surf behind their back, and applied to a four year university behind their back for fear that her parents would be upset with her.

What I loved about Emmy and Oliver were the little moments. The little waves and ripple effects from the Oliver bomb of Oliver being brought back. Oliver’s relationship with not only Emmy but also his mom, his step-father, and his two new sisters. Or the effect on Emmy’s two friends now that Oliver’s back and how there are a lot of growing pains. Although I know nothing about having a friend being stolen and brought back, Emmy and Oliver was still an extremely relatable story, and that’s not just because Emmy is an extremely sarcastic character that I understood on a personal level.

Benway writes my favorite type of books. They are quiet. They are full of family, sarcasm, friendship, love, and finding your own happiness.