Quiet. Gentle. Awesomeness... Emmy & Oliver (review)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA
“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.”

My Review

When Emmy & Oliver first starts, I thought "Oh, crap. I'm not going to like this." This was because Robin Benway has a very straightforward writing style. This happened. Period. That happened. Period. But then I realized that's how the character of Emmy has lived her life. There has always been before, period, and after, period. And that is how the rest of the book goes on. All the characters are affected by the disappearance of their friend, neighbor, and son, Oliver. Most in ways that the characters do not even realize.

When Oliver returns unlike so many other novels, films, and television shows (It's okay, I still love you Finding Carter) before it, Emmy & Oliver does not shy away from the hard and complicated ramifications of being kidnapped and then coming home. Every time the story shifts away from the disappearance, it returns unexpectedly and smacks the reader in the face: This Cannot Be Ignored.

Benway does an amazing job of creating a world that feels real and familiar. The parents actually parent. The teenagers act like the self involved, non precoucious people they can be. Her characters are hilarious and loyal and awesome. I think anyone would want to be apart of the Emmy-Drew-Caro-Oliver friendship group.

To say that Emmy & Oliver is just a romance would be a grave injustice. It's about family, parenthood, friendship, growing up. It's about trying to decide for yourself what kind of person you are going to be and how you define right and wrong.

Words To Live By

"You saw a lot. Your mom and I tried to protect you from most of it, but Oliver was your friend and he disappeared and there aren't many ways you can hide that from your kid. " He was stroking my hair. "But I don't want you to stay in that place forever. And I don't want Oliver to stay there, either. You kids have a chance to move on.
             "It's sort of hard when... when you don't know how." ...
             "Well, that's growing up, isn't it?" my dad said. "You don't always have to know. And things aren't always fair. You just have to keep moving forward. A step in one direction."


Emmy & Oliver is definitely a must read. It's the kind of book that's quality quietly sneaks up on you.
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As an INFJ Tisha doesn’t like she obsesses. Luckily, she has television, film, and books to keep her busy. Although YA is her favorite, she loves all types of books especially historical fiction. This resident Gryffindor also enjoys traveling and seeing where her wanderlusting nature will take her. Twitter

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