Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

13132816Emmy & Oliver
By Robin Benway

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by HarperTeen
Average Rating: 3.91

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.

four star

I can’t explain how this book makes me feel because I feel so many emotions that I can’t distinguish what they are. Every time I think of this book or remember the story, I get this feeling in my chest. There are good emotions like happiness, sympathy and pride, and there are sad emotions like heartache, sadness, pain, and honest-to-god understanding and acceptance.

This is an unforgettable, moving tale about love, betrayal and truth.

Emmy & Oliver was a really hard book to put down. I was reading this while at a friend’s house instead of actually socializing with my friends. I didn’t stop until my friends yelled at me to put down the book, and they scolded me a lot. *sheepish* (You know you love me😉 )

The story is so haunting and believable. The plot was so out of the ordinary that I had to believe that what happened to Oliver happens in real life. I don’t have any real-life experiences to relate to his story but I feel how Benway wrote Emmy & Oliver is exactly the right feel of that situation. The plot moved at a perfect pace with enough room for suspense while still keeping the readers hooked.

Emmy is a girl who wants to be free from her very overprotective and strict parents. How her parents cover her up in loads of bubble wrap is reasonable because of what happened to her childhood best friend, Oliver. Emmy loves to surf but her parents have no idea about her passion. Emmy is terrified that once her parents find out, they will lock her up forever. You would think keeping a secret like surfing is no big deal, but the circumstances surrounding it makes it a big deal for Emmy. I understand why her parents are so protective of her and I was rooting for Emmy the whole way through. I wanted her to be able to take risks and I wanted her parents to let her take risks.

Oliver’s dad kidnapped him all those years ago. As a child, Oliver had no idea what his dad did was wrong. Fast forward a few years later, Oliver realizes the truth and ends up back in his home town with his mother. Oliver is traumatized, and you can feel that while reading. You can feel Oliver’s struggle with the reality of what happened because his reality is so much different from the inside than the outside. He’s at ends with what he knows and feels and what others tell him.

Emmy and Oliver are reunited after all those years, and this is their story of courage, finding love and making their way back to each other.

Benway beautifully wrote the consequences of the event of a kidnapping. The reactions of the family and friends and the town made sense. The lives of everyone changed once Oliver disappeared. Emmy’s parents are more protective, Oliver’s mom is forever scarred but found the courage to build a new family, and the town will always remember.

Courage. This whole book is about courage to be who you are, to chase what you dream, and to believe in yourself. Emmy needed the courage to tell her parents that she surfs. Oliver needed the courage to face the truth and his new family. Emmy’s parents needed courage to let their daughter go. Emmy and Oliver needed the courage to fall in love despite the situation. And every single character in this novel needed the courage to accept.

Acceptance. It’s not that big of a deal but it’s hard to do. Accepting the truth. Accepting reality. Accepting your limits. Accepting that you have to stop. Accepting that it’s not your fault. Accepting love. Accepting opinions. Accepting you. Acceptance is difficult and Benway protrayed that message accurately when she wrote this beautiful story.

Emmy & Oliver is a beautiful, intricate tale of love, truth, courage and acceptance. It is one of the best Coming-Of-Age novels I’ve read.

I recommend this to readers of Romance, Chick Lit, Coming-Of-Age and Contemporary.

Keep calm and read on,


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Note: Old review from group blog.

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