Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

This book was so adorable. The voice was great. I couldn’t put it down. It’s a story of friendship and of love. But it’s also a story about growing up, of figuring out what you want out of life, and of standing up to your parents and going after what you want.

Emmy’s parents kind of freaked out when Oliver disappeared. They couldn’t imagine losing their beloved child as they’d seen happen to their next door neighbor and best friend, so they became extremely overprotective. It makes sense, especially to me as a parent. But now Emmy is a senior in high school and she’s been sneaking around and surfing for three years, and she’s applied to college behind her parents’ back.

Then Oliver comes home. It’s awkward at first. I enjoyed reading about them rediscovering their friendship. Emmy has remained best friends with Caro and Drew for the last ten years, so Oliver has to find his place. And Emmy tries to balance these old friendships with her rediscovered friendship with Oliver.

Everyone is so happy to have Oliver back, but they don’t really know how to relate to him. He’s 17 now, not 7. Oliver opens up to Emmy because no one is asking about his life for the past 10 years. It’s through their sharing of truth that something more develops between them.

I think this is a great book for teens to read. The love story is so healthy, which isn’t always the case in YA books. Emmy and Oliver fall in love while also finding themselves. They don’t get lost in each other. They encourage each other to follow their own dreams.

It’s also a great YA book for adults to read, especially parents. There’s so much in the book about the love between a parent and child; I think any parent could relate. But it’s also a great story about letting your child go and trusting them to make their own decisions.

This book definitely lived up to all of the hype. I need to read Benway’s other books. I love her writing.

Rating: 5 Stars

This review was originally published on Mom’s Radius.

Emmy & Oliver
Robin Benway
Young Adult Fiction
June 23, 2015

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.

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