Saturday, July 4, 2015

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Title: Emmy & Oliver                               
Author: Robin Benway
Publication: June 23rd 2015, HarperTeen
Format: e-ARC, 352 pages
Source: From the publisher (Thanks HarperTeen!)

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.

Misfit Review:

When someone important in your life comes back after many years, knowing that them disappearing has caused great trauma to a lot of people, is it alright to just go back to the way it was or will the change be too much to handle?

Emmy & Oliver is a rollercoaster of feelings, brought about the traumatic experience of Oliver being kidnapped by his Dad one day, at age 7. After 10 years, Oliver comes back home and Emmy, his best friend, is both happy and worried. Things have changed. Oliver's mom won't rest till his Dad is arrested, Emmy's parents are way too overprotective of her and Caro and Drew, Emmy's best friends (Oliver's friends once), are gonna have to learn to adapt to everything again. It's a mixture of happiness and uncertainty for everyone and on whether everything should be done-over or should it be a start over.

This book is powerful, in many ways with drawing out feelings from a simple situation. There are so many entanglements that one single hiccup can bring about. Take Oliver being kidnapped by his Dad and then tie around Emmy's and her parents' lives, Drew's and Caro's and the situation becomes more complex because rather than it being one person's problem, everyone becomes involved, and the story manages to work through those loops without trying too hard to be interesting. 

What made me really in love with this book is the characters. Emmy truly brought it home for me, with her narration and of course her personality. Sarcasm + Surfing + Lying to your parents about it? That's like, seriously badass, and coupled with characters like Caro and Drew, who I am wishing to heavens above that they were my best friends, her character definitely shines through. The humor that they bring to their table is so endearing that even a conversation about socks could send you into hysterics. Of course, with Oliver, coming into the mix, it definitely made Emmy's world more complicated and more colorful. Their romance is not at all a cheesefest, it was definitely the right amount of sweetness and I know I was hiding under my blanket every time they talked. There was definitely chemistry and their parts were written so beautifully.

As I've said, Emmy and Oliver truly hits it out of the park in the feels category and it definitely delivered, again, because of the characters of course, this time, tension brought about by Emmy's parents and Oliver's mother, Maureen. Every mother loves her child and would do anything to protect them, and if they are lost, find them. I think the fact that Oliver being kidnapped has sent these two women in a spiral of their own making but it definitely does show how much they truly love their children. This, however, poses for the issue that at some point, it is okay to let go and it is important to listen to what your children have to say even if you are afraid things would change and if things go way out of hand. Be there for them, and support them.

This was my first Robin Benway novel and I wish I knew of her titles beforehand, but I am happy that this was my first because I truly loved it. Her writing is not technical but also not sloppy. She piles up the drama but knows how to make light of the situation. Her characters are bold, honest and profound. Also, she is not afraid to make her readers cry. I swear to God, if you read the part with Drew crying in his car, you'll know where I'm coming from. Seriously, just read it. You will laugh out of your socks and wish you had a box of Kleenex next to you. (Also, btw, THE WAVE is completely adorable, it will knock you out, emotionally. UGH!) Robin, what have you done to me? I might need to hunt your books down now.

Emmy & Oliver is great contemporary to read this year. Emotionally charged and endearing, it is necessary for your supply of feels. I guarantee it...

About The Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

I'm the author of "Audrey, Wait!", "The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June", and the AKA series. My new book "Emmy & Oliver" will be released on June 23, 2015. I live in Los Angeles with my extremely stubborn shih tzu, Hudson. I've gotten a lot better at cooking. I still love coffee. We should be friends.

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