Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Date Read: 6/19/15 to 6/20/15
352 pages

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?

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I don't know if this is evident, but I loved loved LOVED Emmy & Oliver. It was a book filled with fluff, angst, heartbreak, and just pure amazing. This incredibly down-to-earth book handles a hard topic, a kidnapping, flawlessly. I'm starting to see a trend with my high ratings. They are all books that explore all the perspectives, emphasizing that not everything is just black and white, good or evil.

Emmy and Oliver are neighbors, and have basically always been together since BIRTH. Until in second grade, when Oliver's father kidnaps him. And no one can find them. Until now. 

Oliver is back, and he feels out of place. Everyone says to give him space, to get settled back into California when he was in NYC this entire time. But it really isn't as simple as that, because as much as Emmy wants to continue her friendship with Oliver, from where they left off in elementary school, it's not that easy.
"You can't pick up where you left off," she said, her voice softer, "because he's not the same person he was back then. You're on an entirely different road now."

Emmy & Oliver is beautifully written. The dialogue is real, depicting accurate conversations between high school seniors (at least to me it seems pretty accurate). Oh, and don't forget that the side characters are realistic and incredibly supportive. THESE ARE THE FRIENDS YOU SHOULD HAVE. And there is just so many little and subtle things spread out through the writing, like comments about not slut-shaming, or about being like the other girls (because what's wrong with being like the other girls?), and also LGBTQ.

And guess what else? There are actual parents! And they play huge roles in the lives of Emmy and Oliver. With Oliver's disappearance, Emmy's parents have become more and more protective, and it affected Emmy to the point where she had to hide the fact that she learned (and loved) how to surf.
AND THE SHIP. Man, Emmy and Oliver are perfect for each other. I mean come on, the first time she sees him in 15 years, she sticks her tongue out at him! I ship them. They are too adorable for their own good.

Overall, THIS HAS BECOME A NEW 2015 FAVORITE. And I wish I highlighted more in my Kindle because there were some memorable quotes.  
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