Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Title:  Emmy & Oliver
Series:  None
Author:  Robin Benway
Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Coming of Age
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Publication Date:  June 23, 2015
Source:  Gifted.  Thank you!

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.

Find Emmy & Oliver online

I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  The premise was interesting and I was looking forward to seeing the way the conflict would play out but I hadn't expected to be so wrapped up when I was reading.  While the story line was fairly predictable, I still found myself eager to read how it would play out on the page.

One of my favorite parts of the story was diving into the conflict - Oliver's kidnapping and the fall out of everyone affected.  I was so interested to hear about the experience from Oliver's POV, especially after hearing about it from Emmy's perspective.  It was honestly such a horrifying and nightmarish situation to read about and I felt like the actions and emotions of the characters while dealing with it were genuine and believable.  Like I said before, the way the plot progressed and how the conflict unfolded was fairly predictable.  There weren't really any shocks that had me reeling while I read but I still enjoyed reading about them all the same.  

While I liked the characters individually for the most part, I had some trouble with them when they interacted with each other, particularly with our two mains, Emmy and Oliver.  They were apart for so long and finally were able to come back together and I guess I just expected something a little . . . more?  There just weren't any sparks for me.  Hearing about the kidnapping before Oliver returned had been so heart breaking but when he was back and they were interacting again, it just felt kind of emotionless. I didn't feel the sparks that were supposed to be sizzling between them.  Their relationship felt a little forced.  I wouldn't have minded seeing them just interacting as friends.

I also have to mention the absolutely awesome way this book was written.  There were so many great and healthy comments and situations.  The characters were all so accepting of each other and the differences that made them stand apart.  I loved the loving and genuine goodness of this author and the messages she conveyed in this story.  

Despite my less than raving emotions toward the relationship between the two main characters, I still really enjoyed this book.  The conflict was predictable but still totally kept my attention throughout.  There was a lot of awesome, smaller conflicts through that pushed my to continue reading, wanting to get to the end.  I'm excited to see what this author comes out with next!

“The more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they’re gone, and maybe it’s that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you’re near enough.”

Four Teapots

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