Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Book Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Published Date: June 23rd, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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. 

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

I was taking a bit of a risk with this book as it looked fairly fluffy and I don’t usually go for fluffy. The premise looked promising and I thought there was a good chance of me enjoying the book. And I was right, for the most part. The beginning started off really well and I was pulled into the story almost effortlessly. Within the first 3% of the book I was full on sobbing, and I did in fact tweet the author about this very thing.

As the book went on though, I started to feel a little bored. I didn’t love Oliver right away and I wasn’t excited to pick the book back up at night. I trudged through it because while it wasn’t a bad book, I just wasn’t invested for a good chunk of the time. Now, as I look back on it, I’m about 95% sure that my mood was affecting my reading.

Right around the 60% mark in the book was where my feelings about the book improved significantly. I gobbled up the last 40% of the book in on sitting. I smiled, I cried, I even got a bit rage-y in certain parts. But I fell in love with Oliver and Emmy as a couple during this portion. I rooted for them, I grinned like crazy every time there was kissing.

The friendships were so solid and they had stayed that way the entire time Oliver was gone. Caro and Drew were awesome and I absolutely adored them. There was a time that I was frustrated with Emmy and how she put her new relationship with Oliver before her friendship with Caro. I could see why Caro was so hurt and I hurt for her.

The ending was emotional in the best possible way. I’m so glad that I stuck with this book. I ended up really enjoying it. I am giving this book 4 stars and I absolutely recommend it to everyone.