Publishing Info: June 23, 2015 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 15, 2015
Related Posts: Also Known As, Going Rogue (Also Known As #2), Far From the Tree
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?
EMMY & OLIVER was a truly magical book. I had expected to love it since I just adored the two previous Robin Benway novels I’ve read (ALSO KNOWN AS and its sequel GOING ROGUE) but since those two books were a bit more light and just plain fun, I wasn’t sure what to really expect from a more serious novel. Long story short, it was absolutely fantastic in so many ways.
EMMY & OLIVER was a perfect blend of really just about everything. I had mentioned that I wasn’t quite sure what the overall tone would be and that’s still hard to answer after reading the book because it’s honestly a mix and I think that’s what I loved about it. The book just felt like real life. These characters had some pretty rough lows and also some fantastically amazing times. I went from laughing out loud to ugly crying. The range of emotions captured was truly impressive and really allowed me to get to know each character in depth.
The blend of action and character development was wonderful as well. I felt relief, suspense, tension, tenderness, swoony, happy, surprised… The general concept as well as the progression of the plot always kept me hooked, wondering where these characters would be when the book came to a close. Once I was halfway through, I just really couldn’t put the book down! The characters had my heart aching and fluttering and racing. Emmy and Oliver had great chemistry and it was so incredibly interesting to see them reunite in this book and try to fill in the missing years.
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the interlude chapters that give us an insight to Emmy & Oliver’s past before he disappeared. I wouldn’t have minded information in flashback form but these chapters switching POV (from first person to third) and were also from very young Emmy & Oliver’s POV. It’s not something I speak about often, but I have a very hard time with young voices in books (usually it’s in the form of a character’s sibling) because it always feels out of place and never quite seems realistic. I also think they disrupted the flow of the book and each time one reappeared, I was bummed out about it. I think that could have been incorporated into the dialogue somehow to avoid the flashbacks… but all of this is definitely more of a personal thing though so take it with a grain of salt!
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book and how it made me feel. Trying to put it into words seems near impossible because I’m pretty terrible at translating those thoughts into a review when a book has really captured my heart. I’m sure Robin Benway’s fans will be picking this one up as soon as it hits the shelves (or before) but if you haven’t read her books before, this is also an excellent place to start!
“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Emmy // Character Obsessions: Surfing, college, friends, family.
I saw a lot of myself in Emmy. I can definitely understand hiding things from your parents because you’re “sure” they won’t approve. I mean, some things I knew they wouldn’t but others I didn’t even try for fear they’d say no and I probably missed out on a lot. But I also did love that Emmy had a good relationship with her parents too, even though they were a bit over protective.
Oliver // Character Obsessions: Catching up, reassessing, friendship, normalcy
My heart ached for Oliver. It’s one thing to put yourself in a position that’s hard to bounce back from but his whole life got turned upside down — twice — because of the decisions that his father made. It was so hard to watch him come back to his “normal” life again and deal with someone else’s decisions for him. But I also really admired him for the way that he handled everything!!
Kept Me Hooked On: Awesome parents. Okay, well Oliver’s parents weren’t quite awesome… But I really love how Robin Benway keeps a good set of parents in her books! Emmy’s parents were a bit over-enthusiastic about her safety, let’s say, but they’re just trying to keep her safe. Despite the overprotectiveness, she really does have a good relationship with them and I was so happy to see those positive interactions! I really teared up a couple times with some exchanges between Emmy and her dad. Loved him.
Left Me Wanting More: Present-day action. I guess that’s the best way to put it. Really, the only thing I didn’t care for in the book were the flashbacks because I just didn’t like the way they were handled, unfortunately!
I just adored this book from start to finish. It left me with so many feelings all over the place and it was a great mix of light and dark, happy and sad, character and plot.
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10 thoughts on “Emmy & Oliver – Robin Benway”
Great review, lady! I loved this book so much. You hit the nail on the head – it just feels so REALISTIC and like real life. The emotions are true to the characters and they are just so lovable.
I didn’t like the interlude chapters either! It didn’t really damage the book, but I could have done without them. 😛
I love this review because it reminded me that I read this months ago and actually wrote a review for it which I can publish this week or next week, yay! 🙂 Haha, I also love your review because I pretty much felt the same way about this book. It just was so charming and sweet that it’s hard to put into words! I agree with you about the interlude chapters, too, there was just something about them that didn’t work and broke up the flow of the story I loved.
Not sure how I feel about the possibility of reading this one. The flashbacks and younger voice makes me a bit skeptical. It does have a cute premise though. I am glad you enjoyed it.
I’m currently reading this right now! Oliver just got home, and Emmy’s spying on him watching something on TV. So in that sense, I’ve only had one interlude from 2nd-grade-POV and I didn’t mind that too much (I like MG voices once in a while, so that could be it…we’ll see). I’m curious to see where the story goes and how Oliver adjusts to everything! Great review!
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect for this one, either, but I just loved it. I didn’t mind the flashback chapters (although the 3rd person did take some getting used to) but I wanted more Oliver! I just loved him so much.
I adored Emmy & Oliver! I was a wee bit nervous going in after loving the Also Known As duo, but I shouldn’t have feared. Robin’s writing was lovely, and I enjoyed meeting both Emmy and Oliver and reading their story 🙂
I definitely think I could have done without the flashback scenes, too. They were SO young that it didn’t really add anything meaningful to the story for me. But otherwise, I loved Emmy & Oliver too! It was too cute. I couldn’t help nodding my head when you said your heart ached for Oliver, because I definitely felt that too. Fantastic review, Brittany!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book, where the characters are catching up after being apart for a long time (and because of a kidnapping too!), so this book sounds really interesting. I haven’t read any books by Robin Benway yet, so maybe I’ll start with this one. <3
I’ve been waiting to read this one! I’m with you on the younger character voices, but I’m still going to give it a shot.
This one sounds cute, but the flashbacks make me a bit nervous. I’m totally with you on the younger voice thing. It’s the reason I don’t read middle grade. It just doesn’t click for me personally so knowing those chapters are in there makes me a bit wary. But you still seemed to love it in spite of those chapters so I may have to give it a chance. Great review!