Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Series: Standalone
Published: June 23rd, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
352 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: Via Edelweiss in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

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?


From early on in Emmy & Oliver, I knew it was going to end up being a new favourite, and I was right. Sweet, funny, romantic, and emotional, Emmy & Oliver encompasses everything I love most about contemporary YA.

Emmy and Oliver have been friends since the day they were born - literally.  They were born on the same day, in the same hospital, and they live next door to each other. They remain best friends until the day Oliver’s dad kidnaps him in second grade, and even in his absence, Emmy never stops thinking about Oliver, wondering where he is, and holding tight to her memories of him. Ten years later, when he comes back to town, everything and yet nothing has changed. Most of the parents in town kept a tighter hold on their kids after Oliver was kidnapped, but none to the same extreme as Emmy’s parents, who tried to keep her as the seven-year-old girl she was when Oliver disappeared.

I loved Emmy. She was smart, funny, sassy, strong, and she knew what she wanted. Her parents keeping a tight leash on her didn’t stifle her spirit - if anything, it made her more determined to live her life how she wanted to. I enjoyed watching all of her relationships; her mom pissed me off, but provided great conflict and opportunities for Emmy to grow, and her friendship with Caro and Drew was fantastic. All the characters, from Emmy to her friends and family, to Oliver, his mother, and his little twin sisters, were well fleshed out and believable. I appreciated that the side characters had their own stories to tell, and it wasn’t just about Emmy or even Emmy and Oliver. 

One of the things I loved most about this book: how much it made me laugh. It’s been a long time since I giggled so much while reading. Despite being adorable and laugh-out-loud funny, the story was also really touching and emotional. I teared up a few times and was bawling by the end (in a good way!). Emmy’s emotions and the obstacles she and Oliver faced felt very real.

Emmy & Oliver is a beautiful, sweet, funny, emotion story about friendship, love, and forgiveness. There’s a lot of hype around this book, and it’s easy to see why. It’s still early in the year, but I already know this will be one of my favourite reads of the year.

Have you read Emmy & Oliver? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? What are some of your favourite contemporary YAs?


  1. Everyone is raving about this book! I need to read it pronto. I love books that can make you laugh and cry.

  2. I'm glad you liked this one! It sounds so good!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


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