Review: Emmy & Oliver

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

It took me a lot longer to pick up this book than it should have. I saw it floating around my goodreads reviewers pages and the blogosphere, but like others I was deterred by the cover that makes this seem like it’s just going to be a cheesy teen romance. How wrong I was!

This book it so moving and sweet. Both Emmy and Oliver are thrown into new lives when Oliver is kidnapped, and they never really face the ramifications of the event until Oliver returns. Even then, the only people they are able to confide in are each other.

I loved the relationship between Emmy and Oliver, it wasn’t overwhelmed by their romantic feelings for each other one bit. With the aid of periodic flashbacks it’s clear that these two would have always been connected as deeply no matter what, and that their relationship would have eventually evolved to something more romantic anyway. Furthermore, it’s clear that Emmy never lost her connection to Oliver, who after some stumbling finds his way back to it as well.

Watching them deal with trying to grow up under the oppressive thumbs of their parents was so interesting and something every teenager can relate to. I also really enjoyed that while Emmy was keeping things from her parents, it was clear that they had a good relationship – too many books have teens and parents not getting along. I also really enjoyed watching the dynamic between Emmy, Drew, and Caroline (I hate it when people shorten my name – though when I lived in England they called me Caro because as Emmy states, they thought three syllables was just too much). They were what was left when Oliver left, and seeing them trying to figure out how to react to having him back in their lives was interesting. And the fight between Emmy and Caroline about Oliver brought back some memories for me too.

I think that was what made this book so amazing. It reminded me of that period in my life when I was dealing with growing up, trying to figure out who I was in the world outside of my family, and dealing with new love and old friends.

Anyway, this book was fantastic. It was a really fast read as well, I read it in one evening. I feel like this will be a go-to book for me whenever I need a pick me up. Emmy and Oliver are just so mature and connected and it’s so touching.

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