Sunday, December 4, 2016

Book Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

"Emmy and Oliver were the best of friends up until the third grade, when Oliver disappeared, leaving their community forever changed.Years later, high school senior Emmy still lives next door to the house where Oliver lived with his mother and she has never been able to forget him. Emmy lives with the consequences of Oliver's kidnapping, as her parents smother her with rules and restrictions meant to keep her safe. She doesn't feel like she can be her own person with the weight of the past constantly influencing her life.

But then one day, Oliver is back. He is grown up, guarded, and confused. Oliver thought that his mother had abandoned him, when in fact his father kidnapped him, and he was discovered by chance when he gives fingerprints on a school field trip. 
Although Emmy is a vaguely familiar face, he doesn't know how to bridge the time gap and find a place to belong in this community again. Oliver and Emmy try to do just that, amid the chaos surrounding Oliver's past and Emmy's uncertain future." (Summary from School Library Journal) 

This was a super sweet story about the difficulties of relationships. Emmy is trying to be independent, taking risks (like surfing) that her parents forbid her to take since her best friend, Oliver, disappeared ten years before. Oliver is just all kinds of confused. He thought his father had taken him away from home because his mother didn't want them around anymore. He's spent a decade resenting her, only to discover that she'd been searching for him all along. Everyone wants him to hate his dad for what he did, but his dad was the only person he's had a close relationship with for the past ten years. Plus, his mom has a new husband and kids, and he's expected to just fall right into place. 

Emmy decides to take him under her wing (partly because she's had a crush on him since they were seven). Slowly they're able to help each other with their family and social struggles, as they begin to get to know each other again. Robin Benway gives a really honest look into their stories. This is a good recommendation for fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins!

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