Thursday, June 25, 2015

REVIEW: Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway

If I'm really honest, I requested Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway for two reasons: the first, I've loved previous Robin Benway stories I'd read, and the second, the cover looks quite cute and romantic.  I didn't actually know that the story was about a kidnapping at all until I opened it in my Kindle and started reading.  (Because let's face it: that cover design is selling me romance, not child kidnapping!)

I'm not entirely sure if that knowledge would have made much of a difference.  It's still another great, emotional story from a wonderful writer. And while I'm not overly fond of the missing child story line, I think I still would have wanted to go on this journey.

Emmy and Oliver were two really wonderful characters. Though I flew through this story very quickly and it didn't feel very long, it felt like Robin Benway really packed a lot into this book.  I loved both Emmy and Oliver individually and also together. I loved their relationships with their respective families and I loved Emmy's relationships with her two best friends.

Emmy and Oliver is a story about two childhood best friends. But their paths separate when, after a messy divorce, Oliver's dad kidnaps him and Oliver doesn't return for another ten years.  I love that what this story does is tell both the titular characters' stories but also paints this picture of not only broken families but a fractured community.

All these years later, Emmy is a very different person. She still holds onto her memories of Oliver but she's also feeling very suffocated both by her parents over protection and about the expectations her family and friends make of her.  Emmy's dream is to move to San Diego and pursue her interest in surfing but she has had to hide both of these things from everyone she cares about.

And at the same time, Oliver returns and his whole life is different. For ten years, he's believed one thing only to be told that the opposite is true and he doesn't know how to fit into the missing shapes that his disappearance ten years ago caused. And it seems that Emmy and Oliver kind of need each other the most, to have someone they can both be honest about their feelings with.

I really loved this book.  I loved seeing both Emmy and Oliver develop throughout this story.  Not just their love story, but themselves as individuals. I loved seeing the different dynamics within both sets of families and the different ways everyone has reacted to trauma. I love how Emmy and Oliver both had to fight for their voices to be heard.  There was some absolutely amazing dialogue and it surprised me how very quickly I began to become so very emotionally invested in all of the characters who play a part in this story.

Emmy and Oliver was an amazing, emotional story and I'm so glad to have read it!


  1. This is one I'm coming to in the next few days, and I had no idea about the child kidnapping element! Like you I assumed it would be a bit lighter given that cover! I'm still very curious and excited about it and can't wait to get to know Emmy and Oliver. Lovely review!


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