Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (eProof) - Oliver's absence split us wide open, dividing our neighborhood along a fault line strong enough to cause an earthquake. An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you're shaking.
Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. But now Oliver is back, and he's not the skinny boy-next-door that used to be Emmy's best friend. Now he's the boy who got kidnapped. A stranger - a totally hot stranger! - with a whole history that Emmy knows nothing about.
But is their story still meant to be? Or are they like the pieces of two different puzzles - impossible to fit together? From Goodreads.
I was really looking forward to reading Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. It sounded so good, and I loved Benway's other contemporary romance, Audrey, Wait! But I'm sad to say I was pretty disappointed with this one.
Born on the same day, living next door to each other, Emmy and Oliver were always going to be friends, for always. But when Oliver's dad kidnaps him, it changes everything for everyone. For ten long years there is no word as to where Oliver is, how he is, if he'll ever be coming back. His disappearance affected everyone; Emmy and her group of friends, Drew and Caro who just want their friend back, Oliver's mother Maureen, who has been unable to stop searching, and Emmy's own parents, who have become extremely overprotective as a result. But when Oliver does finally return, everyone is so glad, but doesn't realise just how difficult getting back to "normal" things are going to be. Oliver is ten years older now, he's not the same boy, and he's deeply affected by what happened to him, and no-one is who he remembers. People grew up and changed in his absence, and he doesn't feel like he fits in. Emmy tries to befriend him again, and bring some normal to his life, but falling for your long lost best friend when he's just returned home could complicate things.
I had such high hopes for this book! But unfortunately, it just didn't really do it for me. I found Caro and Drew - Caro who has five older brothers and sisters and parents who don't seem to care, and Drew who's gay, whose parents say they accept and love him as he is, but he doesn't really feel it - much more interesting characters than I did Emmy and Oliver. There's no real reason for it, I just didn't get emotionally involved in their story. Which is mad, because Oliver was abducted! By his dad! And now his back and nothing is the same and he's not coping well! I was interested in the moments when Oliver was honest about how he felt about the whole situation, but it just wasn't as huge as I was expecting it to be. I just didn't care that much, to be honest.
And the romance... I don't think I really felt it either. But that could just be because the story didn't affect me emotionally at all. Within the story there were both major highs and major lows, but my emotional state while reading stayed a pretty constant neutral, neither sad, excited, happy, not even bored. Just nothing. And so the romance fell kind of flat for me. I didn't really believe it. I just wasn't moved by the romance, the abduction, the story as a whole.
I really don't have much else to say. It wasn't a bad story. I didn't hate it. It was amusing in places, both Emmy and her parents come out with funny lines at moments. But I wasn't really bothered at any point. I'm sure a lot of other people would love it, but it just didn't work for me, sadly.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Children's Book via NetGalley for the eProof.
Published: 16th July 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Robin Benway's Website