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.
Kidnapping, missing best friend and potential romance between these two best friends but halted because of the said kidnapping? One is to expect that it’ll be a heavy, dramatic sort of story. Well, wrong. I was wrong. It isn’t like that at all. Oh, but I was very glad that it wasn’t. I liked that premise wasn’t as predictable as I thought it’ll be (or dramatic for that matter). Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway presented a story that it might sound intense at first but it came to me as a very light read.
Emmy and Oliver were besties. In fact they live in the same neighborhood, born at the same day, in the same hospital. Everything was going well until Oliver was hauled inside truck and drove him miles away from her. But the confusing part of it was that the one that took Oliver was his own father. Years had passed and Oliver returned, along with him was his experience with his father and the lie he grew up with. But it wasn’t just about him; because him leaving the town scarred many people, including Emmy and her relationship with her parents.
He was kidnapped by his own father might elicit some reactions already. You know what, he might look like the antagonist of the story, but Oliver’s father wasn’t all what people had judged him. Sure, his reasons and judgment weren’t appropriate. But I can firmly say that I can understand his reasons as why he did what he did. In fact, Oliver’s memories with his father weren’t bad at all. He told some fond memories he had with him. In a way, the word kidnapping was overly dramatic term for me (although what he did is actually that) when in fact he was just scared man longing for his son.
Now, let’s go to the romance/friends’ angle. Does absence makes the heart go fonder? Personally, no; especially if they were separated at such a young age. I just don’t believe a romance in such a short span of time was possible; when ten years had passed and lot of things can/will change a person. The transition wasn’t too favorable for my taste so I hardly connected with the romance. That said, when Emmy decided on things, she was brave enough to stand her ground. In some stories I’ve read they all go for love first, the rest next. But if you think about it, love should also mean understanding & cooperation. Well, at least on me.
I understand Emmy especially on how her parents treated her like fragile item. But I do know why they acted that way. Oliver’s situation added that anxiety/fear for them. But know what, just because you made the decision doesn’t mean it’s automatically right or it will go well. Or when parents’ decide for you it’s not always mean removing your freedom to choose. But there’s still that sense of individuality to be able to decide on your own. Emmy didn’t want to be inside that bubble wrap anymore. This is the aspect I liked about the story.
It’s weird for me that title of the story is Emmy and Oliver when it felt like it wasn’t significantly just about them. But to me it’s more Emmy, Oliver and their parents (but that’s mouthful though, haha). Because I think they played such crucial part in their stories.
Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote: “Suddenly, the space that had always been between us felt too big. For the first time in ten years, I could see Oliver right in front of me, but he was still much too far away.”