Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

emmyTitle: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Publication Date: 23rd June 2015 (Simon & Schuster UK)
Pages: 320
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Amazon UK| |Waterstones|  |Book Depository|

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? [Goodreads]

So I started this book feeling a little uncomfortable. From the cover (yes, I’m judging the cover) and the blurb the book sounds really fluffy and light-hearted. The issue I had with that was that the storyline followed a kidnapping and then the blurb says: ‘A stranger – a totally hot stranger! – with a whole history that Emmy knows nothing about.’ Pause. A boy is kidnapped, he returns and we focus on the fact that he’s ‘hot’? Um. I don’t think my thoughts would go to that fact straight away. Or maybe it’s my hate for that word ‘hot’? *shrugs*

There is so much teen angst in this novel, I have no idea where to begin. Firstly, I hope that I wasn’t like Emmy or Oliver or any of the characters in this novel when I was their age because, secondly, at times, I felt like I was reading a soap opera. The conflict of growing up, the misunderstanding, the doing things behind parents’ back – oh the teen angst check box gets a trillion ticks. I thought initially it played out quite well and then it blew up and become quite melodramatic. It is definitely entertaining though. People blowing up are always entertaining.

I love a good ‘boy-next-door’ storyline. And it definitely delivered on the ‘boy-next-door’ storyline, it even went as a far as having the cliché of having the two rooms face one another and just totally acing it! (- that’s not a sarcastic comment.. If you can’t tell). It was about rekindling a friendship that had been lost for ten years but also stepping forward as the new people that Emmy and Oliver have become. It was really great to see them stand and understand themselves as an individual as well as trying to find themselves together as friends.

I found myself more intrigued with Ollie than any of the characters in the novel. It’s a shame we don’t get to see what Ollie got up to in more detail, maybe see his thoughts and feelings, but even though Emmy, we still see and understand him enough. I agreed with his perspective and thoughts about the whole situation and because of that I wanted to read more. Being so young and being taken by a family member, it’s great to see how the two ends have different perspectives. It’s also a reason on why this novel works well… if the kidnapping was any darker, I don’t think I could manage with such a lighthearted romance.

This book didn’t blow me away but I did enjoy it. A story of growing up, teenage angst and sweet sweet romance.

And as a side note there is a great scene in this book that had me squealing because it was so perfect and it reminded me of Play with Me by Anna Katmore (BEFORE you think that this is some dirty erotica novel, it’s not. I always get funny looks. It’s about football, okay?). And a random chuck in, because I don’t know where else to put it, this novel reminded me of The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook, which has a similar theme as this novel and I recommend it to those who’ve enjoyed this book!

My rating
I liked it

3 cup


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