Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: Emmy and Oliver - Robin Benway

Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway, published by Simon and Schuster on 16th July 2015

Goodreads synopsis:
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?

Emmy and Oliver’ is a wonderful contemporary YA novel from an author who is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine.  I thought from looking at the cover art and reading the blurb, that this book was going to be a romance.  It was in part but it was largely a book about friendship and family.  It is about learning to understand and accept each other for who you are, not what someone wants you to be.  It is about learning when to let go and when to hold on.  There are a lot of poignant messages and themes in the story which struck a chord with me.
The characters were brilliant, particularly Emmy who I loved from the start, as well as her two best friends Caro and Drew.  Their friendship was epic!  I would have loved a close-knit group like that when I was growing up.  It took me a little longer to warm up to Oliver but that was okay because a bit like Emmy and co, I needed some time to learn more about who he was and to understand the different sides of his personality.  He had definitely won me over by the end of the book. 
I adored the small town setting, close to the beach and the sea.  I would love to live in a seaside town like this.  I think the setting helped to illustrate how hard it is for Emmy to follow her own dreams.  She is more than ready to leave behind the protection of her parents but doesn’t want to hurt them in the process.    
I enjoyed the story immensely.  It’s quiet and moving and creeps up on you.  It teaches the importance of having good friends and how a good friend can be in your life forever, even if you are not physically together.  I would highly recommend this book.  

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