ARC Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

ARC Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Emmy & Oliver
by Robin Benway

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publication date: June 23rd 2015
by Harperteen

Format: eARC

PURCHASE:

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Goodreads

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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Have you been looking for a non-dramatic (but yes, I did shed some tears–emotional teenage girl right here) YA contemporary that’ll make your face hurt from too much smiling? If you: a) nodded your head, b) screamed FUCK YES, c) gasped or d) did all of the above, then Emmy & Oliver is going to be your next favorite read!

To be honest with you, I initially thought that this book was going to be full of drama llamas and “lyrical” writing (y’all know I hate those), and I’ve never been happier to have been proven wrong.

Right off the bat, we’re introduced to Emmy and her best friends. The bond between this group is so strong that you could feel how genuine it was right from the first chapter. What I especially love about them is that they have their ups and downs (there’s this very realistic fight that happens somewhere towards the end of the book), but they still remain friends through thick and thin.

Now, their group hasn’t been complete since Oliver was “kidnapped” by his father. You might expect their reunion to have been one of the cheesy ones with big hugs and/or tears of joy, but it was so awkward and realistic and I just loved it.

Robin Benway did a brilliant job depicting an honest teenager and her relationships with friends, family and lover. I really found myself empathizing with Emmy and was mentally giving her two thumbs up every time she did something I knew I would do myself.

Plus hello, awesome romance! I may have been expecting some instalove since Emmy and Oliver already knew each other as children, but the romance was slow-burn and went through a lot of development. You’re going to love watching their relationship turn from awkward acquaintances, to friends, and then to something more.

Despite me making it sound like it’s a light book–it’s not. I can say this is a calm contemporary, but it isn’t a light one. The characters (Oliver especially) have their own demons to face. Some scenes were heartbreaking and my throat closed up at some point because of all the crying I did. Luckily, they all have their friends and family (which was another strong point of the book) to support them and to be there for them.

I highly recommend Emmy & Oliver to any young adult contemporary fan, or just anyone who’s looking for a quick read with swoons, joy and tears.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Impact
Overall: 4.5

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Aimee
Aimee is a sixteen year old bookworm from the Phillipines! She reads any book that catches her attention, but she mostly reads YA. She's into graphic design, writing and sleeping. You can find her at Deadly Darlings, The Book Geek, Goodreads and on Twitter.
Aimee

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  1. says

    AIMEE AIMEE AIMEE. YES. I LOVED THIS ONE. It’s such a refreshing and definitely calm contemporary. It felt so real and I also love that it wasn’t full of all that totally forced drama. I basically want to marry this book. I love how unsure Emmy was about how to deal with Oliver being back and how silly she felt for sticking her tongue out at him. I love how Oliver had to struggle with the knowledge that his mom wasn’t really the bad guy. I agree 100% with everything you said I REALLY LOVE THIS BOOK OKAY?
    Zoey recently posted…Why I Couldn’t Like THAT ONE BOOK.My Profile

  2. says

    Lol, I love how I can guess who’s writing the review before I look at the author’s name. xD

    Stupid things aside… yay! I’m glad you liked this! And yeah, I gasped and nodded my head. This book looks cuuute, but really good too. Great review.
    Vane J. recently posted…Review: The MartianMy Profile

  3. says

    I have heard nothing but glowing reviews for this one Aimee, so I am so glad to hear you like it too! It sounds like such an emotional and beautifully written story, and I can’t wait experience it for myself. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Rounding: Up or Down?My Profile

  4. says

    Wow – this looks like just the kind of refreshing YA contemporary I’m after! I love the sound of the friendship in it, and Emmy sounds like a really relatble character which is great. I’m definitely adding this to my TBR, thanks for the lovely review Aimee :)
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  5. says

    Great review <3 Seriously, this is one of those newly released books that I'm most excited about because of the emotions and the fluff and the relationships that this book has. It's making me itch with curiosity :P I'm so so happy to hear that this book is a tearjerker because I'm a huge sucker for that. But I'm most especially happy that it was an overall amazing book! Thanks for sharing this. I'll definitely buy a copy if it reaches the bookstore fast (it better be). <3
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    • Aimee says

      It’s SO brilliant. Jillian! :D I really hope you end up loving it. The first 90% was pure cuteness, then it sneaks up on you with all the feels and tears! <3

  6. says

    The premise reminds me a little of a certain Colleen Hoover book, not saying which one to spoil it for others, but the similarities are a little unnerving. Imagine having been gone for 10 years, then returning to your life. I’m so glad their reconnection was awkward and the romance wasn’t rushed. It makes for a more realistic read. If you found it emotional, I know I’m going to love this one too. Awesome review Aimz <3
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    • Aimee says

      Interesting. ._. I’d definitely rank Benway high above Hoover myself, though.
      I do really hope you’ll love it too! (Faye did too, so… there’s a bigger chance!)

  7. says

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one because it was one of my most surprising–in a good way!–reads of the year. I didn’t know what to expect from this storyline but it was both upbeat and touching. I really loved the level of growth these characters experienced and the fact that they had strong familial and friend relationships beyond their romance was refreshing since so few authors manage to strike a balance with those aspects. Gorgeous review, dear! If you haven’t already read Benway’s backlog, I highly recommend it! Not quite as deep as this but a lot of the same themes of parent-child and friendships alongside romance and plot. :)
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: The Holders by Julianna ScottMy Profile

    • Aimee says

      I COMPLETELY agree, Keertana! It was incredibly well-balanced and had the perfect blend of light and emotional. :) I’ll definitely pick up Benway’s other books!

  8. says

    So much agreement. SO MUCH. I loved this book, because of seriously everything you described. I loved that it wasn’t just a typical fluffy book, nor was it a tear-out-your-heart book, it was just such a perfect mix of light moments and serious moments and just… perfection. And the characters! I love. Every single one of them was so well done, so complex, and just so… genuine! I am so glad you loved this one too :)
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