Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway

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Blurb:

‘Oliver’s absence split us wide open, dividing our neighbourhood along a fault line strong enough to cause an earthquake. An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why your shaking.’

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. But now Oliver’s 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 their hearts like two pieces of two different puzzles – impossible to fit together?

This book was so cute and beautiful.

Emmy, Oliver, Drew and Caro were best friends when they were younger. They grew up together, did everything together and then, at seven year old, Olivier disappeared and the friendship group of four became three.

The whole town is turned upside down and after a time they learn to live again.

Then Oliver comes back and everything is just as crazy as it was when he left but instead of being the skinny kid next door, Oliver his hot and tall and totally different to the boy who left.

Emmy, Caro and Drew are told to keep their distance for a while, to let him settle back into the routine of being a family and having a step dad and half sisters but Emmy can’t do that.

Eventually she talks to Oliver and although its like talking to a stranger, there are things that he remembers from their past. They bond over new things, they laugh together, have fun and their feelings for each other are becoming more than just friendship.

But Emmy is hiding secrets from her over protective parents and Oliver hasn’t gotten over what happened to him all those years ago when his father kidnapped him.

Everything is coming to a head and secrets will soon come out but what will happen when they do? And will Emmy and Oliver have their happy ever after?

As I said this book was so cute and beautiful. It wasn’t just a love story. It was about people and a town coming back together. Of finding themselves all over again.

Emmy is a great character. She lives with over protective parents and has to hide all things she’s doing. Like partying and going away to college and surfing. She’s still best friends with Caro and Drew and are tighter than ever. When Oliver comes back her life is suddenly different. Oliver is hot, she can’t deny that but he’s different. He’s not the little boy who was her BFF growing up and he doesn’t seem to remember life before he was kidnapped. But that doesn’t stop Emmy. She makes him laugh, hangs out with him, gets him to remember things and more importantly she listens to him. Which is something others aren’t doing. She listens to all his secrets and tells him hers in return. Emmy is falling back in love with him and she knows it’ll just be harder is nothing is reciprocated but at the party it’s Olivier who kisses her and before they know it they have the life they should have had before he left. But with secrets between Emmy and her parents will everything be okay? And if she does go away to college will Oliver still be there for her?

Oliver was kidnapped by his father at a young age and moved around a lot. Then suddenly he’s back home and trying to get back to normal. He has a new step dad and half sisters, his mom is being even more careful with him incase he disappears again and the girl next door is really cute. He remembers her a little but doesn’t have as many memories with her as he’d like. He’s still going through stuff and feelings about his dad and Emmy is the only one willing to listen to him. They were always meant to be something more when they grew up but can they be that again? Do they still fit together and do Drew and Caro still want to be friends with him? It all seems too much for him and then he gets a letter from his dad asking to meet him… Will Oliver go?

Caro is brilliant as the best friend and is full of life. She lets Emmy and Drew be themselves and is always there for hem when needed. It wasn’t just Emmy and Oliver who had their lives turned upside down. It was her too and she wants nothing more than to start getting to know Oliver again. She finds out about Emmy’s crush on Oliver and she freaks out when Emmy’s plans to go away for college is revealed. She’s a cool BFF and awesome to hang around.

Drew is the other BFF and has already come out as gay. Despite the fact his parents are pretending it didn’t happen and his grandmother would cut the family off if she knew. He’s the go between sometimes between Emmy and Caro but he loves their friendship. His life was also changed when Oliver was taken and it takes them a while to get back to the friendship they used to have. He’s always there for his girls and would do anything for them.

Overall this book was brilliant. It wasn’t all about a love story that never happened but could possibly happen again. It was about a town ripped apart. A family who has to learn to be a family again. A friendship group that was torn apart. Its about bringing ties together and relearning stuff about yourself and others. Its a great story and such a quick read because you can’t put it down once you start.

I’d definitely read more books by Robin Benway.

4 out of 5 stars

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