Monday, 8 June 2015

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Emmy & Oliver
Publication Date: June 23rd 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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

Oh, Emmy & Oliver, I want to hug you. Literally. I wish you were real, and not just because the characters felt so real and were pretty damn awesome. But, the story of Emmy & Oliver is sadly one that we've seen more frequently over the years. A parent taking their child away. Fortunately, Oliver's story has an outcome that we only sometimes get to see, Emmy & Oliver begins with an ending.

Oliver's found.

This book handles a really tough situation that is basically a parent's nightmare, and it does it honestly and openly and shows all sides of the box that Oliver feels like he's been put in. For ten years, the life Oliver's known is with his father, not knowing the truth of what his father had done, and then to find out and getting taken away again and placed into his old life that's familiar but completely different to when he left it. Psychologically, the effect it had on Oliver himself and with how he still felt about his father, was realistic and painful. And honestly? Heartbreaking.
But, Emmy & Oliver doesn't just focus on that, it focuses on the effect it had one everyone after Oliver was taken, the community, his friends, his mother, because it's relative and horrific and everyone wants a happy ending, but not everyone get's one. And for ten long years, they never had one, and the way people had to adjust and move forward was, again, realistic. You get to see that in Emmy's parents more than anything. How strict they are, how suffocating they can be because they're scared of something happening to her.

Now, less depressing and onto the happy, because Emmy & Oliver is full of it, too, it's a perfect balance and the serious side to it never felt too much because of the humor and the way the characters acted with one another, especially the way Emmy and her parents act, it's hilarious and even though when I only started reading it and didn't even know the characters much yet, they felt familiar. Now, Caro, Drew and  Emmy (and after the adjustment period, Oliver.) I just love them, really, I do. I'm going to be saying real a lot because they just did, they acted like you would with your best friends, the silly, the weird, the way you can only act with your best friends. The kind that aren't afraid to give you a reality check, like Caro does with Emmy once the romance starts getting serious with Oliver. Speaking of the romance...smiles, happy smiles all round. It's sweet and funny, and based on friendship that grows into something more, and they help one another grow and to not move on from what happened, but to learn in a different way of living with it.

In short, Emmy & Oliver is a book that's different, and honest and real and with characters that are so memorable and realistic you'll be laughing and crying along with them and while it does take on a tough subject, it focuses on the way something like that doesn't just affect the people involved, and it focuses on building it back up.

Rating: 5/5