Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

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Lost. Love. Here. Listen. Found.

Emmy & Oliver were supposed to be best friends forever; they were partners-in-crime, neighbors, and classmates. Then all at once Oliver is gone, stolen after school by his dad. Emmy’s 8-year-old life becomes a life of questions unanswered and tear stained pillow cases. She grows up under the shadow of something she doesn’t understand and her parents’ squeezing fear of losing her as well.

10 years later Oliver comes home. Emmy remembers every laugh, every promise, and every secret whispered between their second grade ears, but Emmy is now a flicker of a memory to Oliver. The man who ripped Emmy’s life apart is the man who is Oliver’s hero. Oliver has to figure out his heart and separate the truth from the lies.

This is the story of two people trying to see if they can find each other again.

What I Loved

I was surprised by this book. It was on sale for $1.99 as an eBook, so I thought “Why the heck not?” This isn’t the story I thought it was going to be. It is a coming-of-age story, or learning to let go, figuring out who you are without your friends and family.

I liked how there was literally nothing special about Emmy- no special skills or talents or powers. Just a small town girl wondering how to carry on.

Okay, Okay last thing. I am that person who has a vivid memory of every friendship I have ever had and I feel I disappear is most people’s memories. I could understand Emmy’s pain when she realized that Oliver didn’t remember her, it was a bonding moment for me. Okay, that is all.

Why I Recommend

This book is an easy, fast-paced read. It is calm, but it’s not light.

Benway carries Emmy’s relationships so that we care about every character, and none go untouched. Benway doesn’t only show how Emmy’s life is reeling from that day, but Oliver’s mom and her own parents. You get a glimpse of the love that parents have for their children and the ripping pain of one being taken away. It’s special because the teens reading this book get a new perspective of the reasons why their parents do what they do. Most kid-directed content shines a bad light on parents, it’s refreshing to read a book that peeks into their love.

Favorite Quotes

“Sometimes I think that all superstitions-crossing your fingers, not stepping on cracks, shrines like the one in Oliver’s room- come from wanting something too much.”

“An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you’re shaking.”

“That’s when I first learned about true frustration, that wrenching ache when the thing that matters most to you barely makes a ripple in other people’s lives.”

“The world continues to spin even when we want it to stop, I thought, especially then.”

“There wasn’t anything to say. Sometimes there just aren’t enough words to fill the cracks in your heart.”

“Well, that’s growing up, isn’t it?” my dad said. “You don’t always have to know. And things aren’t always fair. You just have to keep moving forward. A step in one direction.”

Bookshelf or Borrowing?

Bookshelf 100%

Not only is this book gorgeous, but it is a story I want to read and re-read. I want to pass it on to my friends and have everyone read it, but know that there is a space on my shelf for it to come home… like Oliver.

Too far? Probably.

The Fun Stuff

Goodreads

Author Website

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