Review : Emmy & Oliver, Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver is one of those books that reminds me why I fell in love with reading. This sweet contemporary story will sweep you off your feet, if you’re anything like me. Endearing story, relatable characters, and lives that feel so real you’ll be left thinking about those for a long, long time.

” Emmy and Oliver are next door neighbors, best friends, and they could have been more. They spend their childhood together, until the fateful day when Oliver’s dad came. Taking him from school, taking him away from everything he knew, kidnapping him. Between her overprotective parents, her two best friends, school and surf, Emmy tries to forget what happened. But she never got used to Oliver’s disappearance. And him suddenly coming back will turn her whole life upside down. “ If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you know how much I love a story about childhood best friends, falling in love, and everything that goes with it. Emmy & Oliver didn’t disappoint, at all. Right from reading the synopsis, I knew I was going to find what I was looking for in this story. However, I’m surprised and happy to say that I found way, way more than a simple romance.

“The more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they’re gone, and maybe it’s that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you’re near enough.”

Each and every single character in this book made me fall in love, starting with Emmy, the main character. Told from her perspective, it’s obviously important that I could relate with her, and what she was going through. Between her relationship with her parents, her best friends, her reactions from seeing Oliver again, everything seemed just, so, real. Emmy was shaped into a real teenager, becoming alive in my mind, and quickly taking a place in my heart as I got attached to her. Smart, funny, deliciously awkward in some situations. She has some flaws, but that didn’t stop me from liking her more. Emmy isn’t the only character you’ll learn to love in this story. Caroline and Drew, her best friends, were as endearing and funny as she was. It’s in the little details we find out how much the characters were developped, and I really enjoyed the thought that the author put in that. In reactions, too. Because it’s not only Emmy’s story, but her whole world. We experiment from the front row, Emmy’s reaction to Oliver’s return, and everything that follows, but we get to see the collateral damages, too. In her relationship with her parents and her best friends. It’s like seeing a movie in 3D, being completely immerged into the story. And feeling like you’ve known those characters forever.

“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.”

Family dynamics are powerful in this story, best friends relationships, too. Don’t let the synopsis fool you, this is not a simple romance. You’ll fall in love with Emmy & Oliver’s relationship,  if you’re anything like me, sure. It’s not insta-love, you can see it grow from an awkward tongue-poking first meeting, to a real affection. Families and friends aren’t left aside, at all. We understand what makes Emmy’s family act this way, and we clearly get some emotions from that, believe me. We see Oliver’s family, too, with the drama she’s been going through with Oliver’s disappearance. We meet some adorable twins in there, too. We get two new best friends to add to our imaginary best friends from young adult books board, Caroline and Drew. Both funny and relatable, both with their own issues, they are simply, great. Every character grows within the story, giving us a story about love, sure, but mostly about growing up.

If I should describe Emmy & Oliver with one word, if would be, real. This book will break your heart, and make you laugh through your tears. Go read it.

Final rating:  Drizzle and Hurricane !

(find out more about my new rating system here)

Did you read Emmy & Oliver? What did you think about it? If not, are you planning to read it? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments!

Robin Benway, Emmy & Oliver,  Published by Harper Teen, June 23rd 2015.


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.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

9 thoughts on “Review : Emmy & Oliver, Robin Benway

  1. Awesome review, as always, Marie! Even though I don’t own a copy of this yet, I’m really excited to read it. Mainly because of the best friends romance. Those are just so adorable. And I’m so relieved to hear that this one is pretty realistic and has good character development. If a contemporary is able to possess such elements it makes it so much more enjoyable in my opinion. ^.^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review Marie! Honestly this book sounds even better after reading your review. I am glad that it doesn’t simply focus on romance but on family and friendship dynamics too! And I love character development in a range of characters within a story! I’m definitely picking this book up sometime.

    xoxo, Josie’s Book Corner 💋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just wrote a review for Emmy and Oliver this morning to post later in the week. Funny!

    I LOVED this book too. I am definitely going to be reading more Robin Benway in the future. I think she handled the subject matter in this book with such a light hand. It was awesome. I want to be in Emmy’s friendship group.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I think we are connected, on some level, then, haha! I will remind myself to keep an eye out for this review then 😉
      I felt the exact same way about this story…and damn, yes, I wonder if we can apply somewhere to be in Emmy’s friendship group! If you find that out, let me know, that would be the best thing ever! 😀
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 😀


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