Rambling about books

Book review: Emmy & Oliver, by Robin Benway

Book cover from Goodreads

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?

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 had 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. (Goodreads)

Ah to get back to reading once again, how I have missed the feeling of devouring an entire book with no thoughts of, “oh but I have to get up early tomorrow”, or “oh man, my eyes are too tired from work, I think I need to rest rather than reading. I can’t believe it took me just a day to actually finished the book. It might be because it’s pretty light, or I could finally take refuge in books because I had an anxiety attack last night.

I didn’t even realised I like this book, until I notice how conversational the book can be. It felt natural and not choppy. It almost felt like watching as oppose to reading. To be honest, I didn’t even expect to like this book, it sounded too predictable, but I thought I needed a light book to get me out of my reading slump. I’m not saying that a light book is not a good thing, sometime you can get the most out of a light book, because it’s just so simple that it resonates well with you. I wish there had been more YAs like this book. You don’t need to have an uber evil character, there’s a lot of aspects in being a young adult that an author could explore without having to have a typical bullying gone wrong as one of them. The struggle of keeping your friendship tight, of loving something you know your parents won’t approve, of choosing where to go to school; that’s problematic enough, if you ask me.

The story in this book was so simple that it became not predictable, and I like that. Sure you have the typical “oh my parents are out of town so I’m going to throw a party and my brother will bring the booze” and what have you. But ordinary predictable YA storyline would go around the theme of (1) the party went absolutely wrong because every teenage kids available in this entire story just got drunk; (2) the main characters got so drunk they just start doing or saying embarrassing things, and the reader dies from second hand embarrassment; (3) the party scene became the climatic point of the story where everything starts to unfurl into chaos, only to have it cleared up as the ending of the book. Thankfully, the book didn’t choose any of that route; the party became just a party, a filler. It was not the high point of the movie. I like the fact that all my predictions went off every time some cliche scenes pops up in the story.

Now let’s talk about the character. It’s sort of is weird for me to read a book and feel nothing for the characters. Really, I don’t hate nor like any of the characters. I feel no attachment to any of them. But that’s alright, somehow. I thought it was going to be an annoying aspect, but as I finished the book, it didn’t bother me that I felt nothing. I thought I was going to hate Emmy for sounding annoying and complaining all the time, but she didn’t bother me, because she seems cool and she seems to know what to do with her life, which I can’t speak for myself when I was her age. I thought I would fall head over heels with Oliver, being all mysterious and all, but I felt more like, meh towards the end of the book. I thought I would despise Emmy’s and Oliver’s parents, but Oliver say it best, you can’t hate your parents entirely, because they’re your parents, no matter how horrible they could be. This is where I feel like, even though I have no attachments whatsoever with the characters, I feel like some of the things they said resonates well with me, even what Emmy’s mum had said about parents wanting to keep their children close to them.

That being said, this is such an entertaining read. It’s not adventurous or gripping or anything, but once you get the hang of the story, it’s hard to put the book down. You’re just so curious as where the story will go, and what will become of the characters. Although, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really think Emmy’s storyline is a bit bland compared to Oliver’s, but I’ll let you be the judge. Give this book a go if you’re looking for something light on the surface but with substance underneath it all.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Young Adult



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