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.
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will devour 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.
Buy it – Amazon
This book was a mess.
My interests have changed.
When I read this (a few months ago) I picked up a copy of Robin Benway’s newest book, Far from the Tree, and almost didn’t read it because I hated Emmy & Oliver so much! But I did, and wow it was a shining example of improving as an author. I’ll post a review for that book next week.
My largest issue with Emmy & Oliver was the main character.
This was a case where, the narrators should have been switched. This story would have been amazing from Oliver’s POV. Actually, this story would have been amazing from just about anyone’s POV, but Emmy’s. Either of her two way more interesting friends would have been a much more beneficial voice.
Emmy was a horrible person. From the first page, she was making literally everything about herself. Oliver was kidnapped and missing for over ten years, and randomly showed up one day. Was Emmy excited?
She spent time worrying if he would remember her, and wondering if he remembered her second grade crush on him.
There’s this new show out called Love After Lockup. It chronicles the lives of couples who met while one spouse was in jail. Their partner are released and pushed into these relationships. Here’s one of my problems with the show: how can you expect someone who was in jail for so long to instantly be your perfect partner? how can you excuse that trauma, and focus on your own needs? Why would you marry someone that you’ve never met outside of jail?
I say all that because…when told that it may be best to let Oliver chill out and adjust to this new life he’s been thrust into, Emmy was pissed! HOW DARE adults and professionals tell Emmy how to address HER friend that SHE hasn’t seen in ten years?
ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. – Emmy
She refused to understand the scope of the situation, and forced him into a relationship with her. Only to realize that…her parents and the professionals were correct. He was not ready to enter a relationship.
I’m not going to pass her behavior off like I do with other books, and insist that everything is fine because she is a teen. And teens make mistakes. I know plenty of teens, and they aren’t this horrible. They do not lack empathy (most).
Also, the surfboarding thing. Emmy surfboards behind her parent’s backs. This plot device was created to make Emmy seem more likable, and form her into a more relatable character. Oh, my parents are so over protective! I have to sneak out to live my life! For me, it didn’t work. the surfboarding didn’t make her endearing, or work as a way of characterizing her. Everyone in this story, besides Emmy, changed whether small or large. Emmy remained self-righteous and she was ALWAYS in the right.
How did her parents NOT ask her about the sand that had to be everywhere? Emmy constantly went surfing, and had her own truck that she stored all of her surfing gear in. She talks about the sand a few times, but her parents never noticed it in the years she’d been surfing?
And WHY was she hiding her college acceptance from her parents for so long? Her parents were terrified of Emmy leaving suburbia, and going off to a college in Southern California. She got accepted into a school, and didn’t tell her parents. Her plan was to just…go to school in August. Who was going to pay those fees? I mentioned this in my review of Love, Hate, and Other Filters. College isn’t free, and parents have to pay. I think it’s so odd when that’s NEVER mentioned in YA.
Two stars because I loved the premise itself, and Oliver’s character was so well done and realistically written. I really wish I could have read more into his mind.
Plot – 1 Star
Setting – 0. Just the suburbs.
Characters – .25Star
Diversity – .25 (Could have been more diverse. I think it had an all white cast? Not sure what Emmy’s best friend was.)