Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway: Review


Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy this book: Amazon (UK) / Amazon (US) / Book Depository

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 favourite 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 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 two different puzzle pieces - impossible to fit together?
Emmy & Oliver is a book that is really hard for me to review. I think I might have suffered from skyscraper syndrome when it comes to this one. I had seen far too many glowing reviews, every one praising this book and it's adorable romance, and this made my expectations skyrocket. It's not that I ended up crushingly disappointed by the story, I just didn't end up loving it anywhere near as much as I thought that I would.


This story centres around Emmy and Oliver - hence the title - and their growing relationship, after Oliver returns ten years after being kidnapped by his father. Now the story is adorable and cute, and everything that most people would be looking for. But it didn't completely work for me, and I was disappointed that I couldn't just love this as much as everyone else seems to.


My main issue with the book came down to the whole kidnap storyline with Oliver and his father. My issue wasn't that the storyline was unrealistic, it's something that happens a lot and you would frequently see similar storylines on the news. No, my issue was more with how long it took for Oliver to be found. He's living in a world with the internet, where people google absolutely everything. But he doesn't think to try and google his mother, the woman he believes abandoned him. And I also have to forgive eight-year-old Oliver for being so dumb and not questioning why, if his mother was the one who left, why he and his father were the ones moving and taking new names. I mean, maybe I am surrounded by ridiculously intelligent children, but any eight-year-old I know would question that. The obvious answer for why Oliver didn't google his mother is the fact that then we would lose a big part of the plot to this story. But still... I am bothered.

The adorable, cutesy romance aspect to the story seems to be what so many people loved about it. And, yes, it's adorable and super cute, but it felt like it was just too cute for me. It felt almost too easy for these two characters to fall back into one another after all they had been through, and the fact they were just children when Oliver left. Maybe I'm just turning into a horribly negative human being. Or that I was not in the right frame of mind for a cute, teen romance when I read this. That's probably ridiculously close to the truth, I remember being rather stressed out about other things when I was reading this particular book. I feel like maybe, if I read this when in a much better and happier frame of mind, this could be a book I love.



Emmy's family were also utterly ridiculous and frustrated the hell out of me as I as reading this. A small part of me understands them and why they are so overprotective and overbearing. But then there's a bigger, much louder part of me that's screaming at my book in utter frustration and confusion. It's not like Oliver was snatched away in the middle of the night, by some evil, murderer/paedophile. He was taken by his own father, who was afraid of losing custody and went the stupid route when coming up with a way to deal with it. I know it was hard for them to watch their friend struggle with losing their child. But I still don't understand the way it made them act toward their own daughter. They were afraid of everything and anything and were smothering their own child because of it. I felt they were utterly ridiculous and Emmy needed to grow up and take control of her own life. I honestly wouldn't have been able to handle those two as my parents, Emmy clearly has way more self control than I do. They were making Emmy live her whole life for them, which is a shitty thing to do as parents.



3/5 Butterflies


I didn't have any strong negative feelings towards this book, and it's not that I didn't like the book either. It is a very cute contemporary read, with an adorable romance that I am sure many will love. But I had read a lot of better contemporaries around the same time, and this one just didn't manage to impress me in quite the same way. I think the gushing reviews I read and my high expectations didn't help either, it made it almost impossible for this book to live up them. But I honestly would recomend it if you want a cute contemporary, you won't be disappointed.



*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

25 comments:

  1. Very well phrased review, I'm curious to find out if I'll feel the same.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very well phrased review, I'm curious to find out if I'll feel the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm curious too :) If you read and review it, let me know!

      Delete
  3. A shame you couldn't love this one as much as you hoped to. I do have a copy of it which I am hoping I can get to in enough time. I like the sound of a friendship that is reignited with his return but many people did mention the insta love so I am sort of expecting it. But the points about the kidnapping? That might bother me a smidge as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I was sad I didn't love it as much as it did others. The point of the kidnapping was that he had a drinking problem and was worried he was going to lose custody of his child.

      Delete
  4. Sorry this disappointed you. There is nothing worse than being excited about a read and then just finding it to me meh. Great honest review though and hopefully your next read will blow you away. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't as amazing as I would have hoped.

      Delete
  5. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this, I hate it when I have high expectations for a book and then it's not as good as I thought it would be. I will still be reading this because I like cute romances - I hope I won't be disappointed! Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. I didn't hate it but I didn't really love it either. It just wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

      Delete
  6. I haven't read this yet but I do see your point in the whole kidnapping thing - with how long it took for them to find Oliver. That does seem a bit realistic. Great review, though! I can't wait to read this and see for myself :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you do read it. I think I just went in with ridiculously high expectations.

      Delete
  7. Ooh, I'M NERVOUS. XD I do want to read this one, but I'm not the world's biggest fan of cute fluffy contemporaries unless they have addictive character and a logical plot line. But I'll definitely still read it and see. Just loooower my expectations a little. xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very cute, but there were small things that bothered me. I just wish my expectations had been lower going in, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

      Delete
  8. Hmm...I think I may have to give this one a try. I've never had high expectations for this one (despite the hype, I've never been that excited to read it), so I would probably be pleasantly surprised. Plus, I usually like cute contemporaries! Great review. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you are surprised by it. It's a very cute and easy read :)

      Delete
  9. Oh boo. There's nothing worse than a disappointing book! I've heard a lot about this one and with every review I read, I change my mind whether it looks good or not.

    Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't a terrible book, but I was just a little disappointed by it as the reviews I'd seen had given me really high expectations.

      Delete
  10. Hi - 3 is not a bad review. I know how it is when a book has been hyped up. It makes our expectations that much higher. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved this one, but I do understand about expectations. That can definitely affect how much I like a book. ~Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, sometimes the book just can't live up to them :)

      Delete
  12. I definitely have this higher on my TBR because it sounds adorable and pretty much all I've this year has been NA, romance and YA contemps. So hopefully this one will eventually do the trick for me. But I'm not in a rush to read it. I also feel like YA contemps are getting hard to like because of the family aspect. Like how hard is to write in a good supportive family/parents? They are sooooo hard to come by. Great review!
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I wish more of them contained families that actually love and support one another. This wasn't a terrible book, it just didn't overly impress me.

      Delete
  13. I liked Emmy & Oliver but I didn't love it. I don't know if it's because of the glowing reviews. I think it's a good book, but to me it kind of felt like it's missing something that I wanted, but I can't figure out what that is.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I feel the same. I'm not completely sure why it didn't work for me either, it just didn't blow me away.

      Delete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it always makes my day! Because of time restraints, this is now an award free zone but thanks so much for considering me! Feel free to leave a link to your own blog and I will come visit.