*GIVEAWAY* ARC Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway:


Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015

Goodreads Rating: 3.92 stars

Pages: 352


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”

You can buy this book on Amazon here!

You can buy this book on Barnes and Noble here!


Robin Benway:

From Robin’s website, which you can find here!

“I’m the author of “Audrey, Wait!”, “The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June”, and the AKA series. My latest book “Emmy & Oliver” will be released on June 23, 2015. I live in Los Angeles with my extremely stubborn shih tzu, Hudson. I like cooking, puppies, and coffee, but not in that order. We should be friends.”


My Review:

Honestly, I like this book. I can’t lie and say that I didn’t. I was engaged with the story and the characters and I wanted to keep reading through to the end. I wanted to know what happened… but that’s just it… I was just reading. I didn’t feel like I was involved in the story at all. I didn’t cry, I didn’t smile, I laughed once when Oliver referenced the eye lash curler as a medieval torture device (which I fully believe to be true), but there was no connection for me. I could see the reasoning behind the story, the characters, the ending, but I felt nothing. There was no book coma when I finished and I was actually just peaceful and slightly irritated that I didn’t feel a connection. I believe that it may be time for me to get back to fantasy novels, sword fights, assassins, and extreme fantastical worlds where anything can happen and characters can die in an instant. I’m blaming my disconnect on that need.

In the meantime, Here’s what I did like about Emmy & Oliver:

1. The characters and their friendship

Emmy, Oliver, Caro, and Drew were all very real characters. They had roller coasters of emotions, real life problems, and for the most part, were relatable. They’re all just teenage kids trying to live day by day in their messed up lives while figuring out how to deal with the emotions thrown at them because of an insanely unfair occurrence. Throughout this entire novel, they were constantly working on their friendship and being there for each other too. I loved that. It was wonderful and inspiring reading about true friends and people who stick together, no matter what. Was I able to truly relate with any of them? No. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t. 

2. The character development.

I did like the character development I saw with Emmy and Oliver. Both characters, after going through such an ordeal, had to learn how to become themselves again. They had to learn how to stand up for themselves, open up and share their emotions, and get along with each other and their families. That’s not easy for anyone to go through, let alone teenagers. Their situation was strange and I was happy to see that they took the unfortunate experience, learned from it, and grew. That is important. Because of this, I will say that I was never irritated with these two at all. They were extremely mature for their age (17) and i thoroughly enjoyed their ability to handle the situations they came across.

3. The slow burn.

I did enjoy the fact that Emmy and Oliver had to ease back to their 2nd grade relationship (come on now, it’s no spoiler. Their names are in title. You know they’re getting back together) and didn’t just run into each others arms like love at first sight all over again. Emmy even acknowledges that Oliver is a stranger when she first sees him again. The building back up of their friendship was the most relatable part of this book to me and I really enjoyed it. There was just something so beautiful about the way they slowly opened up to each other and found their solace in one another.


And here is what I didn’t like:

1. The disconnection of emotion.

Like I said before, I just felt like I really had no connection to the characters or their emotions. I didn’t feel pulled into the story at all. I wasn’t worried that something was going to happen to any of them and I had no fear that Emmy and Oliver would break up. I just kind of… read the book… and that so rarely happens that when I finished it, it took me a bit to realize why I kind of felt a little irritated…

2. The parents.

Gosh the parents. I understand why they are the way they are, but goodness I wanted to punch them in the face and be like, “LISTEN. I UNDERSTAND YOUR DILEMMA BUT YOU’RE BEING A HORRIBLE PARENT RIGHT NOW AND TEACHING YOUR CHILD NOTHING!” But then again… I don’t necessarily fully understand the love of a parent for their child because I don’t have one. All I know is that the way they acted towards their children irritated me beyond belief. This could all be solved if people would just listen!

Overall, I’m giving Emmy & Oliver a rating of 3.5 hearts. 


I did still like it, so I can’t find it in me to just give it three, but I was so disconnected from the book by the end of the story that I really didn’t enjoy it all that much. 


The Giveaway!

Though Emmy & Oliver wasn’t for me, I’d like to give this book a chance for someone else to love it more than I did. So, I’m giving it away! I honestly hope that whoever gets this book likes it as much as everyone else seems to! Everyone else is raving and I feel like I’m just sitting here looking suspiciously like the black sheep of the bunch. 

This giveaway is US only and you need to be 13 or older to enter. 

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!


Coming up:

Reviews, reviews, reviews GALORE!

Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

The Leveller by Julia Durango 

Paperweight by Haston

Henrietta the Dragon Slayer by Beth Barany

We are busy here at Live, Love, Read this month and it’s AWESOME! We can’t wait to give you a few more giveaways and to keep this mojo going! =)


22 thoughts on “*GIVEAWAY* ARC Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

  1. Contemporaries tend to leave me feeling this way as well. They just sort of…end. I never feel a sense of accomplishment like I do when reading fantasies!


    • The funny thing is that I absolutely ADORED The Night We Said Yes. I cried, laughed, sobbed, and was in a coma as it ended. However, I think with this book I’ve found that I can only do one contemporary at a time before I start mentally needing a fantasy. I need to keep that in mind next time and plan accordingly! Ha!


  2. THE PARENTS. They were so frustrating. Usually parents in YA annoy me because they don’t pay attention to their kids at all, but in this case, it was the opposite. And getting mad at her for getting into college!! So ridiculous. That was pretty much the only think I didn’t like about the book. (I finished it last night.) I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

    I can’t think of any long-lost childhood friends, but I wish I had an Oliver in my life! He and Emmy are adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I was ready to go up and just grab her mom and shake her and be like, “STOP TREATING HER LIKE A FIVE YEAR OLD GIRL!!!” I agree to having an Oliver in my life though. Gosh he sure is pretty dreamy in my head. 😉


  3. I think I would leave it, in my experience it usually end up just ruining the perfect memories you have of your childhood! Great review, I love contemporaries and can’t stand fantasy or sci-fi, so I guess this book is right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This book is definitely right up your alley!!! =) I understand not wanting to ruin the memories too. It happens all too often when you find someone has changed so much or that you just don’t get along anymore. All of a sudden the memories are tainted.


    • They were really mature in their relationship! I definitely don’t think I was even close to that mature in any of my high school relationships. I was surprised! It was so nice to be reading about a relationship that was, for the most part, healthy though.

      P.S. HI!!! *waves* =)


  4. If I had one, then yes.it would be awkward since we wouldn’t be the same as we were as kids but i would give it a chance.you never know how that would turn oyut.but i didn’t have one as a child so i can’t really answer.
    If we are talking,though, about schoolmates etc…no.i wouldn’t want to meet them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! You just never know. =) It’s funny how after high school, when I went to college I didn’t want to have anything to do with my high school class mates. Today, I literally have no friends from high school and I’m okay with that. I have one best friend from college and that’s about it, but when life changes, you just have to embrace it. If that takes you away from a lot of other people, you can either work to make it alright, or you can turn your back and just embrace the change if it’s taking you away form them. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you, whether others like it or not!


  5. I think I would leave it, as much as I hate to say it. It took me a long time to let go of my childhood best friend and I wouldn’t want to go through all of that again. I don’t believe a second chance with that would be best for either of us. Great question!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel the same way about my high school best friend. I’m not sure I could handle it again. So much has changed and I just don’t think we would get along at all any more. It’s a shame though sometimes, you know? Sometimes I miss her and other times I really just don’t miss the drama. I do, however, miss having a best friend by my side every day. That’s what I miss most. Lauren does a pretty good job for being six or so states away, though. =) Big kudos to my best friend/co-blogger for that one.


  6. I think it’ll be hard to reunite with someone you knew long time ago even if you’re very close to each other. I had a childhood bestfriend who happens also to be my cousin but our friendship ended due to some circumstances. When we see each other now, we just ended up smiling and waving and that’s all. It’s too awkward.
    I have my friends now and I don’t think I need more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely understand that. Things change, people change, and friends drift apart. Sometimes it just no longer clicks and you have to part as old friends and keep it that way. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it makes life easier for both of you to just move on with your lives and follow the path you need to follow for yourself. I love my current friends as well. =)


  7. Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 40 | Avid Reader

  8. Sorry the book didn’t really work for you, but thanks for the chance to win!

    I think I would leave it be. There are a few friends I would love to know what happened to, but I think things are fine how they are now.


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