Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Emmy & Oliver manages to combine the contentment of best-friends-falling-in-love with the passion of strangers-falling-in-love.  How?  By having Oliver kidnapped by his dad at age seven and returned to Emmy’s life ten years later.  It’s a little ridiculous, their lifelong love enduring through such chaos, but I loved it!

Although this is an unapologetically romantic book, I loved the psychological details revolving around Oliver’s conflicted feelings toward his dad and the overprotective reactions of Emmy’s parents.  In fact, I really liked her realistic relationship with her parents as they struggled to let her grow up.  I also loved her friendship with Caro and Drew, especially as they worked through the changes Oliver’s return makes in their relationships.

But mostly it’s a romance!  And a really good one.  Emmy and Oliver are so sweet with each other, weird and supportive and healthy in a way that YA novels often ignore.  More stories where romance begins with friendship…and continues to be a friendship, even when the kissing starts! 

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Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.  She wants to stay out late, surf at her favorite beach–go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying.  But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her go–not since the day ten years ago when her best friend, Oliver, disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure it all out.  He’d thought, all these years, that his father was the good guy.  He never knew that his dad had kidnapped him and kept him on the run.  Discovering it all at once–and returning to his old hometown–has his heart aching and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy & Oliver were going to be best friends forever.  They could have been even more, before their futures were ripped apart.  To Emmy, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed.  But is their story still meant to be?  Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles–impossible to fit together?

Release Date:  June 2015

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