Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Page Count: 352
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I really, really loved this book. It was such a beautiful story and I enjoyed the wonderful relationships between the characters. The long term effects of Oliver's kidnapping were still being dealt with when Oliver returned home. His family and friends just wanted a happy ending, but real life isn't always that simple.
All of the characters are extremely likable. I'd even say they are lovable. Yes, definitely lovable. Childhood friends Emmy, Caro, Drew and now Oliver are together again and their friendships felt so real. I just really, really loved all of them.
Emmy is smart, caring, and makes a good sounding board and support system for Oliver. There was a small moment that I was disappointed in her behavior because she was insensitive to the feelings of Caro and Drew after she became so wrapped up in Oliver's return. I could understand her devotion to Oliver, and she ended up realizing she was hurting her longtime friendships before it was too late.
Oliver was such a great guy, and I really liked him despite how messed up he was after returning home. He was confused and carried a lot of guilt over what happened with his dad, and he also felt out of place in his childhood home. He attempted to pick up the pieces of his old life, trying so hard to be the little boy they all remembered, all while needing to move on and live in the present.
The pace of Emmy & Oliver's friendship and gradual transition to a romantic relationship was just about perfect. I liked them together so much, and I really wanted things to work out for them.
Despite the heavy subject matter, this turned out to be a really cute and sweet book. The author really managed to create a great balance between the seriousness of the kidnapping and the normal, everyday teenage stuff, so this ended up being a feel good book overall.
The first time I read the synopsis for Emmy & Oliver I added it to my Goodreads tbr because I just HAD to read it. That was on July 24, 2012. This is such a lovely book and definitely well worth the 3 year wait!