Book Talk: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Book Talk: Emmy & Oliver by Robin BenwayEmmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Published by HarperTeen on June 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Audrey, Wait!, Also Known As
Format: Hardcover
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”



It’s about a girl whose childhood best friend/next door neighbor/crush gets kidnapped by his dad when they are younger and 10 years later he is found and he returns to the house where his mom still lives with her new family and he’s expected to rejoin this life that he was taken from.


a4AH. Is there a name for when a book makes you so giddy and makes your heart so full but also like hurts your heart too and is kind of sad? There should be a word for that literary experience. Someone invent one!  Whatever the case, this was my experience with Emmy & Oliver!  I’m so happy I loved Robin’s latest because I’ve enjoyed her past work — Audrey, Wait! even inspired me to create a “WTF WHY IS THIS NOT MORE POPULAR” shelf on my Goodreads. Her books are hella underrated and deserve way more attention!

Emmy and Oliver was just so beautiful! It was from the perspective of Emmy who was Oliver’s childhood best friend and was the last one to see him before he was kidnapped. My heart broke imagining Oliver’s situation (would REALLY love a short story from him even though I liked the story being from Emmy’s perspective) of being kidnapped by his dad and returned 10 years later to his mother and I thought Robin captured all the complicated feelings Oliver would have so well. It was so heartbreaking as we see him have a hard time assimilating back into regular life and having these complicated feelings about his dad who he’s lived with and loved for the past 10 years. Oliver has changed. The world he left 10 years ago changed.  His truths have changed. There are so many things that just don’t fit quite right anymore and I loved watching him work through those with Emmy by his side.

Emmy and Oliver’s relationship was so just sweet and wonderful. It made my heart flutter and I loved how they worked to get to know each other again — accepting the past and learning what has happened in the past 10 years to get to know the person they are now. I could feel Oliver’s frustration and sadness also while being reconnected with Emmy and their two other best friends who have all remained best friends through that time. He feels like he just missed out on so much as much as he wants to just jump right back in.

Emmy was such a great character — she’d been sheltered a lot after Oliver’s kidnapping happened. She had these parts of her life that she kept from her parents because she knew they wouldn’t approve of because of their strictness but these things made Emmy happy and more like the real her. I loved watching her go for her dreams and she was just a delightful character all around.



factors+ feels, characters, writing, humor, swoons, aww factor
–  nothing!

Re-readability: Maybe because I blew through it and should spend more time with it haha
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one!

a5contemporary YA fans, readers looking for a pretty angst-free romance, people who want a read that will make them smile and laugh but also maybe cry or feel an avalanche of sadness

a8Emmy & Oliver was yet another delightful read from Robin Benway who I believe is a massively underrated author who you all should read if you haven’t! Within 18 pages of this book, yes I know precisely it was this number because I tweeted it, I had snort laughed and teared up and was smitten already. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and hilarious and sweet and heartachingly sad and altogether an enjoyable read. I mean, I DID accidentally devour it in 4 hours. Great balance of romance and friendship and parental relationships!

review-on-post-itEmmy & Oliver


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?



The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. OK you convinced me – just bought it. I’m on a bit of a contemporary kick right now.

    If you enjoyed this, I would recommend Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas. The development of this friendship is so beautifully written. Incidentally, this is one I would recommend in audiobook format. The structure of the novel – letter format – is perfectly suited to the audio medium and the two narrators do a wonderful job.

    • YAY! You’ll have to let me know what you think (either way!).

      Ooh that’s been on my radar (partly because the cover is so pretty!) but you have sold me especially because I am ALWAYS in need for audiobook recs so THANK YOU for that!

  2. SO HAPPY YOU LOVED THIS! I ended up finish it in one go too which rarely happens for me. I NEED to read her other stuff! This was my first Robin Benway book. Totally agree that it was heartbreaking to watch Oliver try to fit into his old life again. Fantastic review, Jamie!

    • YES SAME. I normally don’t have the time to finish books in one sitting but I had the day off and decided SCREW THE POST I WAS GUNNA WRITE I AM FINISHING” My heart just broke for Oliver. I mean, I really sat there thinking about how weird he must feel and especially because he didn’t KNOW what his dad did so he has all these conflicting feelings.

      You have to read Audrey, Wait! It’s so hilarious. Also Known As is really fun if you want something cute and mystery-like (she’s a teen spy).

  3. “AH. Is there a name for when a book makes you so giddy and makes your heart so full but also like hurts your heart too and is kind of sad? There should be a word for that literary experience.” – if only there was a word for that! It would make explaining my favorites so much easier 🙂

    The characters and emotions sound so well done! I can’t wait to start this one.

    Amazing review! 🙂

    • RIGHT? I think we should all brainstorm and collectively vote on a term we can go forward with haha

      You will have to let me know what you think when you read it, Lea!!

  4. Ah, I adored Emmy & Oliver! Both of them – Emmy and Oliver – have great individual stories, and their relationship is just wonderful to read about. I definitely enjoyed reading this one, and I’m glad you did too!

    • I think that’s what I loved so much about this one was that Emmy’s story was obviously strong but I felt like THROUGH Emmy’s eyes I really understood Oliver’s story even though we didn’t get his POV. I was equally invested in both of them.

  5. I have read so many good reviews of this book. I picked it up from the library on Friday. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

  6. Yay! I read this last week and still feel all warm and fuzzy when I think about it. I love your “a book [that] makes you so giddy and makes your heart so full but also like hurts your heart too and is kind of sad” description, because that’s exactly how I feel. I loved both Emmy and Oliver (SWOON), and I liked both of Emmy’s best friends and their friendship in general (strong and healthy but not unrealistically “perfect”). I also liked that, although the parents in the book were INFURIATING at times, they weren’t the classic “bad parents” that are seen so often in YA. Even though I didn’t agree with them, I could still see where they were coming from.

    I also completely agree that Audrey, Wait is way unappreciated. I loved that book!

    • RIGHT? Like how can a book that made my heart feel so warm and fuzzy also hurt it so much??? POOR OLIVER. I CANNOT IMAGINE. I lreally enjoyed the friendships too and I really like that you pointed out that they weren’t perfect but they were strong. I LOVED that about it. AND YES YAY PARENTS. You don’t agree with them but you can tell it comes from a place of love and wanting to protect especially after what they saw Oliver’s mom go through. My mom was definitely a strict one so I actually always really appreciate seeing those kinds of parents even though it reminds me how AWFUL it was at the time. I COULD HAVE HAD PARENTS WHO DIDN’T CARE!

      • Exactly! I would have been so frustrated with them if they were my parents, but it’s DEFINITELY better than absent parents. My parents were really strict, too, so I can never relate to the parents in YA who don’t notice anything about their kids’ lives.

  7. I feel like Robin Benway is underrated too. And Emmy & Oliver was just amazing. It’s my favorite of hers, but I still haven’t read Audrey, Wait! I need to get on that!

  8. Here’s the thing, Jamie: If you hadn’t loved this book, I was never – EVER – going to read another book you recommended to me again. But of COURSE you loved it because I loved it and you would never fail me.

    RIGHT, JAMIE?! 😉

    But I agree – I am helplessly in love with this book. I will definitely re-read it.

    • HAHAHHA your comment made me laugh so hard. We are becoming quite the book twins. I love it. ALSO I SUCK AND AM THE WORST BECAUSE YOU ASKED ME FOR A REC ON TWITTER AND I GOT REALLY BEHIND AND DIDN’T REPLY TO DAYS WORTH OF MENTIONS. WAH.

      I think this one will def be a reread when I’m in a slump and need like something to make my heart happy!

  9. I keep seeing reviews about this book. I am now convinced that I need to buy it. Great review!

  10. I just added this to my book list. As soon as I finished reading your review. I’m not sure yet if I want to buy it, but I definitely need to read it. Woo!
    I’ve gotten so many good recs from you, I’m sure I’ll love it.

  11. I loved this one! I just read it about a week ago. I had a bit of a contemporary binge and this one was one of them, and it was so good and sweet! I loved how Benway incorporated both the changes and the sameness that happens when you grow up. Like I’m sure I do some things the same as when I was seven and now I’m almost 25.

  12. I’m so happy to hear you loved this one! I’m hoping to read it really soon. I thought I was super excited about it before but I got even more excited when your review said that it was angst-free. I was expecting super-sad based on the synopsis (kidnapping) so I’m happy to hear that isn’t the case always. Yay!

  13. I NEED TO READ THIS NOW. It sounds delightful and exactly what I need at the moment. Thanks for the review!


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