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
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

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”

 

A1

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.

a2OMG DID I REALLY JUST READ THAT IN 4 HOURS? I DIDN’T MEAN TO. OOPS. OH WELL. SO GOOD.

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.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

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

Also Known As by Robin Benway | Book Review

13132661Book Title/Author: Also Known As by Robin Benway
Publisher/Year
: Bloomsbury – February 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary (with a mystery/spy twist)
Series: Unknown for now. I’ve heard that it is.
Other Books From Author: Audrey, Wait! and The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this as an egalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

Since Maggie has been a young girl she’s been cracking the codes to safes and picking locks as she apparently inherited the spy gene from her parents who are international spies taking down serious baddies around the world. She’s never stayed in one place for too long and has never gotten a chance to be with her peers but her latest mission sends her into the trenches of high school for her most important mission yet — a mission that relies solely on her. She must act the part of a high school student of a fancy private school in New York City while trying to get close to Jesse Oliver — the cute boy who will get her the information she needs from his dad. She must maintain her cover while navigating the foreign world of high school — meeting friends, handling classes and talking to guys — as she realizes that it’s not as easy to look at people as “just a job” when it gets personal.

 Also Known As was my latest gym read. This was a problem. Why you ask? Because pretty much the whole time I had a stupid grin on my face while reading it. Will confirmed this one day when he asked me if the book I was reading was funny because every time he looks at me I’m smirking. Also Known As, like Robin Benway’s novel Audrey, Wait!, made me smile a lot because of the snappy dialogue and a loveable cast of characters (also: the adorable romance). It was impossible for me not to smirk with this wildly entertaining teen spy story. Truly though it was a fun read whilst on the elliptical because it was incredibly fun and easy to get into — I swear I heard James Bond music in my head during some parts.

This is my first teen spy novel I’ve ever read and it was a beyond fun plot — a teenage spy has to go undercover in high school (somewhere she’s never been with her undercover, on the road life style) and integrate and hone in on her subject that she needs to get closer. That subject just happens to be a cute boy. You know the sorts of shenanigans that are bound to happen with that sort of plot and Also Known As didn’t disappoint with Maggie’s thrilling yet fun mission full of mishaps and danger. It definitely had more of a light, fun feel rather than a dangerous feel but you always knew the stakes were high for Maggie and her family.Definitely an older Spy Kids kind of feel but better!

I loved Maggie’s badassness throughout the novel but loved the way she had to assimilate into high school — a completely foreign world to her in contrast to her safe-cracking and lock-picking in cities around the world and bringing down serious baddies of the world. Before in her missions she didn’t feel any sort of human connection — she was in and she was out. With this big mission, not only was it hard to get down the whole high school thing, but she had to get to know her subject firsthand and I really loved her struggle with getting to know these people and still treating them as just a mission. You could really feel how conflicted she was as she juggled the lies and the feelings and the expectations of her parents and their bosses.

As much as you’d think this would be a fast, breakneck plot-based novel (I mean, a crimesolving teen spy), it was really driven very much by Maggie and the fabulous cast of characters. The friendship between Maggie and Roux was refreshing and Roux made the best sidekick ever. Maggie and Jesse’s complicated relationship was engaging and delightful even though you know it’s going to get messy when Jesse becomes a real person to Maggie and not just a subject. Jesse is incredibly sweet and a refreshing and, if you love the nice guys in YA, you are going to fall head over heels for Jesse. I also really loved the adults in the novel — Maggie’s parents and Angelo. I loved that it was a family affair and that their family had to learn to adjust to Maggie being a “normal” high school student for this mission.

Like Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!, Also Known was completely charming and fun as we watch a young spy’s transition to being a high school student for her latest mission while trying to crack the case by getting to the subject’s cute teenage son. It was a fun, crimesolving romp through high school and the city streets of the Big Apple but the shining star is Maggie and her growth and the delightful cast of characters involved. COULD NOT STOP SMIRKING while reading it on the elliptical because of the snappy dialogue, the grin-inducing situations and an adorably complicated romance. I mean, she’s a SPY and he’s the target. You know it’s going to get messy. I really enjoyed this one though I still think Audrey, Wait! is my favorite of the two I’ve read from her.

For Fans Of: teenage spy stories, snappy dialogue, a good balance of a crime-solving plot and character development, Spy Kids if they were a bit older, Veronica Mars (ok not SO like it bc nothing could ever be VMars but sort of with the witty nature and the balance of high school life and her detective life)

 You May Also Like:   The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, The Heist Society series by Ally Carter, The Squad series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

 

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  How did you feel about it? How awesome was Roux?? I think she is a new favorite secondary character. Have you read any other really good spy stories? Do you also think it could be a fun movie?

three-half-stars

Review: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Book Title/Author: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Publisher/Year
: Razorbill 2008
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No.
Other Books From Author: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June, Also Known As (Out February 2013)

Amazon| Goodreads | Robin Benway’s Website

 

 

 

Ever wondered what it felt like to be Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriends? Probably something like this but I would have to say Audrey’s experience is much worse after her boyfriend Evan writes a song about their breakup and out of nowhere becomes an instant hit. Audrey’s world completely changes as she’s suddenly finding herself catapulted into the limelight as the band’s “muse.” At first the attention has it perks but slowly Audrey finds herself stalked by fans and paparazzi, talked about online and suddenly not even able to live her daily life.

This book has inspired me to create a shelf on Goodreads entitled “WTF! Why Is This Not More Popular?” Seriously. This book is FABULOUS and I can’t comprehend why I haven’t heard about it more! I mean, I know it’s “older” and could get lost in the new book shuffle but I’m not understanding why people aren’t still raving and recommending it. IT IS SO GOOD. I was 20 pages into this book and was in major giggle-inducing, palm-sweating, OMG insta-luuuuurve with it. It made me laugh and it was just such addicting fun! I mean, you have to just laugh at some of the situations Audrey finds herself in.

I loved Audrey and her witty demeanor. She’s super fun and somebody I totally would be friends with PLUS love how obsessed she is with music. She reminded me a lot of Jessica Darling if that’s telling you anything but honestly a little bit less angsty (and I say that with love because JD + me = besties for life). I love how Audrey deals with most of the things dealt at her, though like Victoria, I kind of wanted her to embrace more of the perks but I SO could understand why she was feeling the way she was. I can’t imagine some of the things she went through and totally understood where she was it. She didn’t ask for the fame. I just loved Audrey! Definitely a new favorite character!

The characters were just completely endearing and realistic and there were SO many characters that I just loved for various reasons — even small characters like Tizzy and the secretary at school. The writing was very fun and I seriously a transcript of my brain sometimes with the things Audrey thought and said.  The writing was definitely very reminiscent of the style of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series in that we were in Audrey’s brain and it was that fun, snarky (but not mean) vibe that makes you fall in love with Jessica Darling. Audrey is just as endearing and wonderful and it’s hard not to just fall in love with her! AND JAMES. I LOVE JAMES. Some really cute & swoony moments between them.

 

Valid yet vagrant thoughts:

1. Some AMAZING songs featured at the beginning of new chapters — Belle & Sebastian, The Smiths, Death Cab, Valencia, The Decemberists.. I could go on.
2. Audrey says amazing words that I use in my daily life like frolic, brouhaha and “what the f*uck ever.
3. YAY FOR PARENTS in the picture!!
4. Warning for younger readers and those who don’t like cussing — swears abound in this book. Just warning you.

This was absolutely one of the most fun romps I’ve had in contemporary YA since I first read Sloppy Firsts. I fell in love with Audrey and all the rest of the characters (minus Sharon – ew!). It was LOL-inducing and I just couldn’t stop reading to find out what more crazy shenanigans Audrey was going to have to endure with her newfound fame. If you are looking for a TRULY fun and happy read with a hilarious plot and some swoony moments, then I’d definitely pick this up. I know many of you are Jessica Darling fans so I’d highly recommend this one as I think Audrey and Jessica are each other’s spirit animals. LOVED LOVED LOVED. It was definitely what I needed after reading so many heavy issue books lately.

 

You May Also Like: The Jessica Darling series, The Ruby Oliver series & The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? What did you think if you have read it? How would you have dealt with the sudden fame? Would you have enjoyed the fruits of your sudden fame or felt similar to how Audrey did later on? Any suggestions for super fun books similar to this??

four-half-stars
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