Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What happens when your best friend from childhood finally returns ten years after he'd been kidnapped by his dad? Can you pick the friendship back up, where you left off? So many things have changed, not to mention that you are teenagers, now.
I adored Emmy & Oliver. We've all seen the missing children pictures, and the television shows that help keep the children in our minds. Emmy is Oliver's best friend at seven years-old, and the one left behind when Oliver's father doesn't bring him back after a three day weekend. For the next ten years Emmy's life is shaped by Oliver's disappearance. She becomes the good child, the one who always does what is expected of her, pleases her parents, doesn't rock the boat, goes to be every night at 9 pm, even when she is 17! She takes a lot in stride, understanding of her parents need to protect, her. Yet, cracks are starting to form, she lies about her activities; she's learned to surf, but never told them about it. She's applied to a college two hours away, when Mom has made plans for her to live at home and go to community college for the next two years.
When Oliver comes back, it's hard on everyone. He's not the same little boy who vanished, but he and Emmy resume their friendship, tentatively at first, but then it clicks. He's able to talk to her, and her to him. I liked seeing how torn Oliver was about his dad, he loved him. Things aren't always black and white even when there is a clear right and wrong. I liked that there was fallout from Oliver's return, it felt real and not TV movie "happily ever after."
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