Emmy and Oliver

Emmy and Oliver
by Robin Benway

This was a really sweet story about friendship, lose, new beginnings and challenges. In the story Emmy's next door neighbor and best friend is kidnapped by his dad when they are in 2nd grade. Fast forward 10 years to their senior year of high school, Oliver is found and returns home to be with his mom, who still lives next door to Emmy.

I thought this book did a great job of dealing with all the emotions that teenagers face as they grow up into adult hood. I thought the author did an especially good job dealing with the emotions and challenges someone would face finding out their dad had kidnapped them and lied for 10 years. The characters felt real and believable, which doesn't always hold true in teen fiction. I liked all the characters and enjoyed reading about their lives as they dealt with this new twist.

I do wish that some of the book had been written from Oliver's perspective. This would have been a good book to see things from both Emmy and Oliver's point of view. He went through so much and I was most curious about how he was dealing with all the emotions of finding out his mom hadn't left him all those years ago. That the person who raised him and cared for him all those years had been the criminal. I think that would be a hard thing to wrap your brain around. I do think that even though it was written from Emmy's perspective, the author was able to deal with those issues in a satisfying way.

I guess my one complaint about this book, as it is with many of the young adult genre, is that there was drinking, mention of drugs (marijuana, in this case) and some references to sex. Now I know many teenagers deal with these issues. That it is a normal part of life but I kind of don't like how every teen novel makes them seem like perfectly acceptable things to be doing. Call me old fashioned.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this story. It was a good read that kept my interest through out and a very unique story line.