Mundie Moms

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

EMMY & OLIVER by Robin Benway / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

By: Robin Benway
Published by: Harper Teen
Released On: 6.23.15 - TODAY
Source: arc/book to review from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 5 stars - I Loved It
Purchase From: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | The Book Depository
Add it to 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.

Dear Robin Benway,

THANK YOU for giving me a story I loved! I mean like loved, loved, loved. I must admit, I'm what I'd call a contemporary book snob. I have a hard time really falling in love with a good YA contemporary book, and often times don't read contemporary books because of that. When it comes to contemporaries, I feel like too many elements are missing for me to really love the book. But with EMMY & OLIVER, that was not the case. THIS is how you write a contemporary story. In fact, your book will be gracing my favorite contemporaries shelf. 

I love it when I sit down to read a book, and immediately find myself so engrossed with the story, the characters, and everything the story offers me. You created a storyline that was believable, and characters that not only felt real to me, but were characters I genuinely cared about. I emotionally connected to them, and their stories. I loved these characters. All of them. Okay, except one, though I liked that Oliver's dad ended up owning up for what he did. 

You took a story that had a such a delicate topic, and wrote something that was powerful.You made me feel like I was apart of watching Emmy and Oliver when they were young and innocent, and had me longing for them to be together during the years they were apart. You made me feel as though I was watching two people learn how to accept their new lives, and get a second chance at being together, when they were reunited. Though their story is much more complex than how I'm making it sound, you did such a lovely job at allowing Emmy and Oliver to just be. You allowed them to set the pace to their own story, and it was beautifully done. In doing so, I saw them get to know who they are now, and in the process fall in love. 

I love that this story is one that not only included a wonderful bond between Emmy and Oliver, but their friends, and families as well. They all have a history together. With the support of their families and friends, Emmy and Oliver become these strong, and courageous characters they were. I loved that you created characters, both the adults and teens, that weren't perfect. Their flaws made them relatable. I loved seeing the characters grow, and evolve into the characters they became by the end of the book. They owned their choices, and admitted their faults. In the process, they became more than just characters on a page. i related to the parents, just as much as i related to the teens. I love that this story has tight family units, which is something that sadly lacks in a lot of YA contemporary reads. 

There is so much I want to say about this book, but for the sake of spoilers, I won't say much, other than THANK YOU for writing an unforgettable story that was beautiful paced, brilliantly written, and emotionally charged. Thank you for making me long for more, even though I was more than happy with the way Emmy & Oliver's story ended. You wrote a love story that I have placed on a book shelf that sits next to some of my other favorites written by fellow YA authors Stephanie Perkins, Emery Lord, Jennifer E. Smith, and more.

EMMY & OLIVER is everything I love about a YA contemporary book and then some. You gave me unforgettable characters, a sweet, heartbreakingly beautiful love story, and a friendship that pulled at my heartstrings. Your book is one I loved from the beginning to end, and everything in between. Emmy & Oliver is a book that will definitely be at the top of my favorite reads list for 2015.

* I would definitely recommend this book! It's a great Summer Read. There is some mild language and a few uses of the f-word. This is also a story about a father who kidnapped his son, and now 10 years later, the son has to re-adjust to being back at home. The way Robin wrote this story is beautifully told, which sounds odd to say given what the story is apart, but also so much more than that. It's about finding yourself, rediscovering who you are, falling in love, friendship, family, redemption, and forgiveness. 

About Robin Benway

I'm the author of "Audrey, Wait!", "The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June", and the AKA series. My new book "Emmy & Oliver" will be released on June 23, 2015. I live in Los Angeles with my extremely stubborn shih tzu, Hudson. I've gotten a lot better at cooking. I still love coffee. We should be friends.

Also, I never use this Goodreads account, so if you'd like to contact me, feel free to find more info at my website!

Links to Robin:

2 upcoming fall ARCs from HarperCollins:
Galley of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson
Galley of WHAT WE SAW by Aaron Hartzler
*US Only*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
6/22 - The Midnight Garden (Guest Post)
6/23 - Mundie Moms (Review)
6/24 - Reading Teen (Guest Post - Letter from Oliver to Emmy)
6/25 - Addicted 2 Novels (Review)
6/26 - Andi's ABC's (ABC Post)

Week 2:
6/29 - Stuck In Books (Review)
6/30 - Swoony Boys Podcast (Character Interview)
7/1 - Step Into Fiction (Review)
7/2 - Supernatural Snark (Q&A)
7/3 - Fiction Fare (Review)

OUT TODAY: New YA Releases for 6/23/15

Looking for some new Summer Reads? Check out today's new releases! They're out on bookstore shelves TODAY, and perfect to pick up when you hit the road (pick up the audiobooks if you're driving), or if you're on your way to the pool, beach, or lake house. They're also great for hiding out indoors where the AC will keep you nice and cool.

Happy Book Birthday to the following releases!


Week of June 23rd

  • A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes, on sale 6.23.15 from Razorbill
  • Tangled Webs by Lee Bross, on sale 6.23.15 from Disney Hyperion
  • Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway, on sale 6.23.15 from Harper Teen
  • The Leveler by Julia Durango, on sale 6.23.15 from Harper Teen
  • The Rules by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie, on sale 6.23.15 from Delacorte Books 

  • Which new releases are you planning on picking up to read?