Tag: Robin Benway

Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Posted June 26, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

emmy oliver
Rowena’s review of Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway.

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.

I read this book in one sitting.

I enjoyed it so much that I just kept right on reading until I was finished with the book and it was 2 in the morning. There was so much to love that if it wasn’t 2 in the morning, I probably would have read it again.

When I picked this book up for review, I thought that for sure we’d get a cute contemporary YA and while the romance in this was cute and sweet, this book was about so much more than Emmy & Oliver as a couple. This book was about new beginnings, growing up and learning that things aren’t always what they seem.

Emmy and Oliver were best friends as kids, up until Oliver was kidnapped by his father at age 7. Ten years later, Oliver is back and things are different. They’re both all grown up and not at all the same people that they were ten years ago but whereas Emmy grew up in a community that was shaken by Oliver’s disappearance, thereby cementing him in her brain, Oliver grew up having forgotten a huge chunk of the people from his past – Emmy included.

Emmy wants to be there for Oliver because she knows that he’s got to be going through some heavy stuff right now. I mean he found out that the father he’s known all these years and was there for him through the good and the bad things lied to him and kidnapped him. Took him away from the life that he had with his mother. Emmy starts offering Oliver a listening ear and seeing Oliver open up to her as the story progresses just broke my heart.

Oliver says something to Emmy that really sums up what he was feeling being back in his old home, with a new family.

He says,

“Coming home is like being kidnapped all over again,”

I teared up when he said that because I couldn’t imagine going through what he went through in this book. He’s back with his mother and the things that his father told him about his mother when he was little and they first disappeared were hard for him to forget because he grew up being mad at his Mom. Was it his fault? No. But how do you hate your kidnapper when he’s your father? You had a good life with him and to find out that the man that was your best friend growing up, took you way from your mother? Holy cow.

It’s especially hard when Oliver’s father is on the run and your mother wants him to pay for everything he’s done. Should he pay for his crimes? Of course but at the end of the day, he’s still Oliver’s father…and it was a hard place for Oliver to be. Stuck in the middle of his parents.

I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the characters, the story itself and the writing. I thought Benway did a fantastic job of telling Oliver’s story through Emmy because Emmy was pretty awesome. I freaking loved her. The loyalty she showed toward her friends, the good daughter she tried to be for her parents even with all of the lying she did to them. I just enjoyed her characters so much. I loved that she was able to be there for Oliver the way that he needed her to be. I loved that she knew what was right and what was wrong but was able to put her opinions aside to help her loved ones.

There were times when Emmy would drive me crazy with her lies to her parents but I couldn’t even be mad at her because without the lies, she wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Her parents leash had gotten incredibly tight since Oliver’s kidnapping and I loved when she finally had the talk with them. Oliver’s disappearance affected so many people and it was felt by everyone in their community. I really liked that Robin Benway touched on the way it hurt and changed everyone, not just Oliver and not just Emmy.

This book was a good read and I feel like this book will be one that I return to over and over again. It was well written and eye opening. An overall great read.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Teen. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Posted March 12, 2013 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Rowena’s review of Also Known As by Robin Benway.

Main Character: Maggie Silver
Love Interest: Jesse Oliver
Series: ??
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She’ll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school’s security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

This was such a fun book.  A book that I was glad that I requested and glad that I read because I thought it was so cute.  Maggie is a 16 year old spy who moves from city to city cracking safes for the Collective.  The Collective is a spy agency that sends its agents out to fight the good fight.  To keep people safe and to make sure that the bad guys are put away.  Maggie’s next assignment takes her to New York City where Armand Oliver is getting ready to print a story about the Collective.  This story will name names and put Maggie and everyone she holds dear in danger so her assignment is to get close to Armand’s son, gain access to their home and crack his safe and take any evidence that she could find.  She also has to find out who the mole is from inside the Collective because Armand is definitely getting his information from somewhere…

So Maggie is enrolled in the same school that Jesse goes to and she gets to work.  She makes a friend named Roux, who is a girl the school outcast and let me tell you, Roux was the best thing that ever happened to Maggie.  To say that I adored Roux is putting it lightly because I absolutely, completely adored her.  Every drunken, heartfelt and crazy adventure that these two had made this book just that much more entertaining.

The main character Maggie had a really engaging voice.  She made it easy to follow along with the story and I really liked how smart she was and how confident she was in her talents with the Collective.  Even when she’s a fish out of water with the whole going to school for the first time with people her own age and having to blend in, she was great.

I really liked the way that Robin Benway wrote this story. It was light, it was funny and it was easy to read.  The story was great, the characters were charming and I definitely recommend this book.  This book would have gotten an A but there were a few things that bugged me about the way that Maggie talked to her parents, the way that she seemed to scream all the time and there were times in the beginning when the story read slow but as soon as it picked up, I forgave everything else.  It was an overall, great read.

…and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Bloomsbury. This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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