Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review: Emmy & Oliver

Imagine you're in second grade.  It's a Friday and everyone is anxious for the weekend, passing notes and generally not paying attention.  Your best friend gets in the car with his dad after school...and never comes back.

Emmy and Oliver were neighbors and best friends, practically from birth.  Oliver's parents were in the middle of a nasty divorce when his father picked him up for a long weekend, but never returned.  Police called for searches, news reporters were on the lawn, and Oliver's mother pledged to never stop looking for her son.

Ten years later, Emmy and her family are still next door, and Oliver's mother is still looking, although media coverage has waned.  But suddenly, Oliver has been found.  He is coming home! Where has he been? Where is his father? How will he fit in with his family, which has expanded while he was missing?  How will he reconnect with his friends and at school, after being the center of an extended media frenzy?

Emmy & Oliver, by Robin Benway, is literally a "coming home" story.  Oliver is remarkably well-adjusted after ten years missing, but still has a lot of issues to work through.  The book is a quick read, fairly light-hearted considering the subject, and focuses on family relationships, friendships, and romance.  If you have readers who enjoy heavier subjects with a light-hearted touch--think Sarah Dessen and John Green--I would highly recommend Emmy & Oliver.