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.

non-spoiler review!

This book was everything I wanted it to be. I legit finished the book like this:

If you've read the book Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, then you'll be familiar with a storyline like this. It reminded me of it a lot, but it was a lot more light-hearted. It still had it's odd moments when it was sad or dramatic, but it wasn't as extreme as Colleen's book. And by 'extreme', I mean, full of emosh moments.

We meet Emmy, who has always been close friends with her neighbor Oliver since birth, until one day at the age of 7, he is kidnapped by his father. 10 years later, he's back and the book shows us the shock around the community due to his return, and how Emmy and her friends are dealing with it. Also, how Oliver is trying to come to terms with his new life.

It's a rollercoaster of feels.

For one thing, Emmy and Oliver as friends are super adorable. They have this back and forth banter and cute relationship that is so much fun to read about, and they also have this great way of communicating! Yes, they communicate. Some books like this frustrate me, as the characters just don't talk things through, but these two actually listen to one another. Finally

This book seems to give off a realistic view about how people - young, as well as parents - deal with things when these situations occur. Oliver's struggle to get into his new life and attempt to get his thoughts unjumbled, Emmy and her friends dealing with his sudden appearance (and the fact that he's not dead), Oliver's family trying to get back to normal and getting over the traumatic experience, and the parents strict rules in fear of it happening to their own children. For a small book, quite a lot happens, and yet it's not too much to take in. There are many calm and fun moments, which was always enjoyable to read about.

There's also some surfing in this book. I'm not a surfer, never tried it, but that's always fun to read about in a book. I'll try it one day, when I get the chance. I'll still be scared of sharks though, just like Oliver

Robin Benway's storytelling just flows so easily that it's not hard to just shoot through the book, and I found that her characters were all realistic and easy to love. Her writing style is perfect for this genre, and I loved that all the characters had their own quirks and flaws. 

There were some brilliant characters, Emmy's friends were always making me smile, and the families were interesting and sometimes fun. (When it's not depressing!)
Drew, Caro and Kevin were goofy, fun and thoughtful, I've always loved 'friendship banter' in books like this, so that's always good to read.

The ending was also a wonderful way of finishing the story. I tend to find books like these always end unrealistic, and the story is just 100% focused on the coupling just...being together. However, Emmy & Oliver ends in a satisfying way and I was glad that nobody holds anyone else back, everyone is happy, and it's a likely way for things to finish in the real world. They had more than just love on their mind, but they had dreams, passions and goals. Good for them!

I do recommend that people try this one, it's not even a long book! People who aren't the biggest contemporary fans still loved this, so why not add it to your TBR and read it between series?

I loved it. 5 stars from me.


We know that not everyone is a fan of contemporaries or romance books, but this one could be enjoyed by many. If you're wanting to get into books like this, or possibly something to break up all the intense book series and long-winded stories, I'd recommend something like this. I've not read anything else by Robin Benway - I'm  not even sure if this is a debut or not - but I think I'll keep her name on my author radar.
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