Monday, May 9, 2016

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

I loved this book!  Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's talk about it some.

I picked up Emmy & Oliver because of a staff pick at my local bookstore, Powell's.  I have to admit to being a blatant user of Powell's.  I love them.  I love the local branch on Hawthorne.  I love the huge downtown store.  I rarely buy anything from them, though.  I would if I were a book buyer.  It's not like a browse there and then buy elsewhere.  No, I browse there and then get it from the library.  This is for two primary reasons.  1)  I'm cheap.  2)  I try not to collect things, even books.    Still, I love Powell's.  Go there and buy from them.  You can do it online, even.

Anyway, back to Emmy & Oliver.  The staffer who picked this book said in their blurb that it was a read-alike for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Fangirl is one of my favorite books.  I've read it three times.  I don't do a lot of rereading, so this is saying something.  So, when I read "read-alike for Fangirl," I had to give it a go and I'm very glad I did.

Emmy & Oliver is the story of Emmy who's best friend and next door neighbor, Oliver, is kidnapped by his dad when they are 7 years old.  When they're 17, Oliver comes home.  The story focuses mostly on what's happening at 17, but is also a lot about what happened to both of them during the intervening 10 years.

Like Fangirl, there is a romance, but, also like Fangirl, it's not the whole of the story and doesn't follow the traditional "meet and hate, get together, misunderstanding, big reconciliation" meme.  Whew.  Also like Fangirl, there is some great wit and laugh out loud moments.  I did think the wit was more blatant in Emmy & Oliver whereas in Fangirl, it was often more subdued (which I like), but it was really fun and I greatly appreciated Emmy's brand of humor.

All that said, it wasn't a perfect read for me.  I didn't love the bit at the end.  Throughout the book, we have occasional flashbacks to young childhood memories.  Those were mostly fine, but the book ends with one that I didn't like.  I think it would have been a stronger book if it had just ended with the chapter previous to this short flashback.

Perfection aside, I really did love this book.  It's a quick read at 340 pages and feels faster because it's so good.  Go read it!

1 comment:

  1. I do have this book on reserve at the library.