Quick review for a quick read. I loved reading “Emmy & Oliver” and consider it one of my favorite reads this year. There were many moments in the narrative where I found myself smiling at the interactions between the characters, but at the same time, it proved to be an emotional journey considering the weight of the overarching story.

The story revolves around its titular characters, taking place mainly in the present as Oliver returns home to live with his mother and half-sisters after having been abducted ten years ago by his father. Emmy is his best friend – as she was the last person to see him when his father walked away with him all those years before. It’s a steady road to coming to terms for the two of them as Oliver adjusts to life with his family and new school. Emmy has an irresistible humor and confidence (not to mention quirkiness), so it’s hard not to be drawn into the novel – though I’ll admit there were moments I really wanted to be in Oliver’s head. I think the narrative does a great job of showing their perspectives and friendship. Eventually that friendship becomes more as they spend more time with each other, and their relationship is sweet and palpable. Though they each have their respective struggles in the narrative, this was a surprisingly funny and charming story that I couldn’t put down as I went through the narrative. I genuinely liked the collective cast of characters in the novel and found myself drawn in not only by how strong the chemistry was between the cast, but also how emotional it was considering how it deals with how Oliver’s abduction – not only affecting him, but the group of people in his life, including Emmy and her family. I know this is a novel I’d want to read again, and I really enjoyed the experience. Honorable mention to Pheobe Strole for a wonderful narration of the audiobook.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.

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