Audiobook Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

Title: Emmy & Oliver
Author: Robin Benway
Narrator: Phoebe Strole
Story rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Audio rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 3 of 5 Stars


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.


It seems like everyone love this book. I’m a black sheep here, but it was just an ok read for me.

I couldn’t connect with the characters and was strangely detached from the story. I wanted emotions because of Oliver’s situation, but I didn’t feel much. Oliver’s relationship with his mom and her new family, his struggles to come in terms with kidnapping didn’t hold my attention, as I said before I wanted emotions.

Despite the title and cute cover Emmy & Oliver is not only romance. It actually centers more on friendship and family. Romance took back seat, and unfortunately it didn’t work for me either. There wasn’t chemistry between Oliver and Emmy, I saw them as friends, not as a couple. But I loved Emmy’s relationship with her friends Drew and Caro. This trio won my heart.

Emmy’s relationship with her parents was a very interesting aspect of the book. After Oliver had been kidnapped they became overprotective. So much so that Emmy feels like she is suffocating. So she lies to them.

Something that happened to another family can have such a profound impact on our life. I have my story to share. When I was a kid the daughter of my mother’s friend and colleague wasn’t careful riding a bike. She was hit by a car and died. After that my parents never bought a bike for me or my brother. Their fear was so strong. I learned how to ride a bike with the help of my husband when I was 25 years old. Was my parents’ reaction too much? Probably. Was it understandable? Definitely.

I couldn’t imagine myself in the place of Emmy’s parents. I don’t know what I would do in such situation. I do feel very protective toward my kids. But there is difference between being protective and being overprotective. It’s unfair to make your kids to pay for your fears. Parents should let their children to live fully, to make their own mistakes. I’m grateful that Robin Benway made me reflect about this.

My thoughts about the audio:

Phoebe Strole is a new to me narrator. I wasn’t blown away by her performance, but she’s done decent work here, and her voice was age-appropriate.

All in all while this book was thought-provoking in several aspects, it didn’t have much of an impact on me. Unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations.

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10 Comments on “Audiobook Review: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

  1. I can definitely understand why you didn’t love this one. I remember the voice of Emmy and Oliver to both seem rather distant so it makes sense to me that, combined with the hype of this novel, this wouldn’t make it to the top of your lists. I read an ARC and I think that going into it with no expectation really helped me to fall in love with it. Wonderful review, Ksenia!

    • Hype definitely lessened my enjoyment of several books. Lately I find myself putting aside hyped books and reading old releases. Thanks for stopping by, Keertana, this means a lot.

    • I’m trying to do this with my kids, I’m not sure I’m successful. Lol.

  2. Sorry this one didn’t live up to your expectations. It is hard when you don’t become emotionally connected, especially in this type of read. The narrator is new to me, but glad it was well done :)

  3. Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as others did! I know I myself really liked it (4 stars, woo) because the characters were so endearing. I totally agree with you about the situation with Oliver though. Like that end scene with a certain somebody? Not something that held my attention. Instead, I found myself looking forward to Emmy and Oliver’s growth and their friendship. I saw this as a way lighter read, which was why I enjoyed it. :) I hope your next contemporary gives you more emotions!

    • I totally agree with you about that scene. I felt nothing. Aren’t crucial scenes should be emotionally charged? Glad to hear you enjoyed this book more that I though.

    • This is what bookish friends for: to take a brunt. I hope you are reading something good. Thanks for stopping by, Lucia!

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