Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
Release Date: June 23, 2015
When Emmy was little she was best friends with Caroline, Drew and a boy named Oliver who lived next door. And then one day Drew's dad picked him up from school and didn't bring him home. For ten years Oliver's mom (and the police, and the FBI) looked for him. For ten years Caroline, Drew, Emmy and everyone else in their town's parents held on to their children a little tighter. But he didn't come back.
Until, one day, he did.
Everyone told Emmy that Oliver wouldn't remember her. That he would need space. That she should let him get adjusted. But, there's still something there between she and him. Is she just imagining how easy it is to talk to him? Emmy knows there's a timeline out there where Oliver was the boy next door and the boy that she'd fall for. But, what happens when the timeline gets ripped apart? Can the ending stay the same? Or did Oliver's dad ruin their destiny that morning that he drove away and didn't come home?
This was my first book by Robin Benway and I loved it so much I am going to have to immediately read her back catalog. This could have been a very over-the-top sort of concept for a romance, but instead, it feels very realistic. Emmy and her friends have had their lives changed by an event that didn't even happen to them. But even Emmy can't quite wrap her brain around what Oliver's life has suddenly become. Emmy & Oliver takes a look at both what it's like to be in the direct sights of a tragedy, buy also what it's like to be caught in the outer ripples of it.
It's also a slow building romance where a friendship just begins to burn a little stronger. I've seen Emmy & Oliver recommended for fans of Sarah Dessen and I would totally agree with this and add it's a perfect read for Jennifer E. Smith fans as well.