Published: 16th July 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Kids
Oliver’s absence split us wide open, dividing our neighborhood along a fault line strong enough to cause an earthquake. An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you’re shaking. Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. But now Oliver is back, and he’s not the skinny boy-next-door that used to be Emmy’s best friend. Now he’s the boy who got kidnapped. A stranger – a totally hot stranger! – with a whole history that Emmy knows nothing about. But is their story still meant to be? Or are they like the pieces of two different puzzles – impossible to fit together?
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for kindly sending me a review copy.
The prologue opens with a sweet memory from Emmy and Oliver, together in Maths during Second Grade – despite it not telling us a great deal about the characters, readers can easily piece the obvious together: Emmy likes Oliver. So what happens when the little boy is taken away and is discovered years later? I could have given my Kindle a squeeze, I was THAT excited about their reunion..
“Sometimes I think that if we had been older, it would have been easier.”
When Oliver first returns, the plot isn’t at ease; their friendship is awkward and it’s as if they’re walking on egg shells. But that’s to be expected – they can’t go back to how they were when they were seven years old, right? Despite that, the friendship between Emmy, Caro and Drew was absolutely brilliant – they were the perfect friends and it was so easy to read about their fun trips out. They were all individual, which I liked, they didn’t live in each other’s pockets but they made an effort to be in each other’s lives.
“I told you, I’m a loyal friend. Kicking therapists, punching sharks, whatever it takes.”
I always thought throughout the narrative that something was missing between Emmy and Oliver; something which will bring them closer together and it happens towards the end. They both receive the closure about the disappearance which they’ve deserved. I thought Robin did a brilliant job writing about kidnapping and how the people affected cope before/after the return. If she ever wrote from Oliver’s point of view in those ten years, I would most definitely read it. Her writing style is simple yet effective and that allowed me to relax in the narrative.
“Oh God, I just want this to be over. I just want to feel normal again.”