I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
This book was good. And it was a fast read. BUT it was really forgettable.
To be honest, it really wasn’t that memorable.
The premises is fantastic though. There are lots of YA books about child abduction, but most of them involve the narrator-if the book is written in first person. I thought having Emmy be a bystander to the whole ordeal was an interesting twist, but at the of the day I didn’t LOVE this book.
It was just a okay fast read, that I probably should’ve library-ed instead of bought.
Maybe because there was a slightly bland quality to both the main characters. To be fair, Emmy on paper seems decently formed. She has hobbies outside of boys, conflicts in her family, and great friends. But I really felt like I only got to know her on a superficial level. Oliver, on the other hand, wasn’t even superficially formed. Sure, we got angst but I really didn’t feel for this character as much as I probably should’ve.
Which is a shame because Oliver is dealing with a lot of shit.
However, I sort of get why Benway didn’t try to focus on Oliver as much since he wasn’t the narrator. The thing was Emmy’s story was just not strong enough when you have the premises of Oliver’s story which just has a lot in terms of drama.
The story works….but at the same time I wanted to know more about Oliver. So maybe this would’ve worked better for me if Oliver would’ve been the focus character or at the very least there could’ve been dual narration.
Aside from the characterization, the pacing is decent. Not a lot happened (after Oliver was found) but it made for a nice light-ish contemporary. Though really I don’t think you can call a contemporary light when it deals with child abduction, but the book didn’t feel dark to me.
Sure, there was some fallout from the kidnapping, but the fallout wasn’t that much considering that the book took place in Emmy not Oliver’s point of view. Sure, we saw her parents’ anxiety but compared to what Oliver’s family was dealing with it was sort of, well, boring.
A lot of these complaints are more about what I expected for a reader than what I got. It’s not that Emmy’s story is bad, but with what else is out there available for Benway to work with this plot I was underwhelm.
If you want a nice contemporary romance, I say go for this. But don’t expect huge character development or major drama. There is some drama, but for the most part it is trivial at best.
Overall Rating: A B-. While decent, I feel I will soon forget this one.