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?
Ten years ago, Emmy's friend and next-door neighbor, Oliver, was kidnapped by his father, and his mother has been searching for him ever since. Meanwhile, Emmy's shaken parents have become stiflingly overprotective ("In the years since Oliver had disappeared, my parents had reacted by making sure I wouldn't disappear, too"). But now Oliver, found in New York City, has returned home, and high-school senior Emmy tries to rekindle a friendship with a boy who has become a stranger. In a novel sensitively tracing an awkward reunion that blossoms into romance, Benway (the Also Known As series) examines split loyalties, the impact of confessionals, and how broken bonds can be mended. Emmy is a quick-witted, diplomatic narrator, who yearns for freedom from her parents and the closeness she once felt with Oliver. Oliver, whose life has been turned upside down twice, is cast as a confused outsider, forced back into a life he barely remembers. Benway's intriguing premise and honest tone are a winning combination as she movingly portrays the growing trust between her characters. Ages 13 up.