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343 pages, Hardcover
First published June 23, 2015
“Sometimes love isn't something you say, it's something you do.”Emmy & Oliver is a book I picked up because I loved the simplicity and beauty of the cover. I bought the audio before I even read the blurb, but I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed this one. YA book #15 for me this year! Only 10 more to go before I hit my personal challenge!
"Sometimes love isn't something you say, it's something you do."
The world continues to spin even when we want it to stop, I thought. Especially then.
"Mom," I groaned, covering my eyes with my hand. "People don't really date anymore, they just... I don't know, hang out together."
"Is that the same as 'hooking up'?" my dad asked.
"Oh my God!" Now I covered my ears with both hands. "Am I grounded? Can you just ground me? Hearing you two talk about 'hooking up' is cruel and unusual punishment."
"I looked up at my dad. "Tonight, when Oliver and I were talking, I said I'd still love you, even if you kidnapped me. I really would. I get how he feels."
My dad smiled. "That's the nicest and most sociopathic thing anyone's ever said to me."
I guess the more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they're gone, and maybe it's that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you're near enough. So close and yet so far.
Sometimes there just aren't enough words to fill the crack in your heart.
Oliver looked up at me, his face solemn and pained, and I realized with a terrible rush we weren't playing anymore. "Colleen," he said, "coming home feels like being kidnapped all over again."
And then Oliver blinked again and it was like a shutter went off in his own eyes so I could see the picture of the anger, the hurt, the embarrassment. It was a private viewing just for me, gone a second later when he blinked once more and his face smoothed back into its normal, passive shape.
"Those look painful," Oliver commented, trying to avoid Caro digging her heel into his shoulder. "Why does everything you do look like it hurts?"
"Because!" Caro huffed with a final shove. "You guys want us to look natural and there's nothing natural about looking natural."
I could see the confusion cross Oliver's face and stifled my own smile.
"Those shoes don't look natural," Oliver pointed out.
"Yes, but they're three-inch heels, which make me look like I'm an average height of five five. See?" She explained. "Natural."
"Oh, riiiiight," I said, knocking myself in the head and grinning like an idiot. "I'm sorry, I totally forgot."
"That's okay," he replied. "Just adds to my rebel image. New guy in school, mysterious past, being held back a grade." He smiled at me. "Girls like it."
"Oh yeah." He smiled wider. "That's why I'm eating lunch with all these people."
I laughed despite myself and then he laughed, too, a familiar sound that I hadn't heard in years. His laugh was deeper now, but still Oliver's, as unique as a double helix. Or a fingerprint.
"Quick question," Oliver said as he scanned the horizon. "What is the shark population like around here?"
I blinked at him. "Are you being serious right now?"
"I don't know." He laughed nervously. "No. Yes. Maybe? Sharks?"
I sighed. "There are no sharks here."
"Do you mean 'here' as in the 'Pacific Ocean' or...?"
That's when I first learned about true frustration, that wrenching ache when the thing that matters most to you barely makes a ripple in other people's lives.
“The more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they’re gone, and maybe it’s that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you’re near enough.”