Y’all. I’m so ready to travel. I’m BEYOND ready to travel.
Except people. I’m an introvert, and the downside of travel is travelers. You know the kind. The ones who are impatient. Rude. Pushy. And, you know, this pandemic isn’t over, so that makes travel so much more fraught with…feelings.
That’s why I loved People We Meet On Vacation. It has two great main characters, witty dialogue, an easy-breezy plot, ALL of my favorite romance tropes, and packs it all into a series of summer vacations – some lovely, and some “what else could go wrong”. It fed my wanderlust. It was also a great escape for the usual stormy spring weather we’re experiencing here in Texas.
Read on to learn more about Emily Henry’s newest release and why I loved it so much!
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
on May 11th, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via Bookshop.org
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She's a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart--she's in New York City, and he's in their small hometown--but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she's stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together--lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION might be one of my favorite books so far in 2021. Not just because I’m desperate to travel again, and Henry’s book helped to sate the need. But it didn’t hurt.
Reasons I loved the book:
• it has my favorite “friends to lovers” trope. (And – it does it well with an adorable but completely mismatched pair)
• so of course there will be the “only one bed” trope
• slow burn romance
• great dialogue, witty banter – the kind that comes between old friends
• Alex is my favorite romantic interest. Keep your swoony types and give me the awkward introvert who only comes out of his shell around our MC, He is dorky sweet and I love him for it.
• travel based flashbacks, because I NEED this in my life.
The story is told in (mostly) alternating chapters of present action and flashback. The flashbacks start with when Poppy and Alex meet in college. They progress through each summer vacation they shared, oldest to newest, until the the fated one that caused the rift. We don’t know what happened to cause the rift at the beginning. As we get closer to that summer, however, we can pretty much guess what happened.
The present day chapters are hilarious and disastrous and (for me, at times,) a little sad, because poor Poppy is trying so hard to rebuild the friendship that was shattered a few years earlier. She’s also dealing with career burnout, something entirely relatable.
For a writer, she’s kind of terrible at communication, and most of the confusion in the relationship lands sorely on her. There are times I wanted to reach into the pages and shake her (kindly) – and that kind of all-in investment in a timeline makes me happy.
Are Poppy and Alex right for each other? Well, you WANT to see them together. The story gets its happily ever after, and the author’s book discussion questions at the end made me contemplate if they would (it means change for Poppy – will she be happy?)
I’d honestly love to see a follow up on these two five years down the road! The story and their relationship has a fun Bridget Jones or Shopaholic vibe, and I can see Poppy getting itchy from staying in one place for too long.
I’m giving Emily Henry’s People We Meet On Vacation five fru-fru cocktails 🍹🍹🍹🍹🍹 as this is the perfect beach or staycation read!
Premise: An unlikely pair (free-spirited travel writer and stuffy teacher) form a friendship that endures from their first weekend in college until one ill-fated summer holiday together that strains their relationship, and the writer tries to repair the rift over the course of a horrible week in Palm Springs.
Perfect for: readers who like romantic comedy, fans of the “friends to lovers” trope, fans of “unlikely couple” trope, romance fans
Or, might want to take a pass: readers who don’t like all the tropes (I don’t understand you, but I respect you), readers who don’t like stories told in flashbacks/alternating timelines
Genre(s): romance, romantic comedy, fiction