Review: The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Posted August 13, 2021 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Throughout Summer of Love Lenore, Stephanie, and I will be buddy reading six books and sharing our reviews. The three adult books will be reviewed separately on each of our blogs while the three YA books* will be co-reviews featured here on Mom with a Reading Problem. Read along with us and join the discussion. Schedule below ๐Ÿ™‚

SO we may have bit off more than we could chew and have edited the schedule above to reflect ๐Ÿ˜‰ We will have at least one more buddy read before the end of the event.

Happy Friday y’all! Today is our third buddy read of the event, and I think it has been my favorite so far ๐Ÿ˜€ Emily Henry has a way of writing characters that feel real and dear to you. We stayed up late discussing this one last night, and we all agreed that Henry is an auto-buy author from now on. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Lenore and Stephanie gave it 4.5 stars, I went with 5. Be sure to check out their reviews on Once Upon a Chapter and Celebrity Readers.

Review: The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily HenryPeople We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Published by Berkley on 2021-05-11
Length: 384 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from Book of the Month
Reading Challenges: 2021 New Release Challenge, COYER 2021

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read comes 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. Sheโ€™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 apartโ€”sheโ€™s in New York City, and heโ€™s in their small hometownโ€”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 sheโ€™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 togetherโ€”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?

One of my all-time favorite movies ever is Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally. There is something so iconic about the movie that no matter how many times I’ve watched it I find new things to love (and yes, even hate) about it. Imagine my surprise and delight when I started reading People We Meet on Vacation and discovering that it is in fact a homage to my favorite movie. Y’all, it is wonderful, will make you feel all the feels, and guaranteed to leave you smiling. Emily Henry is now on my auto-buy list!

When the book opens, it’s been two years since Poppy Wright has taken her annual summer vacation with her best friend Alex, and she is miserable. Not exactly the best mood for a travel writer and blogger to be in. She desperately wants to fix things between them and be how they were, just Poppy and Alex. She feels lost without him. He is her other half, her best friend and she has to fix them. 

I love Poppy. She is so easy to root for. Told entirely from her perspective, the story unfolds in flashes of present and past summers. From their first horrible meeting to their awkward reunion, my heart ached for her. I wanted her to find the happiness she was looking for, even when she was clearly looking in all the wrong places. 

Alex is amazing. He is kind, empathetic, a bit neurotic (but aren’t we all), and above all clearly loves Poppy. She means as much to him as he does her. I love seeing him through her eyes. It made it so easy to see why she loves him, why their friendship works, and above all why she needs to fix it. Poppy made me miss Alex, and he’s not even a real person!

Overall, I absolutely loved People We Meet on Vacation. From the first page to the last (and y’all I even read the little book club questions and extras at the end, I rarely do that!), I was fully invested in Poppy and Alex. The alternating timeline chapters really added depth to their relationship and kept the story moving forward. It was all heading to the last vacation they spent together and how it brings them to now. I love how Emily Henry wraps the story. The finish is just as satisfying as the entire book itselfโ€ฆ.and now I’m gushing so I’ll stop ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will say that I started off listening to the audiobook (Julia Whelan narrates and NEVER disappoints) before switching to my BOTM copy. Wonderful either way and I highly recommend it!

About Emily Henry

Author Emily Henry

Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it.

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