Thanks to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of People We Meet on Vacation
Emily Henry became an instant favorite author of mine with her adult debut, Beach Read, last year. Naturally, when I got the opportunity to read an early copy of her sophomore adult romance, People We Meet On Vacation, I jumped on it. I was a little worried about whether it would live up to the standard set by Beach Read, but she managed to raise the bar.
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
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?
Emily Henry excels at world building and creating immersive settings – Poppy and Alex went to a wide range of vacation settings – and after reading this book I felt like I had visited each of them. She’s also excellent at pacing and balancing her plots – even though People We Meet on Vacation takes place across the present day and each of the past summer vacations that Poppy and Alex took together, the plot was well paced and flowed exceptionally well. I didn’t find the time jumps as distracting as I was expecting them to be.
Also – small fangirl moment – Poppy and Alex’s first vacation was to Vancouver Island – where I’m from! I loved reading about exploring Tofino and Coombs (if you’re ever in Coombs, go check out the goats on the roof market and buy some of the best cheese bread of your life).
I loved the relationship between Poppy and Alex. I’m a total sucker for hot, shy nerds, and that is exactly what Alex is. Poppy, on the other hand, is a burnt out career oriented woman, looking to rekindle her friendship with Alex. The two were friends for over a decade – a period in which they took summer vacations together yearly. I loved reading about them redefining their dynamic and rekindling their friendship in the present – it balanced really well with the character definition that happened during their past vacations. Their chemistry was palpable and it was impossible not to root for them as their sparks flew.
If you’re looking for a great friends to lovers romance novel, People We Meet on Vacation is an amazing bet. It’ll give you travel inspo and will definitely make you want to head out on vacation with your bestie after the pandemic is over. I can’t wait for Emily Henry’s next book, whether it’s romance or not. 5/5