Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Title: People We Meet on Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 384 Pages
Published May 2021
Summary: 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?

Ever since I read Emily Henry's debut novel, BEACH READ, last year, I fell in love with her writing and knew that she would be a permanent auto-buy author for me. (You can also check out my review of BEACH READ here!) So when I found out about PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION, I immediately added it to my TBR and preordered a copy. Last month, it finally arrived and I got to dive in, and it was fantastic! So without further ado, here's my review:

As the summary explains, the story follows Alex and Poppy, best friends who travel to different locations all over the world together every summer. The book is told through two timelines, one being in the present, and one recounting some of their past vacations that they took together. When the book starts, you find out that Poppy and Alex haven't spoken in two years after events that took place during their final vacation together, although you don't know what they are at first (and I won't spoil it for you, but you definitely do find out!). But Poppy misses Alex fiercely, and craves their friendship more than anything in the world, so she devises a scheme -- and one final vacation together -- to convince Alex to salvage their friendship...and possibly something more.

As I already said, I absolutely loved reading this book. Emily Henry is truly a master writer, and I tore through this book (and even found myself reading when I was supposed to be doing other work!) because I was just so addicted and had to keep turning the pages to see what was going to happen next. I absolutely loved Poppy's narrative voice -- she's equal parts hilarious and introspective. There were so many moments throughout the book where she cracked a joke (or thought of some hilarious quip in her head) that made me laugh out loud and send a snap to my boyfriend to show him how funny the book was. And have no fear -- there are also some steamy, blush-worthy moments that will keep you fanning yourself for sure. This book had such a perfect contemporary romance vibe! 

Most importantly, I really loved the dynamic of Poppy and Alex's friendship. Seeing how deeply they cared about each other, through thick and thin, always finding their way back to each other, made me tear up and smile more than a few times. I was absolutely rooting for them from the very beginning. In some ways, their dynamic also reminded me a lot of my own relationship with my boyfriend, because while we aren't international travelers every summer, we began as best friends twelve years ago, and eventually got so close that neither of us could deny the fact that our friendship had been something much deeper from the very beginning. It isn't every day that you find your person and your soulmate from very early on, and in Poppy and Alex's case -- as well as in mine and my boyfriend's -- they were very lucky in that regard. And I loved seeing that friendship and relationship develop on the page.

Overall, PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION was a fantastic read to kick off my summer of tackling my ever-teetering TBR. As I expected, Emily Henry is a spectacular author who has such a magical way with words that I just couldn't put the book down, always wanting to know what would happen next! If you haven't read BEACH READ and PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION yet, I highly encourage you to add both of those to your TBR immediately, and if they're already on there, move them up to your next reads -- you're missing out if you don't! 

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