So after Beach Read, I was like how can Emily Henry top that book for me? I needn’t have worried. Friends to lovers are MY JAM, so as soon as I saw this premise I swooned. And I was not disappointed – what a book! Keep reading this book review to hear my full thoughts!
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I was immediately struck by how detailed the characters are in People We Meet on Vacation. While the book is very much Poppy’s story, my favorite character ended up being Alex. If you ever loved “Love Rosie” or “One Day”, you have to read this! It has this same vibes of friends to maybe lovers? Slow burning and tension. Yearning, SO MUCH YEARNING. The romance People We Meet on Vacation had me swooning. I had to keep reading so my heart didn’t explode.
I could understand Poppy’s searching. The ways she feels almost listless and unsure where to go next. Whereas in Beach Read, I was totally captivated by the MC, in People We Meet on Vacation the romance totally hooked me. Henry allows the reader to meet Poppy and Alex from the beginning. To see the evolution of their friendship, the chemistry, all those moments we can never forget. These flashbacks, which I had to get used to, ended up being my favorite element. They truly established this charming and intense feeling of yearning.
And they made Poppy and Alex shine. It reminded me of “The Story of Us” by Taylor Swift. The memories they’ve made and accumulated and lives with, dreamt of at night. All these moments of close calls of “what ifs?” The signs they could have earlier, but maybe it wasn’t the right time – if it ever was. People We Meet on Vacation is about facing what we are scared to confront to ask what we want. About finding contentedness and happiness. Of doing what scares us anyway.