Book Recommendation: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Thursday, June 3, 2021

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Adult Fiction // Categories: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin Random House)
Format: e-ARC • 384 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Another excellent rom-com from Emily Henry!!!

Things you will find in People We Meet on Vacation:
  • The friends-to-lovers trope
  • Alternating time periods (past and present)
  • A ~not-your-average~ male love interest (in the best way possible)
  • Excellent banter, as expected

While reading, I realized this book is made up of two things I rank low on my "enjoyment" list. 1) The friends-to-lovers trope, which I don't tend to like because I cannot imagine not being emotionally attached to someone I get close to, and 2) switching between the past and present, because I always prefer one over the other. But with PWMOV, it worked out—and unsurprisingly so because I love Emily Henry's stories, no matter how they're written.

Told from Poppy's perspective, we follow her and Alex as they meet up every summer in a new vacation location. They became best friends in college but since then, Alex moved back to their shared hometown in Ohio, while Poppy works in New York as the travel editor for a magazine. (This is why they're able to go on bougie trips.) Quite a mismatched pair—Poppy is spontaneous and a quirky go-getter, while Alex is reserved and quite particular about many things—but it's worked out well for them, at least up until two summers ago. They haven't spoken since, but Poppy is willing to do whatever it takes to mend their friendship, so she invites Alex on one last "job-sponsored" vacation.

Alex was such an interesting love interest. Very different from what we normally get in romance novels (aka, "overly confident and sexy"). Alex is quiet and would probably blend in among a crowd of people, but that's precisely why I liked him so much. I do have to say, it was a weird reading experience for me because I know two different people named Alex and it was hard not to imagine them as this character BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO 😂 I do feel like that impacted my experience, but that's a personal problem lol. If he was named anything else, I 100% would've fallen in love with him!!!

Like in Emily Henry's first adult rom-com, Beach Read, she delivers on the banter and laugh-out-loud moments. A little different this time with less flirty moments, since Alex and Poppy are friends (or adamantly working on it), but I still loved their conversations and how they dealt with all the unfortunate circumstances (i.e., staying in a Palm Springs rental with no AC 😭) There isn't as many sexy times compared to Beach Read (which I was completely fine with!) but it is just as emotional. Even me, with my cold heart, teared up at the ending 🥲

My only complaint (a small one) is how the story is reliant on the fact that Poppy and Alex hold back on expressing how they feel about each other. There are a couple of "oh, he probably doesn't feel the same way for me so I should let him go" moments from Poppy, but it didn't bother me that much because the reasons they avoided addressing it are explained well.

Okay, I'm curious—how do you feel about authors using names of people you know in real life for their love interests? Does it affect your enjoyment?

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