This Chick Read: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Alex and Poppy met in college and struck up a unique friendship. Nothing alike, they balanced each other out and became a support system that they each needed. As they grew older and life moved them further apart they kept up the tradition they started in college of taking a summer vacation together. Summer’s that were the bright spot of their year until something happened two years ago and they haven’t spoken since. Until one night when Poppy texted a message, “Hey”.

Last year’s Beach Read was in my Top 5 best books of the year so I had really high expectations for People We Meet on Vacation. While it didn’t touch the right note that Beach Read hit (right time to read, right mood, etc.) it was still an outstandingly good book and will again be placed in my Top 10 at least so far this year. The awkward nerdy-hot Alex, and the retro-dressed outgoing yet insecure Poppy were both from the same home town and although they didn’t know each other growing up immediately clicked on a long drive home for winter break. Their friendship came fast and solid. Alex was non judgmental about her unique family and she jokingly picked and prodded Alex out of his multiple comfort zones. They had different goals in life and supported each others dreams, to the detriment of their own feelings. When their summer vacation went awry two years ago causing a rift the reader see’s through Poppy’s perspective and feels how deeply disturbed she’s been despite not knowing exactly what happened. By the time she typed ‘Hey’ I was all in on their relationship becoming something more secure and felt the desperation Poppy was feeling that kept me on the emotional edge of my seat wishing for their happiness.

The clever use of flashbacks of Poppy and Alex’s vacations means that we knew Alex just as well by the time that fateful text was made. I was caught hook, line, and sinker and there was no way I wasn’t going to finish this story, needing to know where Poppy and Alex stood at the end. As we lived through what might be their last summer vacation together (after all life moves forward despite our relationships and feelings) I teetered between tears and laughter, caught in their emotional drama. Emily Henry really knows how to craft friendship novels fraught with emotional crisis.

People We Meet on Vacation was just as good as last year’s Beach Read so why did I score it a half rating less? I really think it was the fact that in Beach Read the characters lives before their story started together had the drama whereas in this novel the drama was created by these two characters. It’s a very small detail and truthfully it was used very effectively. I just liked how I felt while reading Beach Read much better than I did while reading People We Meet on Vacation. Reading is all about your own perspective being stamped upon the story you are reading. I was a half rating short of being in the perfect mood to read this book. That’s it. No other reason, it was really just as good. In fact, I’ll probably pick it up in audio to live through their relationship again. If my feelings change about the rating, I’ll let you know!


I received a copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* People We Meet on Vacation

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend

This Chick Read: Beach Read by Emily Henry

If you were to pick up this book based upon the title, cover, and synopsis you’d expect to get a rom-com about two authors who live next to each other at the beach, who while in a moment of writer’s block decide to challenge each other by writing a novel in the other person’s style. A meet cute that would end in happiness, and they didn’t lie, it is kind of all that. But it’s also so much more.

January, who writes happily ever after romances and Gus Everett who writes dark literary fiction take each other on research “field trips” to help the other person see into their world. As they do this, each opens up to the other about their own difficulties, insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Most importantly and not surprisingly they fall for each other. What is surprising are the emotional moments, the heart tearing fears, and heart mending, loving prose. This book was so much more than a “Beach Read” that it does a disservice to the excellence inside the story by misrepresenting (in my opinion) what the reader should expect.

I don’t think I’m going to give away any secrets by hinting at a couple of things in their back stories. One, January and Gus have a past, and two they both just had their hearts broken, albeit in different ways. These things provide so much more depth to the story than two authors who happen to live next to each other at the beach. It provides context for how they interact with each other. January’s distrust and dislike, and Gus’s frustration and fear, all feelings that don’t usually provide rom-com fodder. Yes, there are funny moments, but there were a lot more moments where I clung to my tissue. The banter between these two was bright, but it was also colored with emotion and pain. This book was so much more….

So, if you do pick up this book because the cover is cute (and it is!), or because it’s painted as a rom-com (kind of?), or the synopsis sounds like two people will fall in love (they do!), just know that this book is so much more than all of that. It’s two people who help each other through pain, build a friendship that started in misunderstanding, and fall in love in a way that will break your heart and provide you joy in an unexpected way. These characters? I am so in LOVE with them. This book? Definitely in my Top 10 so far this year. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Beach Read

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.