By: Emily Henry
My Goodreads rating: 4.5/5 stars
“Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.”
Poppy and Alex are two very different people. Poppy is a party theme loving extrovert, and Alex is an introvert who enjoys reading at home. Their first interaction doesn’t go well, but after a ride home from college together, their friendship sparks. After the car ride, their friendship only grows stronger throughout college and afterwards. They support each other through the ups and downs of life, with their families and their dating lives. Eventually, Poppy and Alex decide to take a trip together, leading to an annual vacation tradition. These trips continue for many years until one interaction seems to ruin everything. Since this incident two years ago, they have barely spoken. At this time, Poppy whose always loved her career, begins to question why she is so unhappy. After some soul searching, she realizes that the last time she felt truly happy was with Alex. With this realization, she decides that the only way to fix their friendship is to plan another one of their annual trips. She tries hard to make the trip perfect but seemingly fails at every turn. Is their friendship over forever, or is there something more in store for them?
“I’m on vacation. Vacations always end. It’s the very fact that it’s finite that makes traveling special. You could move to any one of those destinations you loved in small doses, and it wouldn’t be the spellbinding, life-altering seven days you spend there as a guest, letting a place into your heart fully, letting it change you.”
The main characters in People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry are fantastic. You can’t help but love Poppy and her fun-loving attitude, adventurous personality, and charming family. As a kid, she was bullied in school and had rumours spread about her; both incidents still affecting her confidence. On the other hand, Alex is so charming and gentlemanly. How he takes care of his family after the loss of their mother is incredibly endearing. He tries to continuously show Poppy that she has so much to offer the world. Although they are so different, the tension and chemistry that builds between them keeps you glued to each page. They are fantastic characters that develop perfectly with this story.
I also really loved the plot development. It was interesting reading about how their friendship began and blossomed, how they supported each other through relationships and breaks up and how they assisted each other with family. Each layer of the story adds to the understanding of their friendship.
I also really appreciated the value Henry gave to both Alex and Poppy’s wants for their future. She never claimed one perspective was better than the other; she just showed how compromise is always the best approach. Alex wants to live in his hometown and start his own family one day with a steady, consistent job, while Poppy wants to live in New York City independent of any expectations. Yet, even with these two different perspectives on the future, they are the happiest together.
Truthfully, at times, I did find myself wanting to skip or flip through the parts detailing their previous trips, not because they weren’t entertaining but because I was so tied to their current story that I wanted to see what was coming next for them. It became tortuous breaking up their current story to read about their past vacations. However, I think this was the point of the back-and-forth timeline.
Overall, this was an enjoyable summer romance. It was also an exciting adventure reading about their travels to new cities. You can’t help but reminisce about a time when travel was more accessible. The characters are written so perfectly that it’s hard not to love them. Henry does a fantastic job with this book!
“I still have a lot to figure out, but the one thing I know is, wherever you are, that’s where I belong. I’ll never belong anywhere like I belong with you.”
More Books by Emily Henry:
*Beach Read – 4/5 stars on Goodreads
*The Love That Split the World – 3.6/5 stars on Goodreads