People We Meet On Vacation #BookReview

Emily Henry | published Jan 2021 | 385 pp

First impression: This was cute! I can see why its getting a lot of hype. If you want a straightforward, friends to lovers tale, this will likely go down in one sitting and leave you satisfied.

The story is told from the perspective of Poppy, a young, social media travel influencer. Since college, she’s planned summer vacations on a shoestring budget for her and her bestie, Alex. We learn about their backstory by Poppy telling us about their past summer vacation adventures. She met Alex in college and they made fast friends of sorts. They’ve managed to hold on to their platonic relationship (Alex is a hot guy) over the years no matter their partners or distance. Until 2 summers ago when ‘something’ happens. The two haven’t spoken since but Poppy wants to change that. She’s in a bad place and misses her friend.

Pros: Again, straightforward romantic comedy with no real triggers or complications. Just two people who like each other, attempting to crawl through the muck of ‘life’ and what’s ‘expected’ to find one another. I suspect this will resonate well with the millennial crowd. It hits on a lot of their hit topics: surviving the big city (in this case, NY), on an entry-level salary, cheating boyfriends, high school bullying, budget travel to the end of the earth, homeownership and the bondage of marriage.

Cons: Definitely one of those books where you shouldn’t dig too deep below the surface. 🙄 I think the author wants us to believe Poppy and Alex are weirdos, outcasts from the ‘popular group’ and thats why each have relationship issues. Its not believable though. Alex’s is described as being drop dead gorgeous, complete with perfect eating habits and consistent workout routine. His quirky habits amount to little more than mild germaphobia and fastidiousness. 🤦🏾‍♀️ God forbid. We don’t get a description of Poppy’s body but, she was bullied in high school because she got caught kissing a boy or some dumbness and an unexplored aversion to having kids and a husband. This is despite coming from the sane, normal 2 parent household, that produced her seemingly well adjusted siblings, in middle America. Whatever man.

Besides ignoring the finer details of the characters, another con for me was the language. An Amazon description called the author, Emily Henry, the Queen of Bantor’. I have less of an appreciation for her overly chatty Poppy. In the middle of a pivotal/serious scenes, she diverts to talking about plants or wall coverings. Is Poppy ADHD? Ma’am, take your meds and get focused. I had to skim several paragraphs and pages to unload myself of fluffy foolishness that added nothing to the story.

Miscommunication tropes are not my favorite because they can typically be solved by sitting in a room and having a conversation with the other person(s), instead of in your head. This isn’t far from the truth here except i think the issue was more about maturing and having a relationship despite fear of being hurt. But, these two were cute and the overall story was a nice one – just don’t look too closely. Good book 18/2021.


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