Looking for a novel that will transport you to a sun-soaked beach, with a tale that’s both heartwarming and thought-provoking? Look no further than Emily Henry‘s People We Meet on Vacation.
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
This book was unanimously awarded the Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by multiple bodies. Be sure to check out what all the hype was about!
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People We Meet on Vacation
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers and Beach Read comes a sparkling novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
“I’ve always felt like once someone sees me deep down, that’s it. There’s something ugly in there, or unlovable, and you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel like I’m okay.”
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?
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Newsweek ∙ Oprah Magazine ∙ The Skimm∙ Marie Claire ∙ Parade ∙ The Wall Street Journal∙ Chicago Tribune ∙PopSugar ∙ BookPage ∙ BookBub ∙ Betches ∙ SheReads ∙ Good Housekeeping ∙ BuzzFeed∙ Business Insider∙ Real Simple∙ Frolic∙ and more!
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry is a contemporary romance novel that follows the story of Poppy and Alex, two best friends who take an annual vacation together every summer. The book follows two timelines: the present day and flashbacks to their past vacations.
The story begins with Poppy, a quirky and spontaneous travel writer, who is feeling stuck in her life. She is longing for a change and is determined to rekindle her friendship with Alex, a reserved and serious-minded guy who works as a teacher. Despite their stark personality differences, Poppy and Alex have a deep bond.
Poppy and Alex haven’t spoken for the past two years, and Poppy is determined to change that. She convinces Alex to go on one final vacation together, a two-week trip to Palm Springs, hoping to repair their friendship. However, it becomes clear that Poppy’s true motive for the trip is to confess her romantic feelings for Alex.
From Paris to Barcelona, Rome to Kyoto, the story unfolds, revealing the evolution of their friendship over the years. Each destination brings them closer together, creating unforgettable memories and moments of undeniable chemistry.
Poppy is eager to take risks and explore the possibility of a romantic relationship, while Alex is more cautious and unsure about jeopardizing their friendship.
Throughout the vacation, Poppy and Alex confront their past misunderstandings, insecurities, and fears, gradually peeling back the layers of their friendship. We learn about their individual struggles, dreams, and desires. Poppy, who has always lived in the moment, realizes the importance of having roots and stability in her life. Alex, on the other hand, learns to let go of his inhibitions and embrace spontaneity.
As the vacation comes to an end, Poppy decides to make a grand romantic gesture to show Alex how she truly feels. She plans a surprise sunset picnic on a picturesque beach, hoping to confess her love. However, just as she is about to reveal her true feelings, they are interrupted by an unexpected storm. They take shelter in a beach hut, where they have a heartfelt conversation that changes everything.
In the end, Poppy and Alex realize that they have both been in love with each other for a long time. They admit their feelings and decide to embark on a romantic relationship, willing to take the risk and see where it leads them.
People We Meet on Vacation is a heartwarming and emotional journey of friendship, love, and self-discovery. Henry beautifully captures the complexities of relationships and the transformative power of travel. It’s bittersweet at times, and is bound to be relatable to any reader. It is a story that explores the blurred lines between friendship and romance, reminding us that sometimes the person we are meant to be with has been by our side all along.
We love it when Henry uses alternating timelines. It’s a difficult narrative to do well, and Emily Henry manages to take us between the past and present with ease and fluidity. She does this again in her latest novel, Happy Place. These flashbacks give us an in-depth insight into Poppy and Alex’s evolving friendship. This not only gives us context, but adds a mountain of anticipation. We were biting our nails to see how this friendship would change and grow!
Wanting to travel but the cost of living got you down? Explore the gardens of Kyoto or the bustling streets of Paris with Emily’s vivid descriptions and imagery. You will almost feel the sun on your skin and the air of vacation when delving into this book.
Poppy and Alex’s relationship was a complex one, and was endlessly thrilling to delve into. Maybe I’m just nosy – but I loved reading all of the ups and downs of this pair. Their banter, inside jokes and long history make the trajectory of their relationship realistic and well-paced. Think of a slow-burn romance but you start reading half-way through.
People We Meet on Vacation is a heartfelt read that delves into the focus of relationships and the difficulties one may face when growing close with someone, and the risk of growing apart. Despite its ups-and-downs, this book will surely leave you with a sun-kissed smile on your face!
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The People We Meet on Vacation about?
We follow the story of Poppy and Alex, two best friends who take an annual vacation together every summer. With one final hurrah as their friendship is growing apart, some feelings are not what they appear…
Is People We Meet on Vacation spicy?
There are some closed-door scenes, but nothing too explicit!
What should I read if I like Emily Henry?
Here are some recommendations for Emily Henry lovers! These books should bring you the same summer vibes as People We Meet on Vacation
- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
- The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
- It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
- Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Or why not check out our list of Epic Summery Beach Reads