I read Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation earlier this month, but didn’t get a chance to write a review. I included it in my Seaside Reads post earlier this week.
Poppy and Alex met in college and despite being opposites they form a friendship. Not just any friendship – they become best friends. They met at freshman orientation and saw each other here and there throughout the school year, but didn’t really talk. Things changed when at the end of their first year they end up carpooling back home since they live in neighboring towns. That road trip brings them together and they quickly become the best of friends.
Poppy has serious wanderlust and wants to see the whole world. Starting the summer of sophomore year, she and Alex begin going on summer trips together, which leads to Poppy becoming a travel writer. After college they live their separate lives, but keep in touch and continue their summer vacation tradition. For a decade they always go away together each summer. Until two years ago when something happened that caused them to barely speak.
Feeling lost even though she has an amazing job working for a luxury travel magazine and lives a great life in New York City, her friend suggests she think about when the last time she was truly happy was. Poppy knows exactly when she last felt really happy – when she was on vacation with Alex. Now, desperate to not only be happy again, but have Alex back in her life, she reaches out to him hoping he won’t ignore her. She pitches the idea of another trip together like old times. Can this trip to Palm Springs bring them back together?
The novel has a dual timeline. Some chapters are “This summer” meaning present day while the others are from their past trips. The chapters would say “This summer” or “8 summers ago”, “7 summers ago”, etc. so that the readers get to know past Poppy and Alex and their friendship better.
I really enjoyed this book and loved Poppy and Alex. I loved their banter which Emily Henry seems to be so great at (loved her book Beach Read for this reason too) and I found their personalities, friendship, feelings, character flaws to be really realistic. I think, especially these days, it’s really realistic to reflect and think about what truly makes us happy. Is it the good job and material things or the people in our lives or maybe the ones who aren’t in our lives anymore? Maybe the things we were striving towards because we thought they would make us happy aren’t as fulfilling as we thought they’d be?
My only critique is that I thought the ending was a little drawn out, but that’s the only thing I wasn’t crazy about.
You should read this if you like slow burn romances and friends to lovers tropes.
Also! There is one scene where Alex is reading a book and it happens to be by Augustus Everett (the mmc in Beach Read). I loved the nod!
*This post contains affiliate links.*