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A Literary Lover’s Romance

*This is a book review of Book Lovers by Emily Henry.

“Sometimes, even when you start with the last page and you think you know everything, a book finds a way to surprise you.”

– Nora Stephens

Quick Facts

Author: Emily Henry
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Genre: Contemporary romance, Fiction
Main Characters: Nora Stephens & Charlie Lastra
Number of Pages: 416
SJ Rating: 96%

The Synopsis

Every Happily Ever After has an antagonist who believes they don’t deserve a happy ending, as is the case for Nora Stephens, a cutthroat literary agent based in New York. After a few run-ins with the male version of her, Charlie Lastra, Nora sets out on a girls trip to North Carolina with her sister Libby and returns as a different kind of shark—one with a heart.

The Good

This book starts off by calling out Hallmark movies and other predictable romcom books, especially those on Wattpad, and I’m personally here for it!

Though she is meant to be the antagonist with a shark-like demeanor, I found myself heavily relating to Nora, probably more than January. Like, when she said “I’ve worked hard to build a life that’s my own, that no one else could pull a plug on to send me swirling down a cosmic drain,” I completely felt that; I didn’t realize we shared the same mindset until I read that. Another relatable thing Nora said that made me stop and contemplate my life: “I’ve always thought of myself as a creature of survival, but lately I’ve been daydreaming.”

The relationship between Nora and Libby closely resembles my relationship with my little sister. My younger sister is also more likely to get married and have children before me. Then again, I never know what fate has in store… Anyway, reading this made me miss my sister and the close bond we had as children. Maybe we also need a long trip to bring us back together the way we used to be?

For the actual book, it is dripping in good sarcasm, and I love every second of it. Something else I loved was the incorporation of the title being more obvious compared to Beach Read (the only other Emily Henry book I’ve read when this is being written). The characters on the cover also resemble the descriptions better, compared to that of Beach Read.

There’s also a slight mystery element to it that I loved. Like, yes it’s a romance, but I also spent time trying to figure out what the heck was going on with Libby, Nora’s 5-month pregnant younger sister, besides anemia (same girl). As with any mystery, big or small, my mind was a little blown when it all came together.

Random, but I absolutely love the super weird names of the buildings, like POPPA SQUAT and Mug + Shot.

“Besides the entanglement was avoided. Mostly.” on page 118 made me die of laughter, especially since this was published last year. I feel like it was intentional, and even if it wasn’t, including it was comedy gold.

If I wasn’t at a car dealership when I read the crossover, I would’ve squealed very loudly. Instead, I obsessed and geeked internally. There was a crossover with Beach Read when Nora picks up The Great Family Marconi—a book Charlie ends up editing—on page 134, which is the book January Andrews spent all of Beach Read working on. Hopefully that’s not as confusing as it sounds.

Lastly, six years later… this book has helped me finally understand Wuthering Heights. I completely winged (?) my way through that portion of dual enrollment English.

The Bad

It seemed like pages 232 and 241 have a couple of questionable grammar moments; I’m not sure if they’re errors or my sleep deprived mind at the time wasn’t comprehending.

The Overall

Beautiful character development. Perfect pacing. Thought provoking quotes. A book you can’t put down.

Emily Henry writes wit in romance novels so well; it’s a hug part of what makes her books so great and addicting, such is the case with Book Lovers.

The book was so good that I absolutely needed Charlie’s point-of-view, but I’m going to stop before I get started. I need my version of a Charlie Lastra; the way he proves just how attentive he is in chapter 21… I was hot and bothered like no other.

Book Lovers is not just a romantic love story, but it’s also a love story between two siblings, which is all the more reason to read it.

Next book to be read and reviewed: Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey

“Because nothing—not the beautiful and not the terrible—lasts.”

– Nora Stephens

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