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Escaping Loneliness for Love

*This is a book review of People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry.


“‘Don’t encourage people to blame you for something beyond your control.'”

– Swapna

Quick Facts

Author: Emily Henry
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Genre: Contemporary romance, Fiction
Main Characters: Poppy Wright & Alex Nilsen
Number of Pages: 400
SJ Rating: 74%


The Synopsis

Growing up and becoming an adult while maintaining a friendship is hard. To overcome the difficulties, Poppy and Alex take a Summer Trip every summer to catch up in person without the stresses of life. A dozen years of travel leads to big feelings, but what do Poppy and Alex do with these feelings as they develop to the point of becoming all-consuming?


The Good

This book definitely didn’t capture my attention in the beginning like other Emily Henry books I’ve read, but there is an immediate reference to the title, which can be appreciated.

There was another Beach Read crossover!! On page 110, Alex pulls out an August Everett novel; I love a good crossover episode.

I found myself relating to hating where you grew up and feeling a desperate desire to leave, to escape the loneliness associated with a place where you didn’t feel welcomed. Poppy felt like she couldn’t be loved, a root of her loneliness, which I completely related to. That’s literally me (2023 Jamilah is working through it).

The embarrassing moment with the bulk box of condoms did get a slight chuckle out of me. That’s about it, as far as humor goes.

I think the best thing about this book is it provides examples of kind people, proof that humanity isn’t awful (even though the characters are fictional). During the little moments of kindness with side characters, I found soft smiles making their way to my face.

For the physical book, I appreciate the text messages are differentiated with a bold font; it makes it stand out a bit more, unlike Beach Read.

The Bad

There’s just something about the way this one is written that doesn’t sit right with me. Honestly, I think this book lacks the usual wit, and I think it’s because Alex doesn’t have a big sense of humor. The chemistry and history between the characters… something just felt very off and unsatisfying about it.

The back and forth time jumps aren’t the most fun, to say the least.

The Overall

Since when is Nashville considered the “Paris of America?” I need to talk to whoever made that a thing. Though the entire chapter about Nashville matched the stereotypes associated with the city, and besides two streets, Nashville is nothing like the stereotype.

I had to get that off my chest. Moving on…

Compared to the other Emily Henry books I’ve read, I feel like it started off pretty slow. I can see why People We Meet on Vacation is the lowest rated book she released before Happy Place (out of the books that blew up on BookTok). The book doesn’t start getting enjoyable until about chapter twenty-five.

This book is still incredibly detailed and has beautiful imagery. There’s just something off that makes it not as enjoyable as the others.


Next book to be read and reviewed: The Book of Moods: How I Turned My Worst Emotions into My Best Life by Lauren Martin


“‘Half the people on Instagram have never lived in a world where every picture wasn’t edited. If they saw you in real life, they’d pass out.'”

– Alex

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