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A Book of Pure Wholesomeness

*This is a book review of Happy Place by Emily Henry.

“I went into the bathroom in one universe and walked out in another.”

– Harriet

Quick Facts

Author: Emily Henry
Release Date: April 25, 2023
Genre: Contemporary romance, Fiction
Main Characters: Harriet Kilpatrick & Wyndham “Wyn” Connor
Number of Pages: 400
SJ Rating: 91%

The Synopsis

Can you imagine how uncomfortable it would be to pretend to date your ex while you’re on a group trip with your friends, simply because you haven’t told anyone you broke up in the first place and don’t want to kill the vibe? Such is the case for Harriet Kilpatrick and Wyndham “Wyn” Connor. With nostalgia trapped around them, how long can they pretend before things escalate? Before everything comes to a head?

The Good

Emily Henry wrote a Black character, and yes, I geeked. Sometimes it’s weird to read when non-Black people write Black characters because there are elements of it that can be offensive, but Emily Henry successfully avoided that.

The book starts with so much nostalgia and the love of friends, which filled my heart with an unexpected heavy yearning. Like, I was not ready to be so emotionally affected. The entirety of Happy Place is dripping in nostalgia, which I think played a part in me starting my own journey of nostalgia; I’m back to eating grilled cheese sandwiches like my grandmother used to make.

The time jumps, which are Reality vs. Happy Place, are written waaay better in this one compared to People We Meet on Vacation. It’s more of a mental jump in time instead of an actual jump; I don’t know how to explain it, but if you’ve read the book, I hope you know what I mean. Either way, the transitions between some of the time jumps are written beautifully.

You know I geek when there’s a crossover with another book AND THERE WAS ANOTHER BEACH READ CROSSOVER on page ninety-seven. I jumped out of surprise like all the characters did on the previous page. Emily Henry continuously gives crossover episodes, and I’m here for it.

Emily Henry also writes some of the most relatable characters. This book spoke to the people pleaser in me, the one who can’t handle tension and does whatever she can to make everyone happy, even if it means sacrificing her own. Harriet really spoke to me when she said, “I was afraid this was the end. That my friends would prove to be passing figures in my life, family becoming strangers.” Also like Harriet, I bargain with the universe for the sake of someone else’s happiness. Though, the universe is God for me, and either way, I need to stop.

Wyn is one of the most beautiful men I’ve read this year.

I like the pace and progression of Wyn shedding his shell and bringing his steely guard down. He slowly exposes his buried feelings, and it’s so well written. Furthermore, I love that Wyn’s love language is physical touch; it makes me want him more.

Honestly, I kind of liked that there was no build up to a big moment of love. With Wyn exuding love from the jump and Harriet dealing with the hurt of losing someone she loves, you feel it throughout the entire book.

For the physical book, I really like the choice of font. It fits the setting of the story perfectly.

The Bad

This isn’t bad. Serious. It’s just… Though Sabrina has good intentions, she’s definitely the hardest character to root for.

The Overall

I was very anxious on how this was going to play out as I read it, considering the two leads had already been together. It’s something I hadn’t really read before this book (at least, as far as I can remember), and I was nervous about how it was going to go.

Needless to say, it went well.

Of course, this is a love story between Harriet and Wyn, but it’s also a love story of friends becoming family, which is something else I heavily relate to. When you don’t feel comfortable with your actual family or don’t feel like they get you, your friends are there.

Next book to be read and reviewed: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

“Things change, but we stretch and grow and make room for one another.”

– Harriet

2 Responses

  1. Hi Jamilah!! I loved your review. I’m definitely adding this book to my list of books to check out. πŸ˜€πŸ”πŸ“šπŸ˜€

    1. πŸ˜€ It’s, by far, one of the best books I’ve read this year!! I would love to hear your thoughts when you’re finished!

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