I’ve been waiting to read People We Meet On Vacation for months and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint! It focuses on two characters, Alex and Poppy, who are complete opposites, but against all odds, become best friends in college. Adorable is the best word I can think of to describe this book. Now, let’s get into the review.
- Book: People We Meet on Vacation
- Genre: Romance, Contemporary
- Page count: 364
- Published: May 11, 2021
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
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?
Poppy — From her vibrant wardrobe to her lack of a filter, Poppy is a quirky character for sure, but I think lots of young women can relate to her. Poppy’s journey with her career and personal life is awesome to read about. I won’t spoil anything, but watching her perspective on travel change after she faces her past is inspiring. Poppy made me feel all sorts of emotions, and for that, I think she’s one of the more memorable characters I’ve read about recently.
Poppy teases Alex relentlessly, and even though it’s part of their dynamic, it bothered me. Yes, joking around can be funny, and Alex played her comments off or threw his own playful insults back, but I could tell he was secretly hurt. I had to remind myself that it’s fiction, and no one is getting hurt. These kinds of relationships shouldn’t be normalized. People should be kinder to each other, in books and in real life!
Alex — How could anyone not love Alex?! He’s the most caring guy ever and he’s funny too. There’s not much to say other than that. Except for the fact that his opinion on cover songs seriously made me laugh out loud.
“You hate covers of songs?”
“Vehemently,” he says.
“Alex. That’s like saying you hate vegetables. It’s too vague. It makes no sense.”
“It makes perfect sense,” he insists. “If it’s a good cover, that sticks to the basic arrangement of the original song, it’s like, why? And if it sounds nothing like the original, then it’s like, why the hell?”
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
I really enjoyed how the chapters alternated between the present and Poppy and Alex’s ten summer vacations in reverse chronological order. I love to travel, so reading about their vacations was a highlight. Almost every book I read is set in the US, so I get really excited when I see a reference to Canada. That brings me to a small complaint, which is in the side note below.
Side note: Poppy and Alex vacation to Vancouver Island. Not to nitpick, but I rolled my eyes when Poppy kept referring to Vancouver Island as Vancouver, instead of the island. Vancouver is BC’s most populated city, and it’s not on Vancouver Island. They were actually in Victoria, which is very different considering the distance between them (a 95-minute ferry plus a 30-minute drive). Moving on…
Supporting characters can make or break a book. In this case, I loved them. The family dynamics added a lot of context to the story. Even though Poppy and Alex’s parents and siblings play a small roll, they have a big impact and were fun to read about. I also liked Poppy’s friend and the scenes with her coworkers.
I don’t have any real complaints about the plot. Poppy and Alex’s friendship is fleshed out very well. Their detailed history and inside jokes made it easy for me to root for them. Although, around the last 10% of the book, it felt like the plot was dragging and I started to lose a teeny bit of interest.
I love Emily Henry’s writing style. On top of that, the font choices and layout of the book make it so aesthetically pleasing. This book is so funny and easy to read. It’s perfect for summer with its witty dialogue, romance, and sunny destinations.
People We Meet on Vacation is lighthearted, but it also has some real-life lessons in it. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though some things weren’t right for me. It started off as five stars with its clever prologue and compelling characters. But, I’m disappointed that the big reveal came right at the end for two reasons. Alex and Poppy’s fallout is heavily implied, which made it predictable. This makes the suspense too drawn out, and the rest of the book feels rushed. All things considered, I’m giving this four stars, but I can’t wait to read more of her books. If you like the friends to lovers trope, you have to pick this up.