PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION
BY EMILY HENRY
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?
It always surprises me when I find a book that truly makes me feel something. One that I know I’ll remember for years to come. People We Meet on Vacation is one of them. It was relatable, beautiful with tinges of sadness and laugh out loud funny.
Alex and Poppy couldn’t be more different, but when together they bring out the best in each other. We get to see them during past summer vacations; how their relationship ebbs and flows through the years. I really liked the way we got to jump back while also seeing who they were “This Summer.” It was done well and I didn’t lose the connection to the characters I typically feel with time jumps.
I really connected with Poppy and her personal struggles. She was bullied in high school, isolated and lonely, and fled her hometown as soon as possible. Her love of travel lands her this amazing job, but she’s still missing something. Millennial ennui. I felt this to my core and understood her on a whole other level. It was a tad scary but it needed to be said. You can get everything you think you want and still be unhappy. Sometimes you have to abandon what you think you want or take a leap of faith to find true happiness.
From the inside jokes on every vacation to the weird ticks I loved the connection Poppy and Alex had. They just worked even though they seemed like they shouldn’t. They had the best witty banter and had this unselfconscious way of interacting with each other. Never have I ever felt so lonely or longed for that kind of connection. I felt like I was on every vacation with them, rolling with the punches that always seemed to occur. It was hilarious and utterly frustrating but it worked and it was very them.
This book is a must read and I’m even making myself cut this review short so as to not accidentally give too much away. Add it to your TBR, pick it up from your local bookstore or order it online but do give it a chance. The writing was excellent and the pace never lulled nor was there a dull moment. I guarantee once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down.
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