Book Review: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Since finishing this book, I have read the second book to the Bridgerton series (Season 2 is out March 25th!!!) and now I’m currently reading “Instructions For Dancing” by Nicola Yoon. I’ve been reading so much more than last year so be ready for more book reviews in the future! According to Goodreads, I’m 3 books behind schedule. How this came to be? I don’t know. I think I’m going to find a light read that I can finish in a couple of days to help me get caught up a little. I’d be devastated if I get too far behind to reach my goal. Do any of you have some books that are less than 200 pages long that you can recommend? Let me know in the comment section below :))

Before I begin telling you about “People We Meet On Vacation”, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was one of those ones that I kept wanting to go back to. I would read it on my commutes to and from work and I’ll be honest, it made those trips 1,000 times more exciting. Warning: This book is very cheesy and probably better for those hopeless romantics, like myself.

People We Meet On Vacation is about a woman in her 30s, Poppy, and her best friend, Alex. They met in college and I don’t remember how it started, but they’ve been taking an annual “summer trip” together ever since. The book is written with every chapter being a scenario or experience that happened during one of their summer trips. It kind of bounces back and forth between one from the past and their present summer trip. Currently, they’re trying to break a funk. They haven’t spoken to each other in two years since something happened between them in Croatia. It’s obvious that they miss each other, and Poppy is just hoping that this trip to Palm Springs to attend Alex’s brother’s wedding will fix everything. Hopefully, it’ll return things back to normal between them. But how exactly were things before? Poppy finds herself with this 5% “what if” situation. Alex is everything to her. She’s happier whenever she’s with him. Does she feel more for Alex than she’s willing to admit? Could her and Alex ever be something more than friends?

You’re gonna have to read it if you want to find out! I’m not spoiling anything ha-ha.

What I probably loved most about this book was Poppy’s job. She worked for a magazine or an online website that shared the best travel destinations. It was kind of like a travel guide? Poppy would go on these trips, take photos/content, and then share them and romanticize the whole experience. And it all started with a blog (maybe kind of like this one lol). Imagine if I somehow turned blogging into my full-time job? That would be the dream. I would no longer have to stress about finding the time to write because I’d literally have ALL the time. What I also loved about her job was all the places in the world that she was able to see for free! CAN YOU IMAGINE? I am dying to see the world but my retail job and shopping addiction isn’t gonna allow that for me.

This might make you roll your eyes, but I loved the romance in this one. Poppy has a lot of relationships in the novel but her relationship with Alex… whoa. Just whoa. Whatever feelings that I felt that I was missing in These Violent Delights were found in People We Meet On Vacation. The love that they have for each other is unmatched. The hopeless romantic in me can’t get enough of a love like that. Is it even possible? Does this kind of love only happen in books? Either way, I ate it all up and loved every second of it. If you love love, like myself, you’re gonna be obsessed with this novel. It’s steamy.

I think Emily Henry also did a fantastic job at continuing to leave the reader wanting more. I just had to know if they were going to end up being together. I had to know if they were going to finally be honest with each other and admit their feelings! Or were they better off not being friends? Is it worth ruining their friendship? I don’t know about y’all, but I’m such a sucker for these types of storylines. Emily somehow wrote something that I hadn’t expected though, and I appreciated that. I really didn’t know what was going to happen! Obviously you’re hoping for that happily ever after, but Emily left plenty of doubt. I liked that she kept me on my toes.

Another thing that I touched on already, but still loved, is the interesting format. She kind of bopped back and forth between past summers that they spent together to the present/current summer together. This progression of them spending summer after summer, year after year together really allowed me to grow with them, and understand how deep their friendship is. You’re kind of along for the ride/with them on their journey to discovering that they’re made for each other.

I’m starting to realize that this blog post is getting long, and that there’s a lot that I can say that I liked about this book but I’m just going to say that I loved that Emily also normalized therapy. I think it’s great that we’re including this in novels now. Therapy should be normalized. It’s okay to get help. It’s okay to admit that there’s something wrong that needs fixing. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. The fact that Poppy and Alex both admit to getting therapy really made me happy. I respect Emily Henry for including it.

Based on the amount of things that I did like about this book, I’m pretty sure it’s obvious that I don’t really have anything negative to say. Poppy’s character kind of annoyed me sometimes, and I think that’s something you’ll only understand if you read it. I can’t describe it. She was kind of lacking compassion towards Alex. I mean, to be fair, she wasn’t very aware of how Alex felt about her. I just think she just could have been more considerate. The way she communicated was also very frustrating. Girl, JUST SAY WHAT YOU FEEL!

All in all, “People We Meet On Vacation” has to be one of my favourite reads so far in 2022. I feel like I’m making a huge statement that I might want to take back later, but oh well. I highly recommend you read this book if you have a similar taste in novels. This one’s a good one for all you hopeless romantics. It’s also just a great novel in regards to friendship. They really set the bar and their friendship is rather admirable. I would give this book 5/5 stars. I may be hyping this book up too much, but I truly believe it’s worth this rating. If you end up reading this, PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! Let’s talk about it!

I hope you’re all having a fabulous week so far!

Until next time,

– Tiny ❤

Books I Read In 2021

I don’t know where I want to begin with this one because I’ll be honest, I’m a little disappointed with myself. In 2020, I read over 30 books (33 to be exact!) and in 2021, I only read 21?! There are a lot of reasons why I didn’t read as much last year but I thought I’d at least read the same amount, y’know? I could have at least stayed consistent! Unfortunately, I read 12 less books. Ugh, it hurts even more putting a number to it. I mean, it is what it is. I had a lot going on with Never Skip a Bead that didn’t allow me time to stop and read for as long as I would have liked. Julia and I also had the podcast going. I had a book club. We had to stop the podcast because we both got a little too busy so that prevented a higher book count as well. Part of me feels like these are excuses because if I really wanted to read, I would have made it happen. I sound like a broken record but life really does get in the way sometimes. And I’ve got to accept that sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it.

But that’s what a new year is all about, right? A fresh start! I know what I want to prioritize this year, and reading is one of those things. I’ve been reading as much as I can on my commutes to and from work. I had some tough side effects after getting my booster this week that I had to call in sick to work for a couple days. I had a fever, chills, and body aches. I couldn’t really do much so I read my book. I’m currently reading the second book to “These Violent Delights” by Chloe Gong. I love this book (expect a book review on this duet soon!) so I don’t see a problem with momentum at the moment, but we’ll see!

Anyways, this post isn’t about current or future reads, but about past reads! It’s tough to pick out my “top ten” because that’s literally half the books I read. I don’t know about you but I don’t think that justifies a top ten, so I’m sharing with y’all this year a “Top 5 Books I Read In 2021”. They’re the titles highlighted in yellow and the pink are honourable mentions. Basically, I really want you to read the yellow and if you have extra time, read the pink ones!

These are the books I enjoyed reading the most in 2021. Not pictured: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (because my littlest sister is borrowing it lol).

TOP 5 BOOKS I READ IN 2021

1. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – This was a book Julia and I read for the podcast. I would have never bothered with it if it hadn’t been picked up by Netflix and turned into a series. Honestly, I’m super happy I read it. It made me cry. If you haven’t heard our podcast, The Books Office Podcast, I mentioned that I think the book is way better than the Netflix series. You don’t get enough information from the show. The book had so much more depth and Kristin Hannah does a real good job at connecting you with her characters.

2. Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner – I saw this book all over social media. The cover is cute. There was a lot of hype and I was looking for something good, like really good. I needed something to get me reading again. This was the last book I read in 2021, and I loved it. It’s non-fiction/a memoir, so that made it even more interesting. Losing a parent to cancer is something I can relate to, and it made her story that much more special to me.

3. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz – This was another memoir that we ended up reading in our book club last year. I think joining this book club really made me open up to books outside of teen fiction. This story opens your eyes and it makes you appreciate all that you have. I think it also helps you to better understand the minds of young women and young women of colour. Jaquira shares a lot that demonstrates what it takes to survive and make a better life for yourself. She definitely has courage to have written such a vulnerable and honest book like this. I absolutely recommend it.

4. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – Definitely deserving of this spot. It might be one of the best books I’ve read in years. I think this story had fantastic characters and it covers so much ground: race, identity, gender, belonging, as well as the relationship of twins and their daughters. It’s a very powerful read that I don’t think I am capable of explaining. I definitely can’t do as good of a job as it deserves. You’re just going to have to read it!

5. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – I’m pretty sure you’ve probably heard of this book. It’s really deserving of all the praise. I think it might be popular on TikTok? Matt Haig is an amazing writer. This is the first book that I’ve read that he’s written, but I’m definitely going to look into reading one of his other novels this year. How he came up with “The Midnight Library” is fascinating to me. It’s such a unique story and I think it has a great message. This is 100% a book that everyone should read.

I know I didn’t describe the books as well as I could have. If you’ve read my book reviews before, you know I struggle along the line of over sharing and not sharing enough. I just don’t want to ruin it for anyone that is dying to read one of these 5 books I’ve mentioned. They all deserve to be read and discovered for yourselves. I think you’ll love any one of them. Now that I’m looking back at this, although I only read 21 books last year, I think I read some pretty darn good ones! If you end up reading one of these, I want to know what you think! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I also hope you’re all having a great week! I’m so glad that I’m no longer feeling poorly. That booster really took me out this week, but I’m feeling as good as new now! I’m super excited because my mom and sister are coming to visit me for the weekend. They’re going to help me with the apartment and come with me to IKEA! If anything exciting happens, I’ll be sure to share.

Until next time,

– Tiny ❤