I’m back with a new book review! This is one book I had on my bookshelf forever! I bought both People We Meet On Vacation and Beach Read by Emily Henry because I’ve seen both books everywhere on social media. I saw lots of reviews for both. One say both books are great. Some say one is better than the other. I got both so that I can make up my own mind about them. I started reading Beach Read but put it down because well…I wasn’t in the mood for it. I like to go by my moods when I read (and also if I have a book to read for book clubs) so I put it down for another time.
I know that that it’s December and not really a time when people usually read this but I was really in the mood for a romance book. I had really high hopes for this book and I can say it did not disappoint.
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?
Where do I begin? First of all, it made me want to cry. It’s just that I have a crush on a friend and I wish we can date but clearly he won’t be interested and I’m gonna be forever alone. So I was super sad after reading it. Thats the first thing. I’m just a hopeless hopeless romantic.
The second is my connections with the characters. I can confidently say that I’m a mixture of both characters. Like Alex, I’m a writer and an English teacher (Well his is more of a Lit class but same difference). I’m also super reserved and the biggie is that I lost my mom at a very young age. And in the book he mentioned that he didn’t remember what his mom sounded like and boy oh boy! I feel that. I don’t remember what she sounds like. I don’t remember what my granddad sounds like. I’m almost forgetting what my uncle sounded like. It makes me really sad.
In the ways I’m like Poppy? Well, we’re both small (I’m 4’11). And well, we both have tendencies to feel alone and to feel the need to run away from our true deep issue. We can’t leave our hometown and carry what happened to us and how the mean kids treated us at school when growing up. We can’t run away from our life and think of a vacation as a “quick fix”. We can’t get too scared that if people got real close to us that they’ll leave us. We can’t always be embarrassed by our families even though we love them oh so much. We can’t run away from who we are. There are times now that I wish I can be someone else. She felt alone growing up and in adulthood as well and only once she read one of Alex’s stories did she finally realize that he low-key understood her.
I loved their friendship. How it blossomed from an awkward meetup at orientation to them really getting to know each other in the car ride home. They had no choice but to talk but Alex said that that was the first time people asked him questions about himself. He was always being the strong one for everyone else and he had to take care of everyone else so it was nice that she actually asked him questions about himself. It was really nice to see how they blossomed and came into their own. They almost had a symbiotic relationship though, which I can see where some people might become upset about but I personally don’t care. Again though, at a time, I felt really bad with the pressure I was putting on my crush. I didn’t realize it until he spent those three weeks not communicating with me and I felt really bad so I can see where she was coming from with her guilt with Alex. She did bring out the best in him and when she was sick (like peeing on herself sick) and he took care of her, I fell in love with him all over again. How he’d hold her when they slept…ugh. Which will bring me to my next point.
And finally, the love aspect of the book. There were signs throughout the friendship where you saw the actual love that they had for each other. Even though it was told from Poppy’s perspective, with the things that Alex would do for her and put up with for her, you can see that he actually loved her. Like I mentioned before, from him taking care of her to him holding her while sleeping to dancing in public and going to places he detested but he still did because he loved her. Like geez, can I get some of that? What I did appreciate was how their love unfolded. Like some books its like oh they got together yay and that’s it but with this one? They had sex (not really a spoiler) and had to deal with the aftermath of it and what it could possibly mean moving forward. There were ups and downs and I was here for it all!
I give this book a 4.5/5. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read another romance!
What romance book did you enjoy?