Book Review: People We Meet on Vacation

Book Review: People We Meet on Vacation

Posted: May 24, 2021


People We Meet on Vacation


Emily Henry


May 11, 2021



Let me be honest here- I’ve never been one to read a whole lot of romance novels. I have this sort of prejudiced view that they’re all the same predictable mishmash of character stereotypes, cheesiness, and repetitive descriptions of washboard abs. Emily Henry may be the author to break me of this mindset. People We Meet on Vacation is genuinely funny and heartfelt with a touch of mystery, and is just as much about Poppy and Alex’s personal journeys as it is their developing relationship.

I chose to read this book after scanning through a first-page preview, and right off the bat Henry is able to convey very specific emotions to her readers in a breezy, effortless manner as she describes the experience of traveling somewhere new. I was hooked. When worldwide pandemics aren’t going on I’m something of a travel junkie, so it was very easy to relate to Poppy, and a delight to fall into her adventures. Henry did an amazing job capturing the “vibes” of each place the characters traveled to, and it was peak escapist reading.

A couple on the beach
Haha why's your girlfriend so jealous Alex I don't get it - Poppy, probably

The author sets up the building tension between Poppy and Alex in a very natural way. While Poppy is narrating current events, there are flashbacks peppered throughout that fill readers in on their history. Every piece of their story has a purpose, and what I wasn’t expecting was just how funny this book would be. Poppy and Alex’s banter is top-notch, and it feels as though you truly get to be included in all their little inside jokes and -ism’s as they develop.

There is some focus within the story about the difference between “instagram” life and real life, and I think the same distinction is made within the plot. This book isn’t about two filthy rich characters blissfully sipping champagne at a 5 star hotel while the romantic tension bubbles over. There is depth here- well-laid plans go awry, half-baked plans come together, and it’s all the more exciting ride for the imperfections. The characters were all very real to me. Even as a jet-setting travel writer Poppy has her awkward moments, internal doubts, and makes mistakes. I also found myself just as intrigued and entertained by the side-characters as I did the main ones, who were unique and occasionally hilarious in their own right.

A dramatic Greek statue
See: Alex, struggling to break past even the smallest of emotional barriers

Probably the only thing that did irk me was that there were certain points in the story where it seemed like uncharacteristic decisions were made just to further the plot. This didn’t happen often, but when it occurred I did feel a shift in the otherwise seamless storytelling.

My complaints with this book are minimal, though. After over a year of being on lockdown, for me the travel-heavy plot was a breath of fresh air, and the romantic relationship was built up in such a unique, natural way that I found myself ordering another one of Emily Henry’s books about a week after I finished this one. People We Meet on Vacation was a delight to read, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh take on the friends-to-lovers trope.





Entertainment Value




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