Happy July, friends! I’m BUZZING today for a number of reasons and one of them is that I get to talk to you today about one of my most anticipated books of the year. And that book is, of course, You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry. (Note: this book is called People We Meet on Vacation in some places.)
Last year I read and ADORED Beach Read. In fact, I loved it so much that I wrote a review about it which might not seem like much now but at the time, I wasn’t a book blogger and I wasn’t all that interested in writing book reviews. In a sense, that one review was what got me to where I am today. But anyway, my point was: I absolutely loved Beach Read and decided there and then that Emily Henry was going to be an auto-buy author for me.
So yes, I was ecstatic when this book was announced. I was even more thrilled when I was approved for an eARC on NetGalley because again, possibly my MOST anticipated release of the entire year. Definitely the one that I was most eager to get my hands on.
Before I kick off this review, I should mention that I’m not an avid romance reader so I’m coming at this from a general reader perspective rather than a genre-fan POV. (That said, there is nothing wrong with romance. It’s just not a genre that I automatically gravitate towards.) Without further ado, here’s my full review of You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry.
Many thanks to Penguin Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You and Me on Vacation
by Emily Henry
Date of Publication: 22nd July 2021
Format: eBook (365 pages)
Note: You and Me on Vacation is out now in eBook format!
TEN SUMMER TRIPS
THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE
12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.
11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.
10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.
7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.
2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.
THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.
You and Me on Vacation is a New York Times bestselling love story for fans of When Harry Met Sally and One Day. Get ready to travel the world, snort with laughter and – most of all – lose your heart to Poppy and Alex.
- Pet death (off-page but mentioned a few times)
- Parent death (off-page but referenced multiple times)
At its core, this is a friends-to-lovers romance so you pretty much know what you can expect. Simmering chemistry. Lots of pining. Slow burn feelings that eventually boil over. And this book is definitely all of those things. If you’re looking for a steamy romance with instant gratification, this isn’t the book for you. We’re talking 12 summers worth of slow burn but the payoff is worth it.
This book is also described as both an escapist read AND a laugh-out-loud comedy. I’m delighted to tell you, that I wholeheartedly agree with both statements. Poppy and Alex visit so many lush settings on their vacations that it definitely fulfils that craving for wanderlust. It also made me laugh SO MANY TIMES. That in itself is such a rare experience for me, so yeah – big thumbs up from me.
I fell in love with Poppy and Alex before the first chapter was finished. They’re both incredibly likeable. Yes, they’re polar opposites but they compliment each other in all the right places. And the chemistry between them was just flawless.
In that respect, I have to give kudos to Emily Henry because she has an incredible talent for fleshing out her characters. They are always so human and relatable and they all have their quirks and flaws. I can’t stress enough how much Poppy and Alex’s vulnerabilities add to this book. Poppy has grown up feeling isolated and Alex lost his mum at a really young age so you see how these things shape who they are, their experiences and expectations as well as their hopes and dreams for the future. And I thought that was done phenomenally well. It really did make me feel deeply for both characters.
While I have loved both of Henry’s adult romances, I should mention that they are very different. Both books draw on heavier themes and how they impact the characters but I felt that Beach Read hit a little harder in that respect. You and Me on Vacation was much lighter. It filled me with joy. I laughed multiple times. In comparison, I have been known to describe Beach Read as “emotionally exhausting”. (It felt like someone had torn out my heart and stomped on the pieces. Basically, it made me cry. A. LOT.) There were a few moments when I felt sad for either Poppy or Alex but nowhere near the same level of intensity as I did for January or Gus. (Speaking of, I LOVED Gus’ cameo!)
Read this if you…
- Enjoy a slow burn romance
- Want some escapism
- Love the friends-to-lovers trope
Do you enjoy reading contemporary romance novels? If so, will you be reading You and Me on Vacation this summer? Let me know in the comments below.