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People We Meet on Vacation


People We Meet on Vacation

BEACH READ author Emily Henry returns with her sophomore outing, PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION, a modern-day version of When Harry Met Sally. Poppy and Alex are polar opposites who meet as first-year students during orientation at the University of Chicago. She is a free spirit who marches to her own beat and loves to travel, and he is a straight-laced young man who enjoys immersing himself in a good book. When they are thrown together on a car trip to their respective homes, they become best friends.

"PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION is a light and fun read that will make the perfect addition to a beach or pool bag and will be an easy book to enjoy on vacation."

Unhappy with her life at school, Poppy drops out of college to work at her dream job with a travel magazine. To spend time with each other since they are no longer in the same city, Poppy and Alex decide to take an annual trip together that becomes the highlight of their friendship. Regardless of what else is going on in their lives, for a decade they have made time to travel to Vail, Nashville, Tuscany, Sanibel Island and other entertaining destinations. Sadly these vacations come to a screeching halt when their visit to Croatia goes awry. Consequently, they haven’t spoken to each other in two years.

As the story opens, Poppy is unhappy with her life. She decides to reach out to Alex and convince him to take one last trip together. They merge this idea with his brother’s wedding and head to Palm Springs for a week.

Poppy narrates the story, and PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION toggles between the current summer and each previous vacation starting with the first one. As these trips unfold, details about Alex and Poppy’s lives and relationship emerge, and readers slowly get to know them. Over the years, Poppy begins to understand that her feelings for Alex might be more than just friendly, but she struggles with this knowledge because she does not want to ruin their relationship. Henry drops hints about the pair’s falling out as the story progresses and as she develops both characters.

I would like to point out that the title is not quite accurate. Alex and Poppy do not meet on vacation, and while they do meet people on vacation, these individuals do not contribute to their relationship. Also, their falling out in Croatia does not live up to the buildup or make much sense as the reason for not speaking to each other for so long. But these issues are minor, and neither takes away too much from the story as a whole.

At the end of the book, Henry creatively shouts out some fiction recommendations with a list of recent titles that would be in her own carry-on. Kudos to her for using her platform to recognize others.

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION is a light and fun read that will make the perfect addition to a beach or pool bag and will be an easy book to enjoy on vacation.

Reviewed by Cindy Burnett on June 18, 2021

People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry