Book Review

Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Release Date: May 3rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An insightful, delightful new novel from the number-one New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming….

Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away – with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

EXPECTATIONS.

I’m going to start with saying that this felt more like a book about sisters than it did a romance. And if I had known that prior I think I would have enjoyed it more. For too long I sat there wondering WHERE IS THE ROMANCE.

Admittedly, the romance did show up (after 25%) and I was charmed. I adored Nora and Charlie. I was laughing so much at the absolute perfect banter and chemistry between them. The forced proximity between the two was one of my favorite aspects. I liked the small town setting and the slow unraveling of feelings that heated up right on cue.

The main plot with Nora’s sister, Libby grew on me [though, good heavens stop calling her Sissy]. I think both showed some improvement as they reconnected. I liked seeing Nora’s perspective change and really diving into why she feels the way she does (and the responses it causes). These two have the kind of bond I love seeing in sibling books.

Not my favorite of Emily Henry’s books, but still a fantastic read. I look forward to more!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, anxiety/panic attacks, stroke (parent, not on page), grief and loss depiction

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

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?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

LOVED THIS.

I can break down this review really simply.

I have a hard time loving these tropes: friends to lovers, second chance, and books with flashback chapters.

People We Meet on Vacation made me love them ALL. It was written so beautifully and magnetically that I devoured this in a day. I didn’t want to put it down, I needed to know what happened. The story was a journey and gave me plenty of wanderlust about traveling.

I LOVE Alex and Poppy. Goodness gracious. Their chemistry leaped off the page into fireworks. From the get-go I knew I was in for this book. I love the opposites attract vibes and watching their love story play out over the flashbacks. It was expertly accomplished. I can’t say enough good things about how this story. I wish I could read it fresh again.

Need I mention some tropes I do love that were also included? ONE BED, slow burn and tension for days. The angst here was real. Alex was such a cinnamon roll. Poppy was vibrant and larger than life. I just love them. LOVE THEM. I found myself smiling and laughing at the banter and antics. How things were going utterly wrong in one way and perfectly right in another.

I like to mention in romances if that conflict we all know is coming took away from the story. This time? It didn’t take away at all. It fit into everything I learned about the characters over the book. It allowed for growth from both characters and learning what they truly wanted and needed from their own lives as their’s collided.

What a book. I love Emily Henry’s romances!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depicitons of anxiety, loss of a parent, bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 361 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

A MUST FOR SUMMER.

Oh I loved this.

I’ve been in a huge reading slump. And this book managed to pull out a two-day read from me because I couldn’t put it down. I knew it was practically a 5 star from a quarter of the way through. Beach Read was just that magical to me at the right time.

I almost feel like that makes it hard to write a review, at least a fully coherent one. If things go sideways, know, I LOVED IT. And definitely would recommend across the board for an adult (low-mid steam) contemporary romance that makes you smile, laugh, and want to hug the main characters.

This book has magnetizing powers. I love the polar opposite, old college acquaintances, set-up. The chemistry between January and Gus flew off the charts from the moment the met again. I love that there was a clear dynamic between them and that the banter between them was snarky AND sweet, and never came across as downright mean. The pacing for their relationship moved in just the right ways for me and I love the way they worked on communicating together and acknowledging the things they needed to work on.

For the plot, how charming for authors to be writing books while reading a book written by an author? I could really feel Henry’s voice because I could feel the same struggles she probably went through writing her novel as January and Gus worked through theirs. The juxtaposition gave a charming flair that made for easy and enjoyable reading.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few open and close door scenes; mildly detailed
  • Trigger warnings: Gus discusses his abusive Father, multiple discussions about a fictional suicide cult (they see the site, speak with those who had family members that were apart of it); loss of a loved one, adultery, cancer, divorce

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