I absolutely loved Emily Henry’s debut novel Beach Read. But you know, sometimes those amazing debut novels don’t always mean the author will be able to replicate that magic in follow up books. Before I decided to make Emily Henry an auto buy author, I decided to give check out her second book, People We Meet on Vacation, a try and see how the sophomore novel went. It was a great second novel and enough to confirm me as a big fan. But it was truly her novel Book Lovers that made Emily Henry an auto buy author for me!
Seeing her latest novel Happy Place was coming out this spring, it was simply a no brainer that I would read it. She is now a confirmed favorite author of mine and I was looking forward to this book so much. Henry has a wonderful voice that is funny, poignant, relatable, and charming. Readers won’t be able to get enough of Henry once they get their hands on any one of her books. Henry’s books have a way of making modern readers feel seen and understood as the characters try to navigate their lives and their romances which are clearly two very different things in Henry’s books.
These books aren’t chick lit or women’s fiction but they have more substance than some traditional romances. They have this great mix of all these genres that could almost make a whole new genre. I love how much there is in each book to sink your teeth into and this book was just another excellent book in a series of excellent books by this author! This will no doubt be THE READ for the summer so make sure you secure a copy for yourself today!
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best?
A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry. (Summary from Goodreads)
As I mentioned, Henry’s books incorporate a lot of different things to make a unique book baby. This book is as much about friendships and life as it is about romance. I will say this book was definitely on the steamy side, more than any of her other novels, but I think it worked for this book as the characters had been together before. The steam and chemistry was so on point for this book which begs the question why did Harriet and Wyn break up in the first place? While I enjoyed this book, I don’t know that some of the reasons for the break up held much weight for me. I think the book did a good job highlighting the difficulties and struggles the come from being in relationships with others. There is no doubt love there but sometimes there are things the couple needs to work through relationship wise and I think that Henry does a nice job exploring that. But there was a part of me the struggled with understanding why they weren’t together in the first place etc.
This book was a solid read but I will say I liked Book Lovers and Beach Read better. I had a hard time relating to Harriet, she was more of a people pleaser and hated conflict which was hard for me because I am not those things. But I think as women, there is a pressure to please people by nature so even if I couldn’t relate to her I could understand her. But understanding and relating are two different things and I think that it was a struggle for me as a reader to fully connect with her in the way that was expecting to, but I wouldn’t say she is not relatable if that makes sense. I did like that this novel focuses a lot on friendship and how important that is in any romantic relationship. I think it made the relationship between Harriet and Wyn realistic and an accurate representation of modern characters.
The intensity and love that Harriet and Wyn have shows on each page of this book. I love how well supported and developed the characters are in this book even if I didn’t love Harriet as much as I have loved some of Henry’s other heroines, I still felt like she was fully realized and realistically portrayed. If you love romance with substance and intense characters that ooze feeling, then you don’t want to miss any of Henry’s books. She is an incredible writer and I love connecting with the characters and stories even if some I like better than others. This was a great read that will get readers ready for those summer romances.
Book Info and Rating
Format 400 pages, Hardcover
Published April 25, 2023 by Berkley
ISBN 9780593441275 (ISBN10: 0593441273)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced
Rating: 4 stars