Review: You and Me On Vacation by Emily Henry

 

Title: You and Me on Vacation

Author: Emily Henry

Published: 8th July 2021, Penguin UK

Status: Read July 2021 courtesy PenguinUK /Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

 

You and Me on Vacation (also published until the title People We Meet On Vacation) is a charming romantic comedy from Emily Henry.

When Poppy met Alex (that’s a deliberate reference) on the first night of college O-week, their short conversation, and wildly disparate wardrobes, was enough to convince her that they never need speak again, but the pair are thrown together at the end of freshman year when they carpool home for the summer. Though the two quickly discover they have little in common, except that they were both raised in Linfield, Ohio, and dislike that boats are given female names, the road trip sparks a friendship that sees Poppy, and Alex promise to vacation together every summer.

You and Me On Vacation unfolds over a period of about twelve years moving between the past, describing Poppy and Alex’s annual summer adventures, and the present, where the pair have tentatively reunited after an unnamed incident that caused a rift in their friendship. The structure works well to develop each character, and provide context for their relationship.

Friends to lovers is my favourite romance trope so You and Me on Vacation had immediate appeal for me. I thought Henry’s portrayal of the connection between Poppy and Alex was wonderful. Their banter, studded with teasing, in-jokes and obvious affection, is funny and sweet, their chemistry is evident. I could relate to the pairs fears about ruining their friendship with a romantic entanglement, especially as they seem so incompatible, with Poppy’s carefree spirit contrasting with Alex’s steady nature.

I imagine many twenty-somethings will likely relate to Poppy, one of Henry’s character’s refers to Poppy suffering ‘millennial ennui’, her career goal met, she’s restless and wondering what’s next. Though she thinks all will be solved by another vacation with Alex, to move on with her life, Poppy needs to deal with several issues, particularly those stemming from childhood bullying that affect how she sees herself and the decisions she makes.

Witty and heartfelt, I found You and Me On Vacation to be an easy, engaging read.

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