• Samantha

Top Shelf: Emily Henry's People We Meet on Vacation

It's always encouraging to start the new year with a great book! Emily Henry's People We Meet on Vacation doesn't disappoint! I fell in love with the main characters, Poppy and Alex, and their friendship.


Poppy is a free-spirited, colorful travel writer and blogger who lives in New York City. Alex is a high school English teacher who lives in Linfield, Ohio (where coincidentally Alex and Poppy are both from unbeknownst to them when they met their freshmen year in college). Alex is smart, reserved and ambitious in his teaching and educational pursuits.


The unlikely pair form a solid friendship over the years. Even after they graduate and live in different states, they maintain their annual tradition of a summer vacation together. Their vacations started in college when budgets were tight and worked their way to all-paid work trips for Poppy. These vacations always brought the two of them together, but two years ago, something happened on their annual vacation that tore them apart. The book begins during this two-year drought.


Poppy and Alex reconnect after Poppy sends a text to Alex. In an effort to mend their friendship with an opportunity to travel to Alex's brother's wedding together, they set out on a vacation. Poppy is hopeful they can repair any damage from their last trip together.


Henry does a masterful job of illustrating their friendship by alternating between present day and each summer trip starting with their first one 12 years prior. As we fall in love with Poppy and Alex's friendship and learn of their lives -- both the struggles and celebrations, we also discover the nature of their relationship. On this journey, we begin to feel the complexity of their situations all while enjoying the interesting places they visit and meeting various people on their vacations each year.


I loved this book for many reasons. The dialogue, descriptions and plot kept me turning pages. Each chapter brought new revelations about Poppy and Alex and the lovely travel details provided me with an incredible bout of wanderlust.


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