PLOT: 4/5 CHARACTERS: 3.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 3.5/5 ROMANCE: 3.5/5 OVERALL: 3.5/5
“But most of us are too scared to even ask what we want, in case we can’t have it.”
― Emily Henry, People We Meet on Vacation
Unlike many of my previous reads, People We Meet on Vacation was another book high up in my TBR pile, and I had decided to read it before I got to Book Lovers. This was one book that was all over Instagram with people going ga ga over it last year… so of course, there was that ever-compelling feeling of FOMO consuming me from the inside until I could finally find the time to read it over the weekend.
Though, I had heard great things about this book, alas! I was to be a little disappointed, for, in the end, my feelings about this one are quite mixed.
The summary of People We Meet on Vacation
Poppy & Alex meet up at college only to find out that they actually live across the same town having attended sister concern schools. But that’s where their similarities end. They are total opposites of each other. Poppy is the wild, carefree child, and Alex the ever-so-dependent and responsible one.
One summer while going back home from college they share a car ride and thus begin their true friendship. After college, they settle into their respective lives, living far away from each other, yet they always take one week of summer vacation together, until 2 years ago when things changed for them and they stop speaking altogether.
But Poppy, though she has everything she desires, is still unhappy and the last time she was truly happy was when she was on a trip with Alex. So, Poppy decides to take one more vacation and make things right.
But there has always been one big unspoken truth between them.
Could it ruin their friendship or will it bring them closer?
There are things that I like in this book and things that I didn’t, giving me mixed feelings, so I guess you can call this review an unpopular opinion.
Well, I will start with what I liked?
The friendship between Alex and Poppy. They would do anything for each other, come what may, and all the vacations they took with each other, they were sacred for them in ways that you and I can seldom fathom. They both ‘get’ each other, in spite of being polar opposites.
The story roles out in a more elaborate friends-to-lovers trope. Emily Henry has a way to write dialogues. It makes you feel that you are a part of their conversations. It was delightful to read their banter.
The trips…all those wonderful locations where they vacationed felt so real, felt like I was taking them myself. This is also one major reason why this book is a perfect vacation read.
“I wish I could bottle this moment and wear it as a perfume. It would always be with me. Everywhere I went, he’d be there too, and so I’d always feel like myself.”
What I didn’t like?
The main reason for their fight/silence… the whole book led to that one instance but it was super silly and to not talk about it for 2 years was just unfathomable to the reader, especially given the history and friendship between the two.
Somewhere around the middle, I felt the book got boring. A lot of unnecessary descriptions were added about places they visited. There were times when in Poppy’s mind she jumped from the present holiday to a past holiday memory which kind of irked me. This at least could have been panned out in a better way.
Poppy, for the most part, felt annoying and a tad selfish, and Alex was too docile for his own good. I also wished, we as readers, could have gained some insight into Alex’s mind about his feelings for Poppy, as he was in an on/off relationship for many years with someone else.
In the end, maybe due to the high expectations set by the internet and the hype it received especially on Instagram, I didn’t enjoy it as much as others. But then some romances work for some, while for others they don’t, and that’s absolutely fine. As they say, “to each their own”.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of People We Meet on Vacation using the link below.