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People We Meet on Vacation

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Goodreads Choice Award
Winner for Best Romance (2021)
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

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?

364 pages, Paperback

First published May 11, 2021

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About the author

Emily Henry

14 books68.2k followers
Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Book Lovers, People We Meet on Vacation, and Beach Read, as well as the forthcoming Happy Place. She lives and writes in Cincinnati and the part of Kentucky just beneath it.

Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.

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5 stars
247,294 (30%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 79,633 reviews
Profile Image for emma.
1,821 reviews45.4k followers
February 9, 2023
I believe in the concept of soulmates.

This may seem at odds with my overall extremely cool, edgy reputation, but let me explain. Sure, your soulmate might be Some Guy, but equally it might be the feeling of flipping your pillow over to the cool side, or when the airplane seems to be fully booked but slowly the trickle of people doing that awkward slow-walk to stow their luggage comes to a stop and there's no one sitting in your row, or those authentic actual cream puffs where the puff part is pretty dry and disappointing but the cream is like ice cream if ice cream was actually good. (I do not like ice cream. This is just one more point in favor of my potentially being an alien.)

You may believe that I have opened this review of a romance novel with a discussion of soulmates in a way to tie in the content of the book, and in a way, you would be right. But not really.

Sure, yeah, the Alex and Poppy contained within these pages are probably soulmates, as is the case with, you know, the genre as a whole.

But I'm here to talk about MY soulmate. And with every passing day I become more convinced that surely, certainly, without a doubt, that that role in my life is filled by Emily Henry.

Okay, no. That's a bridge too far in creepiness levels even for me in my love for her, a love which I have declared in multiple reviews here, on my blog, in my now-defunct bookstagram in a series of tangential-to-stalking posts, in one of those letter boards I used to have when they were trendy, in her DMs, in her comments, and so on.

But I should clarify that it's her WRITING that is my soulmate.

My favorite super-specific subgenre of all time is magical realism where I can really believe that the magic might just exist in our dumb old boring world, and she is the master of that. Plus she includes lovely romances and incredible banter and the best ever friendships and a million other good and perfect things.

I cried on a Greyhound bus rereading A Million Junes. I, a person who does not cry even in the privacy of my own oblivion AND a person who does everything but cease to exist when on a cross-country bus trip, cried! While REREADING!

I loved When the Sky Fell on Splendor so much that I...also made my review a love letter to its author!

I so adored The Love That Split the World that I basically almost looked past the insta-love, something that has previously forever been impossible for me to do!

And when I heard about Beach Read, an adult rom-com interrupting an all-star lineup of YA magical realism, I wrote the email equivalent of getting on my knees and begging to the publisher right away.

And like everything else Emily Henry writes, it was a mix of fairytale-like dreaminess and real-world Harsh Reality. It had the real characters and the engrossing writer and the dialogue of a champion like everything else.

And this did too!

The romance was slow-burn and lovely, Alex and Poppy are complete dreamboats, the travel component was something I didn't know I needed or could even HAVE, and in short this was just very good. Even if it's not my favorite genre, or my favorite tropes - it is my favorite author.

A big part of me hopes that someday, Emily Henry will get back to the young adult magical realism that has made it to my top five favorite books and my top favorites of the year and the hard to reach upper echelons of my grueling rating system several times over.

But if she doesn't, that's okay too. I'd read math textbooks if she wrote them. (But only then and not a moment before!)

Plus she's got that instant #1 New York Times bestseller status, and that, I am willing to admit, is ever so slightly more prestigious (not to mention financially rewarding) than my enduring love and affection.

And she has that anyway.

Bottom line: Emily Henry forever!!!


and the emily henry withdrawal starts...now.

(it actually started last night, when i finished this book, but it hit too hard for me to even mark it as read.)

review to come / 4 stars!

currently-reading updates

i would die for emily henry, but that wouldn't help me get my hands on this book as soon as possible.

so i subscribed to book of the month instead.

tbr review

some people write enemies to lovers romance. some people write friends to lovers romance.

emily henry said why not BOTH...

nobody is doing it like her!!!

announcement review

who do i have to bribe to get my hands on this book?

i am willing to offer anything. (and by anything i mean A Large Amount of Cookies and/or My Undying Love and Devotion.)
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,125 reviews39.2k followers
December 28, 2022
Well deserved winner of the year! I loved this book so much 🥳🥂🥂

I think I want to give million hugs to author right now! I fell so hard for her latest book Beach Read which is still my favorite romance book of last year!

I thought nothing she may write could be better than this lyrical/ dreamy/ feel good- tear jerker love story . But after reading this freaking heartbreaking amazing book I’m taking all back: this book is the best thing I’ve read for so long! And I can honestly say this is is going to be not this year’s best romance read for me but it also will take its space at my all time favorite and at least three times must read list! It’s freaking good!

It is unbelievably amazing mash up of When Harry Met Sally- Love, Rosie- One Day with combinations of 90’s best Meg Ryan romcoms vibes!

The couple’s first meeting and their road trip is truly inspired by When Harry Met Sally as the author mentioned at the end of the book but their 12 hilarious, inspirational, adventurous, exciting trips and the way of storytelling makes you gather the clues to find the missing matches to complete the puzzle to understand their 12 years long friendship zone relationship is outstandingly smart.

Poppy and Alex were so so real, so powerful, so genuine! I feel like I have been knowing them for a long time. They’re polar opposites, wanting different things from life. As Poppy hates Linfield and khakis, those two things are Alex’s favorite things. As Poppy is vivid, energetic, hyperactive, adventurer, risk taker, Alex is more serene, picky, bookish, calm, controlling. Poppy never wants to settle down, desiring to experience different things from the life as Alex sticks to his routine, living at the same neighborhood, dreaming of being a happy family man.

But could wanting to different things from life stop them to yearn for each other?

Two years ago something happened in their Croatia trip. Now Poppy misses her friend like crazy, she’s not happy with her life and she cannot concentrate on her job! She decides to dodge a bullet, asking her best friend for one last trip to Palm Springs to fix their relationship. What could go wrong when you’re having an adventurous holiday with your favorite person?

I don’t want to give any spoilers but I can only say one thing. There’s a part at the last third: Poppy gives a powerful and bold speech at the bar: the speech made me cried for at least three hours! My husband finally lost control and put duct tapes to my mouth to make me shut up. I think I’m also suffering from dried eye syndrome. I may have dropped at least five gallons of tears and I think I’m out of tears for a long time! But that emotional speech and entire book made my entire year!


Okay, I’m stopping right now! I’m giving five gazillion stars to this amazing book and I’m specifically giving the last third: entire galaxy!

I’m million times thankful to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this fantastic reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

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Profile Image for Yun.
508 reviews19k followers
October 11, 2022
People We Meet on Vacation is a sweet, fluffy, beachy read that gets a little long in the tooth towards the end.

Poppy and Alex have been best friends since college. Even though they are as different as two people can be, they just get each other. As life keeps them apart geographically, their only chance to catch up in person is to take an epic summer trip together every year. But two years ago, they had a falling out and haven't spoken since. Now Poppy wants one more trip to fix everything.

The trope of friends to lovers has been done so many times, yet this book finds a way to give it a fresh take. Poppy and Alex are fun and hilarious together, and I found myself smiling through all their banter and interactions. Poppy is the zany one while Alex is the straight lace, but both are equally loveable in their own way.

Where this story fell a bit short is towards the end. I started to find Poppy's antics too over-the-top. Often, instead of just saying what she's feeling, she'll go and do crazy things to avoid talking. She starts coming across as needy and high-maintenance, sending mixed signals and jerking Alex around. And poor Alex just had to take it.

I also found their inability to admit how they feel about each other getting old. It was cute and endearing earlier in the book because they didn't know. But once they figured it out and acted on it, I don't understand why they continued to deny their feelings. It reminds me of Chinese gift-giving culture, where the receiver of the gift (of love, in this case) has to refuse many times before finally accepting in order to avoid appearing greedy or eager. They'll say things like "I can't possibly accept! This is too much! I don't deserve it!" Meanwhile I'm like, please just accept this love for goodness' sake, so I can move on with my life.

Romance books are so personal. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. Usually we are drawn to the stories that remind us of ourselves and our love language. And this is a case where the longer the book went on, the less I could see myself in Poppy.

Still, other than the drawn out ending, I very much enjoyed this story. It was such a fun and funny romance, with its jet-setting and vacation-y scenes. It makes me want to pack a bag, fly somewhere tropical, and sit on a beach with one those little drinks with an umbrella in it. And in that respect, this book hits the perfect spot.

This was a pick for my Book of the Month box. Get your first book for $5 here.
Profile Image for Lucía.
179 reviews179 followers
September 3, 2022
Yikes, how can I go from giving 5 stars to this author for Beach Read to 1 star.
This book was the biggest disappointment of this year so far. I was so excited to read it and it didn’t deliver for me 😔😭

It’s a friends to lovers, which is not my fave trope.
Apparently Alex and Poppy loved each other for 12 YEARS, and didn’t make a single move in those years to form a relationship, but they had bf and gf when their feelings were so strong.
The reason of their fallout was childish, a conversation would have solved it.

I didn’t feel any chemistry between them. They were better off as platonic friends.
I think Poppy liked him because he didn’t have him, that’s it. She had a co-dependency on him to not feel alone.

We only get the heroine’s POV and at some point it got suffocating. I wanted to see what the hero was thinking because for 80% percent of the book I felt like he only liked her as a sister not a lover, and when the declaration of love happened it seemed like they paid him to say all those things. I did not believe him.
He also had more chemistry with his ex than with Poppy.

Her obsession with his ex girlfriend was weird. Even having dreams about her and bringing her name up on conversations making things awkward.

The writing was all over the place suddenly we were in the present and then in the same sentence she is reminiscing about the furniture she had to buy 4 months ago.

There were so many insignificant details, like describing the life of her many boyfriends or even rambling for 5 paragraphs on how Alex’s parents named their children in alphabetical order.
Those were just added words to make the book longer because it’s not relevant to the plot; I don’t care what the h ate 4 years ago on the rooftop of a NY hotel on a summer night.

I’m not very fond of this new trend where lots of pages are spent talking, with fine details, of the hundreds of activities you can do in a city. This happened in this book way too often, adding nothing to the story, making it boring.
But at least they should pitch those chapters to travel agencies though, it can make cute brochures.

Anyway, I know I am going to be kind of alone with this opinion because everybody is loving it, but I just wanted to rant a bit because I waited for this book a long time to end up hating it...
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
602 reviews87.3k followers
May 31, 2021
The fact that I loved this isn't surprising at all. It's second chance romance, opposites attract, and friends to lovers, three of my favourite tropes! It definitely didn't disappoint. The chemistry between Alex and Poppy was amazing. Poppy as a character was so much fun to read about. I loved the then and now, how you got to follow all the summer vacations they had taken over the years while following the present day too. It made for a well rounded story and look at the characters and their relationship. It's definitely a slow burn but the pay off is worth it. The characters are really what drives the story. But the settings provided a nice back drop for everything to play out. I felt like I was vacationing alongside them and with Poppy's whimsical way of living, it was refreshing to just roll with the punches. Emily Henry's books are definitely becoming favourites of mine. I love how they're romances, but with a little something more too. I'm not sure if I liked Beach Read or this one more, but I do know I'll be looking out for anything new by her!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,505 reviews30.8k followers
May 28, 2022
a much needed palate cleanser. <3


gahhhh. i would die to have a connection/bond with someone as cute, wholesome, hilarious, and passionate as poppy and alex have with each other. better yet, just give me alex. hes what i really want. lol.

even though i love romance books, i wouldnt consider myself an especially romantic or sentimental person. but wow, EH has made me once again wish that her stories were my reality. i mean, the humour. the chemistry. the tender way heavy topics are discussed. the realness of it all. the easy-breezy writing that makes me tear up at times. everything about this is so easy to love and want.

its pretty much perfection on paper.

5 stars
Profile Image for Kat.
260 reviews79.1k followers
February 7, 2023
this was so beautiful i’m so single and SO glad tomorrow isn’t promised 😍
Profile Image for che.
104 reviews359 followers
February 5, 2022
ladies, if a man pulls a "sad puppy face" at you, run as fast as you can.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews111k followers
November 10, 2021
THIS is how you do friends-to-lovers.
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
125 reviews92.1k followers
February 22, 2022
closer to 3.75 stars but I really enjoyed this!
this book is just “you are in love” by taylor swift in novel form ♥️
Profile Image for mina reads™️.
520 reviews6,563 followers
August 3, 2021
“I’ll never belong anywhere like I belong with you”

4.5 stars

This book was phenomenal, friends to lovers excellence if you will. In this story we follow two best friends, Alex and Poppy, who always take an annual summer vacation together. After a mysterious incident two years ago the two have drifted apart but Poppy proposes one last trip to save their friendship.

This book was full of mutual pining, inside jokes and amazing chemistry. The romantic tension between Alex and Poppy was just so well done I was sold on them as a couple almost immediately. I felt like they knew and understood each other so intimately and it honestly was so swoon worthy. The mortifying ordeal of being known is so worth it! This was really gripping, loved the writing, the humor, the banter, the angst! It was just so great 🥰 I read it in under 24hrs because I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend!!

Also I totally made a playlist for this book so if anyone’s interested 👀 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Qe...
Profile Image for ✨ A ✨ .
423 reviews1,624 followers
August 24, 2021
I have been in desperate need of this exact combination of opposites attract and Emily Henry has served us!!! 


Poppy and Alex have an unlikely friendship. Poppy is free spirited, quirky and outgoing. Alex is quiet and prefers to stay indoors with a book.

They meet during orientation week in college and become friends after an awkward car ride home.

After college they mostly live far apart however every summer they take a trip together and go on exciting adventures.

Until one summer, everything falls apart.

Now, after two years of not talking, Poppy is determined to fix things with Alex. She manages to persuade him to go on one last vacation where she has one week to convince Alex to give their friendship another go.

Beach Read was one of my absolute favourite reads of 2020. So i went into this one with my fingers crossed, peaking through one eye, just in case it didnt live up to Beach Read.

I cannot put into words how ECSTATIC i was to find that it surpassed my hopes.

Its scary how perfect this book was (for me). I feel like the author stole my dreams (like the giant in the bfg hehehheheh) of the 💕perfect romance book💕 and picked every single trope that i loved and mashed it into one book.


Here are the tropes this book included: best friends to lovers (the superior trope). Grumpy/sunshine. witty banter. there's only one bed. opposites attract. slow burn. lots of yearning and pining. TENSION FOR DAYS.

The writing was like a bowl of chocolate mousse. Smooth, lovely and addictive.

After the first spoonful (or in this case: page) i could not put it down!

We follow their friendship from the day they met with chapters alternating between past and present.

At the time i read this (January 2021) i had been in lockdown for almost 10 months.
And when i tell you i was living vicariously through Alex and Poppy 😉🚣‍♀️. I felt like i was there with them visiting these beautiful places. ((Lowkey jealous of them tbh 💅🏽 ))

Poppy was so cute and i loved her so much. I found some parts of her so relatable and i just wanted her to be happy.

Alex was.... *whispers*.... everythingggggggg.
My sweet cinnamon roll introvert. *weeps* i want him 😭.

Y'all can thirst all you want over your smirking badboys. Just leave Alex with me mmkay?

I really enjoyed the chapters set in the Past. We get to see Poppy and Alexs' friendship grow and it was beautiful to see how much they cared for each other before romantic feelings came into play.

And then the Present chapters were filled with tension and yearning. *dies*


You and Me on Vacation/People We Meet on Vacation made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me 🥰'aawwwwwwww'🥰 - just,, ALL THE FEELS

In conclusion, this book was *chefs kiss* from beginning to end and i wish i had a physical copy so i can highlight all my favourite parts and stain the pages with my tears of happiness.

(If you are Emily Henry and youre, by some wild chance, reading this: hi i love you so much can i be your best friend? Pls tell everyone alex is mine)

« e-arc kindly sent to me by Penguin Random House and Berkley in exchange for an honest review »

• Release Date: 11 May 2021 •

Read my review of Beach Read by Emily Henry
Profile Image for Ayman.
190 reviews70.5k followers
July 29, 2021
4.5 ⭐️ fuck i loved this book! i ate this shit up! i’m a mother at this point because i would use my entire body, mind, and soul to protect these characters. this shit was so wholesome but so fucking real. like it wasn’t all hearts and butterflies, it was raw emotions which i enjoyed reading.
poppy is so relatable, it kinda hurts. really loved reading this through her pov. she gets me ya know?
alex…this man…he’s the fucking blueprint at this point. my standards are so beyond high now..i have lost what little faith i had in real life men. i just know this man would slap a racist motherfucker for me and defend my rights
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
389 reviews3,138 followers
January 21, 2023
A light-heartened and quick read that is totally predictable, entirely forgettable, and unoriginal.

Poppy and Alex go on a vacation together every year. But will Poppy and Alex ever get together?

This was just like The Bachelor, You've Got Mail, and a touch of The Notebook. Usually, I don't read romance but this one had some high reviews on GoodReads, and I wasn't so sure on the thriller I had selected.

This book had a very light hearted feel which was nice after the last book that I read that literally was so dark that I was having nightmares. However, it was entirely predictable. After about halfway through, I was wondering OK can we just get there already? These romance type books really bother me because they are so unrealistic. Poppy lives in New York and has a jet-set lifestyle while Alex still lives in their small Mid-West town in Ohio, working as a teacher at the public high school. The characters are so quick to give up everything in their lives. In the real world, some things can't be changed so easily. Some people are not compatible no matter how much they love each other. It is a big deal for one person to want to get married, have children, own their own house, and the other person never wants to get married, never wants to have children, and wants to live with a bunch of people in a commune. Some people need a quiet calm place to feel safe. They need to have a job so that they feel financially safe especially when the other party doesn't want to get married. Just agreeing to "everything" will not work out long term.

This book could have been so much better. In fact, it could have shown that there are some people who are wonderful to be around and go on vacation with, but they are not good at sharing your life with. For example, you might be madly in love with someone with a gambling/drug addiction. That person might make you feel like you are the most important person in the world, make you laugh and smile, and your eyes alight every time you think of that person. But you can't live with that person. You can't depend on that person to make sure that the rent will be paid or that they can show up to take you to your doctor's appointment. This book totally glossed over the fact that you can have deep, intense, magnetic, earth-shattering feelings for someone, but the relationship will not work out. It would have been so much better if Sara actually said, "I know he loves you Poppy, but he gets you one week out of the year and he's mine the other 51. I want him to travel the world, and that's love, not standing in his way."

That my friends is the difference between memorable and forgettable. That's why we remember Casablanca, because the ending isn't predictable, and Rick was honest, realistic.

The author also could have done a better job with the romance. Poppy and Alex have been doing this tango for 12 years. Yet we are supposed to believe that they just spontaneously happened to have these encounters? It rained so they decided to take their friendship to the next level? That is so lame. Alex couldn't think of anything more thoughtful (even though he is supposed to be this incredibly thoughtful guy)? He didn't buy all of the flowers in the flower shop? He didn't tell Poppy that she looked beautiful in the light? He didn't save up all of his credit card points to try to take her to a nice vacation, something that would really "speak to her" as a traveling guru? He didn't try to show off his muscles to try to catch her eye? I mean I have been out of the dating game for awhile, but I remember it being more exciting than this book......

Emily Henry has a new book coming out April 25, 2023, Happy Place.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,472 reviews19.2k followers
October 19, 2021
Re-read 10/19/21: Still such an absolute delight. So excited to read books from Emily Henry for the rest of my life.

Original read 5/11/21: 2021 may only be halfway done, but I can already guarantee that this will remain at the top as my favorite book of the year. I've never been the hugest friends-to-lovers fan, but Alex and Poppy's chemistry leapt off of every single page and I have been completely converted and will never be the same. That, on top of the fact that Emily Henry has such a perfect knack for writing realistic characters with real flaws and traits made this a perfect 6-star book for me and I am just absolutely obsessed and cannot wait to read everything she will ever publish. My heart is so full!!!!!!

CW: death of a parent
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,198 reviews26k followers
April 30, 2021
4.5 stars
Shit, this was so cute 😭🥰 I wasn’t sure if this book would be my thing because I was HYPED for Beach Read and it ended up being pretty disappointing, and I’m really not a big fan of the friends to lovers trope, it’s one of my least favorites but I ADORE THIS BOOK. Alex is one of the softest love interests ever and I thought him and Poppy were so cute. Their friendship was so genuine and their banter was so great.

I think why this book works for me so much is because we get to see in flashbacks how they met, and all the vacations they have taken together each year in the last ten years. I think so often with friends to lovers the characters have this whole history we don’t get to see as readers and that usually bothers me because I like to see all the things of how their friendship began because it helps me root for them as a couple, so I’m so glad this book included all those flashbacks of them. I also liked how this book had this mystery to it about what happened between them and why they were no longer on speaking terms, it kept me flipping pages wanting to know what happened between them.

I love that this book talks about how completing your long term goals can lead to depression, because it’s about the journey, not the destination and how the best way to find your happiness when you lose it is to retrace your steps and think about when was the last time you were truly happy. I thought all of it was great advice and really thought provoking cause I never really thought of it that way, but that’s so true how you can be desperately trying to achieve your goals for months or years and when you finally get there, it can be rewarding but also kind of depressing because you don’t have anything more to look forward to.. and the way this book talks about loneliness and never really feeling like you belong really touched me.

Anyways, that was a tangent but I ADORED THIS BOOK. I highlighted and underlined so many parts that made me smile and made me giddy. This was also the perfect escapism I needed because I haven’t been on a vacation in over a year thanks to ms. corona so I was living vicariously through them going on all these vacations 😍 it really was a much needed escape from reality.

I’m just so stoked to have enjoyed a romance from Emily Henry! 😍🤩 I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future!
Profile Image for Abby Jimenez.
Author 5 books13.8k followers
September 19, 2020
Have you ever read a book that makes you wish you could unread it, forget everything, and read it again for the first time? My book hangover from this one is going to kill me. I'm so sad it's over. I loved it SO much. I want to listen to the audiobook and find a signed copy and watch every Zoom appearance the author goes on to talk about the book because it made my heart soooooooo ridiculously happy.

The story is told in Poppy's POV and it bounces from present day to flashbacks of her yearly summer vacations with her best friend Alex, starting twelve years ago. Each flashback brings you closer to present day, building the friendship in a delicious, almost maddening slow burn, opposites attract, friends to lovers romance. I wasn't even 1/3rd of the way through and I already wanted to smash their faces together like KISS YOU FOOLS! YOU'RE MADE FOR EACH OTHER!!! GAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Let's talk about the main character, Poppy. I love her. I love her in a I-could-keep-reading-books-about-you-for-the-rest-of-your-fictional-life kind of way. There could be a series that just follows Poppy as she grows old and I'd buy every single one and save them in my memory shoebox. She's got this sharp, unapologetic wit to her that's the perfect juxtaposition to the reserved, almost demur Alex. Don't get me wrong, Alex is hilarious in his own right, matching her tit for tat. But it's a humor that he withholds only for his back and forth with Poppy, so you really do feel like you're getting the true "naked" (as Poppy would say) Alex, in her company. They have this unmistakable, unique chemistry and their dialogue is FIRE. Honestly, this book had some of the best dialogue I've read in a looooong time. I was cracking up at some of the stuff these two said and thought.

The angst is just *chef's kiss*. And also, one bed. One friggin bed. Witty banter, sexual tension, one bed—all my favorite things in the same book???

Emily Henry must keep writing. We must protect her at all costs so she can keep giving us new books. This was absolutely my favorite read of the year, and probably one of my favorite books of all time.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,121 reviews17.7k followers
December 31, 2022
Hello, unpopular opinion. You were not invited. Like, at all, yet you had the nerve to show up anyway. I was looking forward to being part of the crowd but you had to ruin it.

Incoming a slight rant review.

Quite frankly, I was in denial about the fact that this book wasn’t working for me. Especially since Emily Henry has worked for me. Ridiculously well, I might add.
But the self-inflicted denial didn’t allow me to see past the rose-tinted glasses I had on and come to terms with the fact that the story was boring me.

It was boring.

I get that Poppy and Alex were on vacation, the noun is in the damn title and it’s essential to the story.

I think.

But the holiday settings were so boring to read about. The constant flashbacks were giving me confusion and I LOVE books that include the past and present timeline. They usually add depth and clarity to the story. But these flashbacks seemed to be about everything but them. There was too much vacationing and not enough Poppy and Alex moments. Bar the cute little dialogues and banter we would get in between.
Where was the emotion at? The angst that is supposed to come alongside the fact that you are not seeing your friend as a friend any longer? Was that present? Because I must’ve missed the build-up.

Now, imagine if the holiday settings were reduced — or better yet replaced — and we got to see more of Alex and Poppy’s friendship building and seeing that dynamic change throughout those ‘past’ summers. Seeing their families and their insecurities about taking on life. Their damn childhoods. I would’ve latched on more, but the emotions and development were missing, because they were on fuckin’ vacation. 😑

So, I checked out.
I partially skim-read. Did I really care about how hot the weather was and the side characters that were passing along? No. Did I care about the sightseeing elements? That’s another no. And I definitely did not care for their useless exes.

I was desperate for more of them together, in whatever capacity and we only got that towards the end. And those moments were so fuckin’ adorable and disgustingly sweet that I’m mad that we didn’t get more.
It was too little, too late and not enough to save this book for me by that point. There was so much of that that could’ve been sprinkled throughout the story and I don’t get why that wasn’t done.

And do not get me started on the conflict. Ludacris!

And thus, here I stand, empty and annoyed. And I feel fuckin’ played.
Profile Image for Drey.
167 reviews791 followers
July 7, 2021
On Hold @ 47%

I don't care if this is hype af but I have to stop for now. I was literally forcing myself to continue because of the hype, but now I just can't do it anymore. I am already reaching halfway mark but I could not care with the main characters at all. I am disappointed of this outcome because friends to lovers is my favourite trope and I really loved Beach Read. I try to finish this one someday.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,064 reviews2,663 followers
September 7, 2022
People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry (Author), Julia Whelan (Narrator)

I always say I'm not good at Rom/Com because I'm not. I can't identify with the formula (as my friend Jayme mentioned) of most Rom/Coms. It's as if two people who might be right for each other, despite how different they might be, have to manufacture over the top drama to keep them apart. We have a lot of that in this story. I did enjoy it but, at the same time, the drama is too silly for words yet these too people allow it to keep them apart for over ten years. This is where I roll my eyes, again.

What I liked about the story:

Alex, yes yes, he is supposed to be so boring that his boring (according to Poppy) yoga loving on and offish girlfriend thinks he's boring, but I thought he was funny and interesting.

The friendship between Alex and Poppy, which seems real.

One of my favorite narrators.

What I didn't like:

Poppy seems very immature and indecisive and I doubt she ever changes.

Alex needed to develop a backbone. (I can't believe something that he does that may not be able to be reversed).

That the resolution really is ignoring some big problems that have not changed.

In the end, these two people deserve all the misery they they create for themselves. The journey was enjoyable to a certain extent but I can only take such a journey a few times a year. So 3.5 stars rounded to a Rom/Com 4 stars.

Pub: May 11th 2021 by Penguin Audio
Profile Image for Kellie.
176 reviews21 followers
August 5, 2022
Unpopular opinion: This book was 50% boring and 50% annoying.

Alex and Poppy are complete opposites who become friends who both want to become lovers but are too stubborn to try and figure out how to make it work or do that thing best friends usually do called communicate.

My biggest issue is there seemed to be zero chemistry between the two. None. I'm a fan of opposites attract but these two were at such opposite ends of the spectrum it didn't seem to work at all. Alex was very anal - in a condescending, uptight way - and Poppy was forever doing her best to be as quirky as possible - in an extremely annoying way that usually included repeating dumb phrases non-stop like saying "this speaks to me" to literally everything.

I'm also not the biggest fan of flashbacks and this book goes back and forth just about every other chapter, flashing back to vacations they've taken over the past ten or so years before bumping back to the present where they're vacationing together again after a two year hiatus because they're stubborn fools.

The problem with this? It's incredibly boring. The dialogue and action is so very minimal and its 90% talking about the towns they're in, describing the hotels they stay at, and the tourist attractions they visit. It was a major snoozefest.

In the end, these are just two annoying and absolutely ridiculous characters that have both been extremely selfish and idiotic in their relationship as well as their relationships with others and it's hard to even like them. It's more like a you two deserve each other and shame on your for wasting others time instead of a yay they're finally together!

The title's a bit wonky in my opinion as well because one, they didn't meet on vacation and two, they didn't meet any story changing people on vacation so the title doesn't make much sense to me.

It should have been Very Detailed Vacations We Took While Being Complete Bozos and Refusing To Admit We Want To Be More Than Best Friends.

This honestly pains me because this was one of the few books I preordered this year (Beach Read was amazing so this author was a no brainer buy) and I was so excited to read it but this book just did not do it for me.
Profile Image for Zoe (Marauders version) .
299 reviews1,075 followers
March 3, 2022
To my very detailed, I’m depth reason why Alex is one of the most attractive men ever created

Are you ready?

Ok here we go:

✨He reads ✨

That’s it
Thank you and your welcome

i'm really pissed off. I was ready for some amazing childhood friends to lovers but what i got was confusingtimeline switches and me taking a month to finish a book! That is not heard of.

2.5 stars for Alex

Profile Image for Mia.Mi.Jou.
259 reviews71 followers
June 27, 2021
Reading this was truly painful for me...
It was slow in the beginning, later boring bordering on annoying. It was as if I were reading a YA book (considering the writing style and how the story unfolds) about 30y old...
I really wanted to love it. So much. Exactly like I loved The Beach Read... I just couldn't. At the moment this book just didn't make it for me.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,753 reviews32k followers
May 2, 2021
5+ stars


When I finished reading People We Meet on Vacation, all I could think is... I think I might have just read my favorite book of the year. Emily Henry wrote one of my favorite books of 2020, 'Beach Read', so I was a bit nervous about going into this one. I mean, what are the odds that she could do it again? Well, she did. I loved this just as much as 'Beach Read'.

Poppy and Alex meet their freshman year of college and become the most unlikely of friends. These two couldn't be more different. Alex is straight-laced, has plans to finish college, move home and eventually marry and start a family. Poppy is a bit of a free spirit, and wants to spend her years traveling the world. When they find out they're from the same town in Ohio and drive home together for summer break, they plan a trip together.

This summer trip turns into an annual thing and every year, no matter where they are in their lives, they take this trip together. This book is told in the present, but also goes back to many of those trips. This is one of the best friends to lovers/opposites attract books I've ever read. These two have such a connection, but the problem is, no matter how much these two care for each other, they both want a different things. Things that aren't necessarily easy to compromise on.
It hurts to want it all, so many things that can’t coexist within the same life.

What I loved about this book most is that as different as Poppy and Alex were, they both felt so relatable to me in different ways. Poppy was such a fun character and I loved watching her grow and find out what she wanted from her life. And Alex... buttery, warm, and perfect Alex. I couldn't have loved these two and their journey more.

And fun but random fact... these two are from a town in Ohio called 'Linfield' (which doesn't exist) but is about 40 minutes north of Cincinnati. I live in a town called Fairfield, 35 minutes north of Cincinnati and the next town north of me is Lindenwald. Put those two together and you get 'Linfield'... coincidence, I think not LOL.

Emily Henry writes some of the best romances out there. She is solidifying herself as one of my favorite authors with each new book she writes. The People We Meet on Vacation is such a special book. It's a story of friendship, family, love, and finding yourself and what you really want out of life. It was swoony, made me smile, and made me feel so much. I loved it to pieces and can't recommend it enough!
“Wherever you are, that’s where I belong. I’ll never belong anywhere like I belong with you. No matter what I’m feeling, I want you next to me. You’re home to me.”

Profile Image for Anne Bogel.
Author 6 books51.9k followers
June 3, 2021
A Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club June 2021 selection

Lamenting all those lost pandemic vacations? Globetrot with Alex and Poppy in this modern twist on When Harry Met Sally. The pair of opposites once shared a ride home from college and their witty banter ignited a decade-long friendship.

Now free-spirit Poppy lives in NYC, working as a travel writer for a posh magazine. Strait-laced Alex lives in their small Ohio hometown, longing to start a family and live that picket-fence lifestyle. Connecting once a year for an epic vacation, these besties were always in sync…until they weren’t. When the story opens, they haven’t spoken in two painful years, and against all odds, Poppy is hoping one great vacation can save them.

This will they/won’t they contemporary romance from Beach Read author Emily Henry is playful, smart, and fun, and addresses one of my favorite themes: finding home, even if "home" happens to be a person and not a destination.

I can't wait to talk to author Emily Henry on June 22! I love to hear the stories behind the books I love, and these author talks are always a highlight of my month.

Heads up for one open door scene.
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