You and Me on Vacation | Book Review
Thank you, NetGalley and Penguin Books, for sending me the eARC of You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry, in exchange for my honest review.
I'm not usually a romance reader, but after reading a lot of longer fantasy/sci-fi books, I thought it was time to pick up something lighter and fluffier, and I'm so glad I did. You and Me on Vacation (or People We Meet on Vacation if you have the US edition) is a romance book following two best friends and the different vacations they take over the course of ten years.
The book is told in a format I really enjoyed, going back and forth between their current (and possibly last) vacation and each one they've ever taken. You know that on their last trip something terrible happened and they haven't talked for two years, and I loved seeing how they are now and the mystery of how they got to their falling out.
Part of why I loved this book so much was definitely how much I loved and related to Poppy. She's an incredibly flawed character, which made her feel real, and I not only empathized but saw myself in a lot of her struggles. I loved seeing someone in their late 20s struggling to find their path in life and what she really wants to do with it. Even though she has a dream job and most people going through her situation probably don't, I related so deeply to her lack of direction and with thinking you've always wanted something only to realise that wasn't the case.
I also really loved Alex and his stoic-but-charming ways. I loved how each brought out the best in the other and their incredible chemistry, especially as friends. Friends-to-lovers is my favourite trope, but I need that mutual pining for it to work, and this definitely has a lot of it. The fact that we get to follow them through the years and see them getting closer and starting to rely on each other is amazing, and it made me root for them throughout the whole book.
I will say, their big fight did really annoy me and it was the only thing I didn't love about this book. You can tell pretty early on what happened to make them grow apart, but their fight does not justify two whole years of not even texting one another. It was simply a case of miscommunication and, had it happened in real life, it would've been cleared up in a matter of weeks at most. Even if it was reason enough to possibly break up a friendship, a big proper conversation would still be needed, and it made for a very frustrating situation. The only good thing is that we only find out what happened by the end of the book, two years after the events when they're already sorting it through. So it isn't as infuriating as it could've been.
I also really enjoyed the writing style. I had never read anything by Emily Henry (Beach Read took the book community by storm last Summer, but I never got to it) but I definitely plan on reading more of her books next. Her characters felt real, and the writing just sucked me right in. I also adored the settings and the different places they visit. As someone whose favourite thing is to travel and who hasn't properly left the house in a year and a half, I was living vicariously through their trips and now want to plan all the post-rona vacations.
If you're looking for a heartwarming romance and you love friends-to-lovers and When Harry Met Sally, I definitely recommend this one. It hit me in all the right places and it was a joy from beginning to end. It's become one of my favourite romance books I've ever read, and it felt like reading an old-school 1990's romcom.