You and Me on Vacation
by Emily Henry
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?
I received an eARC of You and Me on Vacation from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book, and if I wasn’t already convinced that friends-to-lovers is superior to enemies-to-lovers, I sure am now.
(All joking aside I actually love both tropes when they’re done well but, as I’ve mentioned before, I find that enemies-to-lovers is very rarely done well.)
I really enjoyed Beach Read last summer and was looking forward to any further romance novels Emily Henry decided to write, so I was very happy when I was approved for an eARC of her new novel on NetGalley, which sounded like another ideal contemporary romance for the summer. Reader, I was correct.
Poppy and Alex are complete opposites, but they’ve accidentally been best friends ever since they shared a car home from their first year at college. Poppy longs to travel, and before they know it the two of them have started a tradition of going on holiday together for one week every summer. When the novel opens Poppy has achieved her dream of working as a travel writer, living in her own apartment in New York, but it’s been two years since she and Alex spoke after something went wrong during their last holiday together. Poppy misses him terribly, and she reaches out to Alex to organise one last holiday with him with the hope that she can win back her best friend.
As much as I say I don’t tend to enjoy enemies-to-lovers there are also plenty of friends-to-lovers stories I haven’t enjoyed because it hasn’t been done well, but I loved Alex and Poppy’s friendship so much. I laughed out loud more than once and had so much fun witnessing their inside jokes, which they collected more and more of with each holiday. There’s so much mutual pining and that worry that, if their relationship were to become romantic, it could ruin their friendship which means so much to both of them.
Henry did a wonderful job throughout the novel writing about two people who know each other so well, and yet are still dancing around each other and not always saying the right things because there’s so much unsaid that they both need to get off their chests. Every few chapters, we’re taken back to each of their ten previous holidays together and watching their relationship unfold, and knowing that the two of them could have been happier much sooner if they’d just said something, made what the two of them are to each other all the more believable.
I read You and Me on Vacation in two sittings and it’s immediately become one of my favourite contemporary romances. I hope to be reading another summer romance by Emily Henry next year!