Review: You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry


12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.

11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.

10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.

7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.

2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.

THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.

You and Me on Vacation is a love story for fans of When Harry Met Sally and One Day. Get ready to travel the world, snort with laughter and – most of all – lose your heart to Poppy and Alex.

  • Title: You and Me on Vacation 
  • Author: Emily Henry
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary
  • Targeted Age Range: Adult, New Adult
  • Trigger Warnings: Death of a parent, Loss of friendship, Sexual content, animal death, grandparental death
  • Rating:  ★★★★★

Oh, goodness. Where to begin with this review? I love You and Me on Vacation (also known as People We Meet on Vacation for you US readers!). Love, love, loved it. I’m very new to Emily Henry’s books, having only read Beach Read just last month (FYI – loved that one too!), I’m very new to how she writes. And boy oh boy do I love it. For lovers of Beach Read, You and Me on Vacation (YAMOV) is not going to disappoint. Trust me, you’re going to absolutely love it. You and Me on Vacation is the perfect mix of romance, friendship, angst and travel – leaving you longing for holiday even after you close the book. 

Poppy is a wonderful protagonist. She’s kind, driven and loyal – all the things you’d look for in a friend. She knows what she wants, what she longs for, and she’s not afraid to go and get it. Throughout the book we see her achieve her dreams, the journey it took to get there, and just how far she’ll go to make sure her friends are okay. Emily Henry writes her female protagonist so well, it’s hard to believe she isn’t based on a real person. My favourite thing about Poppy is her determination. She’s so determined to get what she wants, whether that be her dream career as a travel writer, or her friendship back with Alex. She shares similar qualities with January from Beach Read, such as their passion for doing what they love, but not enough that they feel like the same character. Poppy was a delight to read, and a delight to learn about. 

Now, we can’t talk about Poppy without talking about Alex. I’m here to declare that Alex is now one my favourite romantic leads ever. He’s caring, he’s thoughtful, he’s considerate, all-in-all, Alex is perfect. One of my favourite things about Alex is how caring he is. He’s always thinking of other people, and how he can help them. I found myself falling in love with him alongside Poppy, falling for his charm and kindness and huge heart. His love for Poppy is never faltering, oftentimes putting his feelings aside so he doesn’t hurt her, or get in the way. He truly is a remarkable male protagonist, and I loved every minute of him. Honestly, I think he might be sunshine in human form – which is the complete opposite of Gus from Beach Read, our resident grump. 

Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.

This book really was a refreshing change to the amounts of rom coms I’ve been reading lately. Emily Henry writes friends-to-lovers so well, and while it isn’t a trope I actively seek out as much as I should, she writes it so compellingly it’s making me want to read more. Emma Henry writes locations so well, too, and it almost felt as if we were going on vacation alongside Alex and Poppy as well. Her writing is so convincing it’s almost as if you can feel the heat, see the palm trees and smell the familiar scent of sun cream in the air. This book is perfect if you’re itching to go on a holiday, but obviously can’t because of the current worldwide pandemic. It truly is a holiday book, and a holiday book at its finest. 

I loved Poppy and Alex’s relationship a lot. It was paced beautifully, favouring moments of yearning than in-your-face romance. We got to see them as friends before we see them as lovers, and the flashbacks to previous holidays really helped that. They’re the perfect example of opposites fitting together perfectly, creating the perfect couple. You spend the entire book genuinely rooting for them, and turning page after page wishing they’d just get together already. Emily Henry really took her time crafting their story, and I’m really glad she did. I loved them so much, and I would absolutely love a second book to see what they get up to together. 

Even if you’re not a fan of romance, I think you’ll love this book. Despite romance being the main genre, it offers so much more. It features friendship, travelling, family drama and other subplots that’ll leave readers excited to dive back in. Emily Henry is just such a brilliant writer, even those who have a strong hatred of romance will be a fan. This book really does have everything, and I can’t wait to reread it to pick up on the things that I missed. It’s addicting, it’s fast-paced, and it’s an easy read. I read it in one sitting because I simply could not put it down, and I do not regret that one bit. Simply put, I adored You and Me on Vacation, and I know you will too. 

Links for You and Me on Vacation: Goodreads | StoryGraph | Bookshop | Indie Bound

Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies. Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.

9 thoughts on “Review: You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry

  1. At first, I thought Emily Henry put out another new book, then I realized it had a different title in the UK haha! I really want to read this one because everyone keeps hyping this up! Lovely review, Mary!

    Liked by 1 person

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