Looking for the perfect beach read? Well do I have the book for you ; )
See what I did there? Ha, I know, I’m hilarious.
Anyways, hello there my wonderful friends and welcome to my stop on the You and Me On Vacation blog tour! To my US friends, you may know this one as People We Meet On Vacation but tbh, I prefer the UK title. Anyways, I’m so so excited to be on this tour. I got to take part in the Beach Read blog tour last year, which if you didn’t know, was one of my top 5 fave reads of 2021. Let me stop rambling and let’s get into it!
Big thanks to Viking Books UK for having me on the blog tour!
Title: You & Me On Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
Page count: 368
Date published: 22 July 2021
Genre: Adult contemporary romance
TEN SUMMER TRIPS
THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE
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.
Big thanks to Penguin Books UK for the eARC and to Viking Books for having me on the tour! All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Order your copy now ~ click here!
STAR RATING: (5 out of 5 stars)
Now, listen closely because you’ll probably assume that your eyes are deceiving you. I’ve read this book not only twice in one year, but also in 6 months?!?! Kind of unheard of for me but I don’t care because I just had to go in again with completely fresh eyes.
Just in case you don’t read my Goodreads reviews (which you probably don’t), I’ll give you a bit of backstory. As soon as this badboy landed on my Kindle in January, I immediately started reading it. Then I continued to have a Gen Z existential crisis after reading the book in 2 days with CONFLICTED FEELINGS. I think there was just something going on with me earlier this year because past Ruby just DID NOT GET IT. I honestly don’t even know what my expectations were, but reading it this time around, knowing what this book was about and how it would play out, allowed me to read it with a whole new perspective
And now I’m broken and require (1) best friend to be in love with me.
This book is amazing, send tweet. Scratch that, SEND FREAKING HELP.
Yes, I did say that about Beach Read but it fitted and I wanted to reuse it. Speaking of, I think it’s important we discuss these titles together because the reason I didn’t love it as much on the first read was because I was thinking this book would be similar to Henry’s romance debut. Beach Read meant so much to me last year, it was a book that I felt honestly spoke to my soul (ha, get it? Go read the book and you’ll find out) and one that I really needed at the time. The reason I mention this is because I went back and reread some of my favourite passages and thought about why I liked it so much, specifically what I liked most about the romance in that book, which I adored. And this it is: Beach Read is an enemies to lovers romance, about characters who don’t know each other and don’t have to learn the other, not in the way the characters in this book have to.
Anyways, I don’t want to write an essay here. Point is, the relationship in this book is entirely different and I’m a loser for trying to compare them when everything I’ve ever wanted is in between the pages of You and Me On Vacation.
Let’s get into the proper review!
As always, Emily Henry is far too talented with her magic writing style and I have all the praise for her genius. Beauty just emanates from every page and I’d like to tattoo every beautiful metaphor on my forehead. No, I’m not exaggerating. I said in my Beach Read review that I needed to go and read all her other books, which I shamefully have not done yet, because as we’ve established, I’m a terrible human. So please yell at me and force me to do so because I need to marvel at her craft more and cry for days.
When I first read this book, I really struggled with the past/present narrative, Since then, however, Ruby is deeper into an English degree and… has also read other books. I now see how genius this technique is and how superbly it is done in this book. I’m actually in love with how Emily Henry builds up the romantic tension with the use of this narrative technique and how skillfully it is done. The chemistry radiates across both timelines and you just can’t stop reading because you need to find out what happens and it’s just !!!!
Before I scream about how much I adore the romance, let’s chat characters. As expected, Emily Henry has created these so real, three-dimensional characters, with, to be frank, not very much page-time. She has such skill and I just have to yell about it. Within 300 pages, Emily Henry brings forth these characters that feel so real and you can’t help but root for them and love them and want the best for them. With all of her books, I’ve felt like I needed to reach in and give all of her characters hugs or something, which not a lot of authors can successfully accomplish. They’re so palpable and complex and am I making sense? I hope so. They’re flawed and stupid but that also makes them realistic and makes you want to root for them even more. Mayhaps also throttle them.
This leads me into the final part of this review and probably the most important part: romance. *takes a deep breath* So Poppy and Alex are everything and deserve the world but also for me to shake them silly. But in a good way (welp 6 months ago, I did not understand this). As I discussed earlier, the switching back and forth of narratives is what makes this tale so compelling. You not only want to find out what happened to break up their friendship, but also just getting these glimpses of their relationship and the romantic build-up in each of these flashbacks, takes this novel to a whole other level of genius, master-y excellence.
The relationship between Alex and Poppy is just so so so pure and I can’t describe how beautiful it is. Friends to lovers is just,,, literally, nothing else can top it. It’s just superior in every way (even though full of angst shhh). Anyways, their relationship is so so wonderful and pure and joyous that it gives me a toothache. I am just so obsessed with their dynamic I COULD CRY. Going to get really mushy and just gush over how I love how they’re so incandescently happy together and how they’re only happy when they’re together and it’s just TOO MUCH.
Dammit, you two HOW DARE YOU BE SO SPECIAL?!?!
Here’s a not-so short list of what to love about them:
- best friends to (kinda enemies) to lovers
- sunshine/grump dynamic
- opposites attract
- short/tall height difference
- BANTER BANTER BANTER
- TEASING TEASING TEASING
- the ‘there’s only one bed’ trope
- oops minor spoiler so highlight to see the ‘taking care of the sick’ trope
Did I mention the banter?!?!? Past me totally didn’t appreciate it enough because omg THEY’RE SO HILARIOUS. I loved all of their inside jokes so so much. Emily Henry is just so great with humour oof.
Okay, we’ve gone off track because I feel like I still haven’t expressed how much I love Poppy and Alex. Poppy is eccentric and outgoing and boisterous whereas Alex is quiet and very much more subdued, but they are absolutely perfect together. They just… slot together AND IT HURTS OKAY IM IN PAIN. Poppy wears bright colours and Alex wears khakis and it’s literally amazing and I love them so much. But also THEY KNEW IT THE WHOLE TIME AND WE NEED TO HAVE A CHAT. Can you tell I love them?
This book brings a different kind of grief and sadness than Beach Read, and is frankly more of a beach read than Beach Read will ever be, which I kind of love haha. It’s about finally finding your place and what you’d like to do with your life, and in their case, it’s with your best friend who understands you in every way you want to be understood. You and Me on Vacation hits different to Beach Read, but in a good way.
The ending is also perfection and I’d like to read it over and over for the rest of eternity because it’s so so so beautiful and *chefs kiss*
In conclusion, this book is a work of art and I love it to pieces. I shall adore Poppy and Alex for the rest of eternity. This book is 100% When Harry Met Sally with a little bit of One Day in there too. Go read it now so we can weep over its perfection <3<3<3
“It hurts to want it all, so many things that can’t coexist within the same life.”
“I’m on vacation. Vacations always end. It’s the very fact that it’s finite that makes traveling special. You could move to any one of those destinations you loved in small doses, and it wouldn’t be the spellbinding, life-altering seven days you spend there as a guest, letting a place into your heart fully, letting it change you.”
“Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.”
“There aren’t words vast or specific enough to capture the ecstasy and the ache and love and fear I feel just looking at him now.”
“But most of us are too scared to even ask what we want, in case we can’t have it.”
“I don’t think I knew I was lonely until I met you.”
“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.”
“And even on those days when one or both of us is having a hard time, we’ll be here, where we are completely known, completely accepted, by the person whose side we love wholeheartedly.”
“All day long, I hear myself saying this same phrase, like I’m desperate to get it out of my body even as I feel incapable: I am having a hard time”
“I’ve always felt like once someone sees me deep down, that’s it. There’s something ugly in there, or unlovable, and you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel like I’m okay.”
“Poppy there may come a day when I no longer need to be touching you at all times, but that day is not today.”
“How are you more successful at dating than me,” he says, awed by the mystery of it all. “Easy,” I say. “I have lower standards. And no Flannery O’Connor to get in the way. And when I go out to bars, I don’t spend the whole time scowling at Yelp reviews and forcefully projecting DON’T TALK TO ME. Also, I am, arguably, gorgeous from certain angles.”
“You can’t outrun yourself. Not your history, not your fears, not the parts of yourself you’re worried are wrong.”
“I’m crying because I’m relieved. Because I will never again feel as alone as I did during those long nights as a kid. As long as I have him, I will never be alone again.”
“I still have a lot to figure out, but the one thing I know is, 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, Alex. And I think I’m that for you too.”
“I love him so much. I love him more than I did yesterday, and I already know tomorrow I’ll love him even more, because every piece of him he gives me is another to fall in love with.”
Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of You and Me on Vacation and Beach Read, as well as several young adult novels. She lives and writes in the Cincinnati and the part of Kentucky just beneath it.
Her books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The Skimm, Shondaland, Betches, Bustle, and more.