Twelve years is a long time to love someone and not realise it. But when the person-sized hole is left behind after an argument in Croatia two summers ago, it begins to seem a little obvious. That’s the case for Poppy, a girl who feels she’s never quite fit in, except with her male best friend, Alex.
Each year they take a new destination by storm, their flirtatious and hilarious banter being the music of their trip. The two experience the highs and lows of travel, all the while sporting a smile; they watch as the other may dance with someone else, hiding how they truly feel. While I love that they orbit other people, they call each other when in need, and they fall together like two pieces of the same puzzle.
It was an absolute pleasure to give You and Me On Vacation a book review. I was a huge fan of Emily Henry’s Beach Read, it being a book added firmly to my shelf on The Island Library Podcast.
Emily Henry once again blew me away. She writes a truly beautiful story of friendship and love. It’s clearly the beginning of a romance both can’t envision living without, neither want to admit it. Its magnitude so large they both fear it will swallow them. Beginning as less-than-friends, to friends who both want something more. Alex and Poppy are two different people, their personalities widely different, and yet they match. It gives me strong ‘Love, Rosie’ vibes, which is one of my favourite films.
Where Alex is reserved and cautious, Poppy is adventurous and colourful. The two bring out the best of one another and are there for the other when pieces fall.
As we go from the now you the past, we learn how they first meet and the memories they make. We learn of the loves that aren’t quite up to scratch and the ruin left behind by a friendship both were too fearful to admit was anything more.
Poppy knows Alex is her person, and it terrifies her. She runs from everything in her life, hoping to anchor her down, so she puts distance between her and the only man she ever truly lets in. Alex hasn’t ever learned how to be selfish; he’s always looked after others, constantly feeling he’s going to be a bore.
Both of these characters are relatable, funny, kind and wonderful. You root for them throughout, even when they make minor mistakes that cause tiny bruises. I’m glad Emily chose not to erupt them in the usual rom-com way, where there are lies and deceit. But instead gives them time to grow, learn, and be happy with the faces they see in the mirror.
I love romcoms, and because of that, I find it hard to rate them. For me, this is five stars. I’d give it more if I could. It’s perfectly paced, balanced and throughout. It’s emotional, and it hurts but in a way, you know you’ll be rewarded for.
Their arguments are understandable, the friction and tension felt, and the same way it fades for the characters, it carefully fades for us too.
You and Me On Vacation Final Thoughts
This is honestly my fave read so far in 2021, having read it in two days flat. When it comes to reviewing books such as this, I feel I’m harsher in my book review because I love romance so much. But this was an easy five stars, it was beautifully put together; it was thought-provoking and I thought about it when I didn’t read it. I actually kept thinking of rereading it now I’ve read it.
I loved it, and I’m unsure if there’s anything more I can say other than I hope Emily writes more beautiful books such as this. Previously, I’d read and loved Beach Read, I love this book more, but I also just think I’ve just fallen in love with Emily Henry a lot more too.
Thank you so much to the publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book. I can’t wait for it to come out so I can thrust a physical copy at everyone I love.