People We Meet On Vacation – Travel Nostalgia

People We Meet On Vacation Book Review

People We Meet On Vacation is one of those reads that you think will be a fun, sexy good time, but what it turns out to be is a heartfelt, nostalgic homage to love and travel (as well as a sexy good time). 

Emily Henry is a master at building her characters. They resonate, but they always resonate best together. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did, but it’s up there as one of my favourite books of the year. TikTok books aren’t always overhyped it seems. 

The Plot

Poppy and Alex have been best friends since university. Every year they take a vacation together until one year something happens and they don’t speak to each other for the next two years. That is until Poppy organises one last holiday, one last chance for them to fix things and for everything to go back to the way they were. But in this new version of their friendship they discover that they might not want it to go back to the way it was before.

The Review

Usually, I’m not a fan of stories that split themselves between the past and present. Most of the time you end up preferring one timeline over the other, so it’s annoying to be dragged into one that you’re just not as into. However, that’s where PWMOV really shines. The story skips between the past and the present with each one as important as the other. It builds your appreciation of the relationship between Poppy and Alex and ups the nostalgia and sweet heartache of the present. 

The other character in this book is the vacations that Alex and Poppy take together each summer. Henry describes the highs and lows of travel expertly. Those intense, beautiful moments of connection with fleeting people during fleeting moments. The destinations are rich and the fun and tribulations that the characters experience made me nostalgic for my own travel memories and experiences. 

What Henry also crafts is that sense of escape that travel can be. The way you can use it to run from your problems without having to face them. Poppy is the consummate escape artist, which is a character flaw that she must try and overcome. 

There were some small stumbles in the plot (which I happily forgave, because it’s such a great read). The whole book works its way through their past travels, heading towards the point that ruined it all and created the unspoken problems in their present. I found the reason for the falling out a bit of a letdown and not terrible enough to create two years of silence between the two friends. But maybe that’s what Henry wanted, showing that something small can turn into something monumental. The other point is just how easy it was for Poppy to blog successfully and run a popular Instagram. They’re both consuming full-time jobs that need lots of effort. 

Summary

People We Meet on Vacation is one of my top reads of the year. I loved the nostalgia of past travels, which made me nostalgic for my own. The characters are quirky and heartfelt, and you really want them to get together.

— Bliss
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Hi, I'm Bliss, the reader and writer behind Books For Bliss. Discover book reviews, lists for your next great read, or a story to make you feel great. It's all right at your finger tips; happiness on a page. Read More

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