Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Penguin Audio on May 11, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 10 hours, 46 minutes
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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 really loved the feelings and characters. I was deeply connected to them and I was in suspense as I could see the train wreck coming. It is angsty for me when the characters have to separate and take some time for personal growth and to figure out some things.
People We Meet on Vacation is kind of an odd title. The Australian(?) title of You and Me on Vacation seems more right. The story is in the current summer but we get flashbacks to when Poppy meets Alex and their summer vacations going forward. Poppy wants to travel so she first writes a blog and works her way up to being a travel writer for a big NYC magazine. Alex takes a vacation with her every summer, because he is a teacher, back in their hometown, and that is when he has time off.
Alex is awesome. Being the oldest of four boys and having a lot of responsibility after his mother dies, well Alex takes care of everyone but himself. So he likes things in order, tidy and is rather reserved. Poppy is the youngest with two older brothers and a wacky, outgoing and happy family. She loves to try new things, is spontaneous and energetic. They are opposites but they get each other. They try not to have more than a friendship because they can’t bear the thought of losing each other in life.
The only thing I disliked was when they got together and they didn’t know how to make it work. I was mad at Alex for kind of thinking Poppy had to know what to do right away. They needed to work together on a plan! But of course, they each had to know what they wanted so they could talk about it honestly. When Poppy knew what was important and went to tell Alex, I just bawled. I loved them together so much.
Julia Whelan is a favorite narrator and I pick books because she is narrating. Her voice for Poppy and Alex, and others, captured their emotional tones so well. Her performance was such a pleasure for listening. I was able to listen at my normal 1.5x speed.
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