Objectively, this book deserves five stars. It is impeccably put together. It is funny. It is detailed. It has such well-developed characters. Impeccable use of theme. And all the lovely, small details she uses make it so immersive! I really liked it a lot. Would recommend to anyone. But I have a special place in my heart for her previous adult offering, Beach Read, and this didn’t quite reach that level for me where it’s basically like, I love this book so much it has become a part of me. So, 4.5 stars, not rounding up. I, of course, reserve the right to change my opinions and ratings in the future.
This is a book about friendship and travel and finding your place in the world, and what it really means to know a person, and that story is told through the vehicle of Poppy and Alex’s eleven-year friendship. Poppy and Alex immediately dislike each other when they meet freshman year of college, and so when they are forced together on a road trip home (a beautiful homage to When Harry Met Sally) they are given the freedom that being repelled by one another provides in order to truly get to know one another. They become best friends. They talk and text constantly. And they take yearly, elaborately planned summer trips that become the center of their friendship.
This is also a very Millennial book, which as a Millennial, I very much appreciated. It’s smart and tongue in cheek and its characters are flawed and scared and happy, and goofy. There is also a very memorable first sex scene. I loved all the secondary characters, especially Poppy and Alex’s families and pets. Such weird, specific details that really make them come alive. That talent of Emily Henry’s I think is why I respond so well to her writing.
One thing was that the narrative spends A LOT of time teasing this huge falling out Poppy and Alex had two years before (the present day plot follows them as they make up and rebuild their relationship) and you don’t find out until nearly the end exactly what happened, and I would be lying that after all that build-up I didn’t find it anticlimactic. What came before and after was absolutely great, though; I just found that one moment a little disappointing. It ultimately didn’t much hurt my enjoyment of the book.
Anyways, will read again, highly recommend. Also, read Beach Read!
CBR BINGO: Travel