Emily Henry’s Beach Read was one of my favorites of 2020. I was so excited for her new book, People We Meet on Vacation, and I was not disappointed. Henry delivers another feel-good story that will remain in your thoughts long after you turn the last page.
Friends to lovers, anyone? Poppy and Alex are best friends. They don’t seem much alike. He’s kind of a homebody, a quiet guy in pressed khakis. She’s the high energy adventurer who wants to travel the world and write about it. They are from the same hometown in Ohio, though they attended different high schools and didn’t know each other. When they carpool together in college to get home for a holiday break, they click and become best friends.
Every summer for the next 10 years they take a week of vacation together. First their trips are on a shoestring budget and then on Poppy’s travel company dime. But two years ago something happened and they haven’t spoken since.
Now Poppy feels unhappy and stuck in her life. She misses Alex and wants to put things right between them. Poppy decides they need one more trip together. The two come together in the spirit of adventure and friendship once again. Henry alternates present day chapters with flashes back to Poppy and Alex’s past trips, gradually leading to the moment that changed everything. You’ll be cheering for Poppy and Alex all the way to the happy ending.
While you wait for your hold on this book, check out these romantic reads for more warm feels with quirky characters you’ll love. You’ll also love these picks if you’ve been lucky enough to already read People We Meet on Vacation.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
I loved this book so much! Hazel can be, well, a lot. She’s loud, impulsive and eccentric — and she completely owns it. Josh is quiet, serious and always put together. When they first meet in college, a drunk Hazel throws up on Josh’s shoes and declares herself un-datable.
Ten years later they meet again. Hazel is good friends with Josh’s sister, and decides she must become good friends with Josh, too. Hazel might be un-datable, but she’s a fantastic friend and they have a blast together.
When Josh’s long-distance girlfriend breaks up with him, Hazel decides they should set each other up on blind dates until they both find a match. It turns out they like hanging out with each other more than they do with their dates. But that doesn’t mean they should date, does it?
Blurred Lines by by Lauren Layne
Parker Blanton used to think men and women couldn’t be just friends without complications. When she meets Ben Olsen in college she realizes she’s wrong. The two connect right way, but only as best friends. It never feels complicated between them.
Six years later they are roommates in Portland when Parker is unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to try out Ben’s approach to dating — all fun and no strings. Casual hook-ups don’t work out very well for Parker until she tries it with Ben. At first it goes great, and their friendship continues without a hitch. Then they realize something has changed. Can they go back to being just friends? Do they even want to? Available instantly as an audiobook from Hoopla.
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
One Plus One is one of those rare books that will make you laugh out loud and touch your heart. Jess is a single mom struggling to make ends meet with no help from her former husband. Her son is being bullied at school, and her brilliant daughter has been offered a chance at an elite math program the family cannot afford. Jess is at rock bottom when her car breaks down on the way to a Math Olympiad that could get her daughter a scholarship.
Enter Ed, a wealthy and annoying guy who owns the house Jess cleans. Ed is dealing with his own troubles and sees an opportunity to do a good deed by offering Jess and her family a ride. For the sake of her daughter, Jess takes him up on his offer. Four people and one dog crowd into a car and head to Scotland, and their lives will never be the same.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary
This is one of my favorite books! Leena lives in London and is overworked and stressed. She’s worked right through a terrible loss in her family without taking time off. Leena’s boss forces her to take a holiday for her mental health.
Leena’s grandmother Eileen, who lives in the country, has just gone through a divorce. She also needs a change. So the two decide to switch places. Eileen takes on London and Leena takes over her grandmother’s responsibilities and engagements in the village.
While they both try to find their place in these new settings, they each stumble into romance. For Leena there’s a handsome school teacher who keeps showing her up at community meetings and other inconvenient times. Eileen meets a sweet and generous silver fox in the city. This story is funny, sweet and romantic. I loved both of these women and rooted for them the whole time. Available instantly as an audiobook from Hoopla.