Poppy and Alex are two best friends who take a vacation together in the summer of every year. Except, now it’s been two years since they last spoke properly, since that trip when things changed between them forever.
Determined to reconnect and get back to their easy friendship, Poppy tricks Alex into accompanying her for what she tells him is a workcation.
I love reading stories that are set during holidays or trips abroad. It promises such interesting anecdotes and helps us form a more uniform idea about characters, considering they are in unchartered territories themselves.
Right from the beginning, the novel follows a dual timeline, wherein one chapter is about the present and the tricky dynamic between Poppy and Alex. The alternating chapters all give us a glimpse of their past. Right from how they got acquainted, became the best of friends, and the trips they have taken together each summer.
I loved this narrative style! The author also attempts to create some kind of a mystery right up until the end, because Poppy only keeps hinting at how a rift has formed between them. Even though you don’t actually get to know what that is, it’s quite predictable.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the novel is the interactions between Alex and Poppy. They are quite unlike each other, and so their conversations are filled with witty repartees and conflicting ideas.
The author’s writing makes the story engaging; it establishes a seamless balance between exposition and dialogue.
One of my main concerns with the novel is the conflict at the end. It wasn’t convincing and threatened to undo all the work the author had put in to make the characters’ bond seem heart-warming.
Moreover, I usually don’t mind reading about characters who are in denial about their feelings as long as it’s for an understandable duration. But isn’t 12 years too long for Alex and Poppy to pretend to be “just friends”, especially when they are aware on some level about how they truly feel for each other?
Much like Shipped by Angie Hockman, People We Meet on Vacation also speaks to the travel-enthusiast in you with its exploration of different places and tourist attractions. It’s a story of two people finding their way to each other.
By the first half, I was certain that I’d love the book and give it a 5-star rating. But the final conflict changed that for me.
All in all, it is certainly an enjoyable read. So much so that I can’t wait to pick up Emily Henry’s upcoming release, Book Lovers.