FAVORITE 2022 READ: Book Lovers Review

Summary (from the publisher):
9780593440872Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away – with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

Yes, you read that title right, it’s only May and I’m already declaring Book Lovers as my favorite book of 2022. I do admit that there are two upcoming books that could make their way to my #1 spot, but I’m really certain that there is no match for my love for this book. I really think this is the book from now on when a person asks me what my favorite book is, it’s Book Lovers.

I am currently writing this review on my phone with Book Lovers clutched to my chest. I devoured Book Lovers in less than 24 hours and did the thing that I do maybe once a year and starting rereading her other two books (and yes, a Book Lovers reread is definitely in the future). Also PSA that if you have not yet bought a copy of this book, I recommend getting the Target exclusive edition because it comes with the Beach Read meets People We Meet on Vacation epilogue that Emily Henry recently sent out in her newsletter. Another sidenote that I’m slightly disappointed that Book of the Month didn’t offer Book Lovers as a pick, but I LOVE this paperback & its cover – why am I about to go out and buy paperback copies of Beach Read and PWMOV?

This book is everything. Book Lovers follows Nora, a top literary agent, who has always put her youngest sister, Libby, especially since their mother died years ago. Libby is pregnant with her third child and needing a break from life in New York City, convinces Nora to take some time off and rent a cottage in the town based on Nora’s client’s bestselling book. The last person Nora expects to run into in this small North Carolina town is Charlie, the same broody book editor who wasn’t willing to take on Nora’s client’s book two years ago. 

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2021 FAVORITE READ: People We Meet on Vacation Review

imageSummary (from the publisher): 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?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

My Thoughts: 

Let’s be honest: I knew I was going to love Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation before I even picked it up. Beach Read was one of my favorite books of 2020, and it’s among my all-time favorite contemporary romances. I just click with Emily Henry’s writing style so much, with People We Meet on Vacation as no exception. I feel kind’ve intimidated writing this review because I know you’ve likely seen so many reviews (deservedly) filled with love and praise already, but I hope I can add something unique to my review and encourage you to pick up this summer must-read if you haven’t already! You might be wondering why I didn’t pick up People We Meet on Vacation closer to release date, but I wanted to save reading it so I could really enjoy it, which happened to land on back-to-back beach and pool days for me (aka the perfect settings to read any summery/vacation book). 

People We Meet on Vacation follows best friends Poppy and Alex, who have gone on summer vacations every single summer for the past 10 years… up until two years ago when something happened while they were in Croatia that caused Poppy and Alex to stop talking for those two years. When travel magazine writer Poppy finds herself in a work rut, she reaches out to Alex to give their vacation tradition another go and head to Palm Springs.

People We Meet on Vacation was a wonderful read for literally all of its elements. I just click so much with Emily Henry’s sense of humor, which always shines through especially in the dialogue. Poppy is just so strange and funny, and I just loved how she owned her quirkiness. I loved her from the moment she pretends to hit-on Alex in BAR in the very first chapter. I got her jokes so much and I loved Alex’s wit and sarcasm right back. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that made me grab my page tabs, but I bookmarked so much of Alex and Poppy’s conversations. I also predict Alex is going to be everyone’s new favorite fictional boyfriend (I know he’s mine) because he’s just so wholesome and sweet.

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SUMMER MUST-READ: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Summary (from the publisher):

48079190._UY2048_SS2048_Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

 

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Beach Read has deservedly found it way into nearly every corner of the book blogging community.  So many of my bookish friends have loved this contemporary romance, myself included!

Since there have been a ton of Beach Read reviews floating around the book blogosphere, I’ve decided to forgo my usual review style to explain why you need to actually pick up this must-read beach read of summer 2020.

It’s much more complex than the title & official synopsis suggests. Beach Read does meet its synopsis: Augustus, a literary fiction writer, and January, a romance writer, are both in writing ruts and decide to challenge each other by writing a book in the other’s genre. But Beach Read goes beyond this competition.

I don’t want to include too many spoilers, but both January and Gus have experienced some hardship and loss. After the death of her father, January is left with his beach house in Michigan. January is struggling to cope with his death, his hidden past, and the manuscript of her latest romance novel that is due to the publisher by the end of the summer. January decides to spend the summer at the beach, packing up the house and writing her novel. Early on in the story, it’s revealed that January’s grumpy neighbor is none other than Augustus, a best-selling literary fiction author AND January’s college rival.

There’s a ton of exploration into the two main characters’ past, loss, and their college history. As Gus and January move from enemies to lovers (you really don’t believe that the synopsis says no one falls in love, right?), the two reveal more about their family and relationship history. Somewhat unrelated and a bit random I admit, Gus is also doing a lot of research on cults for his book. The two spend a few of their literary fiction research nights on that subject and interviewing people with heavy histories of their own.

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While there is heaviness and depth, there is plenty of humor. I wouldn’t say that Beach Read is a rom-com (sidenote that I agree with the growing sentiment that publishing is using ‘rom-com’ too much to describe contemporary romances), but Gus and January have such incredible chemistry that leads to a lot of laugh and a few jokes at the other’s expense (in the most light-heartedly way possible).Read More »