TEN SUMMER TRIPS
THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE
12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.
11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.
10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.
7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.
2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.
THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.
You and Me on Vacation is a love story for fans of When Harry Met Sally and One Day. Get ready to travel the world, snort with laughter and – most of all – lose your heart to Poppy and Alex.
There are minor spoilers in the review.
You and Me on Vacation is told from Poppy’s perspective. She met Alex and thought she would never speak to him again. Then when they have to share a ride home from college, they quickly become best friends. From this point on, they were inseparable and would go on vacation together every year. Two years before the present day of the novel, their friendship gets too complicated for them to continue and they take space away from each other. Poppy still finds herself missing her best friend, however, and on the spur of the moment she messages him and begins preparations for their final make or break vacation.
You and Me on Vacation has a dual timeline. It is half set in the present and half spent in the past, going through the years and all of the vacations they had taken together. I really liked going through their old vacations and travelling with them, alongside the present. It really helped show the awkwardness between the two characters and how far they had drifted in their friendship. I also liked being shown how the friendship fell apart rather than just being told that it isn’t what it once was. And what a better back drop to have when showing this than different vacation destinations.
The banter between the two characters had me smiling often and bursting out in laughter occasionally. The chapters set in the past and during their vacations was the perfect opportunity to show how well these two people got along despite being complete opposites. It was undeniable that the two had chemistry and I couldn’t help but root for it the entire time.
Poppy was a relatable character, particularly when it came to the struggles with her relationships, personal life and her career. She had hit the top of her career, where she thought she wanted to be. She was travelling around, never settling, like she thought she wanted. However, the more she lived this lifestyle, the more unhappy she got. I loved the way this planned out. I have definitely experienced things before where I have been working towards something for so long, and with tunnel vision, that when I got there and had achieved it, I no longer knew what to do. She had got to this stage in her life where she had nothing to hope for.
Alex was a great character. He was not a perfect love interest, and he had flaws and anxieties that held him back. The biggest anxiety was allowing himself to be happy. He would always do things because it made others happy or because he felt like it was the right thing to do. Alex’s mother died during the birth of his youngest brother, and his father went into a depression afterwards which meant Alex quite often had to take care of his younger brothers. I loved this aspect of his character, because you could clearly tell he was having an eternal battle about doing what he wanted to and doing what was best for his family, and sacrificing his own happiness.
Both of the characters went through some great character developments throughout the novel. Poppy was able to work through her insecurities and anxieties about being stuck and not able to return to her hometown; Alex was able to begin to put his happiness first.
This was my first time reading a novel by Emily Henry, but I loved it so much! It was such a good book to read towards the end of summer when I just beginning to miss the very brief summer we got here in the UK.
If you are after a funny romance novel with tropes like opposites attract, second chance romances and friends to lovers then I highly recommend You and Me on Vacation.