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People We Meet on Vacation
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People We Meet on Vacation
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THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Newsweek ∙ Oprah Magazine ∙ The Skimm ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Parade ∙ The Wall Street Journal...
THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Newsweek ∙ Oprah Magazine ∙ The Skimm ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Parade ∙ The Wall Street Journal...
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  • THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! 
    Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by NewsweekOprah Magazine ∙ The Skimm Marie Claire Parade The Wall Street Journal Chicago Tribune PopSugar ∙ BookPage BookBub ∙ Betches ∙ SheReads ∙ Good Housekeeping BuzzFeed Business Insider Real Simple Frolic and more!
    Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
    From the
    New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read comes a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.  
    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?

Excerpts-

  • From the book PROLOGUE

    Five Summers Ago

    On vacation, you can be anyone you want.

    Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.

    In your day-­to-­day life, maybe you can’t even bob your head to the radio without being embarrassed, but on the right twinkly-­light-­strung patio, with the right steel drum band, you’ll find yourself whirling and twirling with the best of them.

    On vacation, your hair changes. The water is different, maybe the shampoo. Maybe you don’t bother to wash your hair at all, or brush it, because the salty ocean water curls it up in a way you love. You think, Maybe I could do this at home too. Maybe I could be this person who doesn’t brush her hair, who doesn’t mind being sweaty or having sand in all her crevices.

    On vacation, you strike up conversations with strangers, and forget that there are any stakes. If it turns out impossibly awkward, who cares? You’ll never see them again!

    You’re whoever you want to be. You can do whatever you want.

    Okay, so maybe not whatever you want. Sometimes the weather forces you into a particular situation, such as the one I’m in now, and you have to find second-­rate ways to entertain yourself as you wait out the rain. On my way out of the bathroom, I pause. Partly, this is because I’m still working on my game plan. Mostly, though, it’s because the floor is so sticky that I lose my sandal and have to hobble back for it. I love everything about this place in theory, but in practice, I think letting my bare foot touch the anonymous filth on the laminate might be a good way to contract one of those rare diseases kept in the refrigerated vials of a secret CDC facility.

    I dance-­hop back to my shoe, slip my toes through the thin orange straps, and turn to survey the bar: the press of sticky bodies; the lazy whorl of thatched fans overhead; the door propped open so that, occasionally, a burst of rain rips in off the black night to cool the sweating crowd. In the corner, a jukebox haloed in neon light plays the Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes for You.”

    It’s a resort town but a locals’ bar, free of printed sundresses and Tommy Bahama shirts, though also sadly lacking in cocktails garnished with spears of tropical fruit.

    If not for the storm, I would’ve chosen somewhere else for my last night in town. All week long the rain has been so bad, the thunder so constant, that my dreams of sandy white beaches and glossy speedboats were dashed, and I along with the rest of the disappointed vacationers have spent my days pounding piña coladas in any crammed tourist trap I could find.

    Tonight, though, I couldn’t take any more dense crowds, long wait times, or gray-­haired men in wedding rings drunkenly winking at me over their wives’ shoulders. Thus I found myself here.

    In a sticky-­floored bar called only BAR, scouring the meager crowd for my target.

    He’s sitting at the corner of BAR’s bar itself. A man about my age, twenty-­five, sandy haired and tall with broad shoulders, though so hunched you might not notice either of these last two facts on first glance. His head is bent over his phone, a look of quiet concentration visible in his profile. His teeth worry at his full bottom lip as his finger slowly swipes across the screen.

    Though not Disney World–level packed, this place is loud. Halfway between the jukebox crooning creepy late-­fifties tunes and the mounted TV opposite it, from which a weatherman shouts about...

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2020

    In the New York Times best-selling Henry's People We Meet on Vacation, vivacious travel writer Poppy once vacationed yearly with straight-and-narrow best friend Alex, but their last vacation left their relationship in shreds, and Poppy must talk him into one last trip so they can right the balance. In Jenoff's The Woman with the Blue Star, 18-year-old Sadie Gault is hiding in the sewers after the liquidation of the Krak�w ghetto when she forms a tentative friendship with wealthy Polish girl Ella Stepanek (500,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). In Just Last Night, the latest from the internationally best-selling McFarlane (If I Never Met You), Eve is still crushing on Ed, among their group of four forever best friends, but her questions about what might have been are interrupted by a catastrophe upending all their lives (50,000-copy first printing). Best-selling novelist/memoirist Maynard returns with Count the Ways, which tracks the fate of a family when the parents break up after an accident that permanently injures the youngest child (50,000-copy first printing). Oakley follows up You Were There Too, a LibraryReads pick whose film rights have been sold, with The Invisible Husband of Frick Island, featuring an ambitious young journalist disgruntled about having to cover a fundraiser on Chesapeake Bay's Frick Island until he discovers the townsfolk pretending to hear and see a man who's not there--all for the sake of his widow. Inspired by a real-life individual, Phillips's The Family Law stars a crusading young family lawyer in early 1980s Alabama whose efforts to help women escape abusive marriages brings death threats that eventually endanger a teenager she has befriended. In Shipman's latest, terminally ill Emily wants the lifelong friends she made at summer camp in 1985 to scatter her ashes at the camp, and The Clover Girls find another life-affirming request from her when they oblige (100,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). No plot details yet on Weiner's That Summer, but the setting is sunstruck Cape Cod, and there's a 350,000-copy first printing. Weir's Katharine Parr, The Sixth Wife, tells the story of twice-widowed Katharine, cornered into marriage with Henry VIII and shamelessly used by an old lover after Henry's death.

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2021
    A travel writer has one last shot at reconnecting with the best friend she just might be in love with. Poppy and Alex couldn't be more different. She loves wearing bright colors while he prefers khakis and a T-shirt. She likes just about everything while he's a bit more discerning. And yet, their opposites-attract friendship works because they love each other...in a totally platonic way. Probably. Even though they have their own separate lives (Poppy lives in New York City and is a travel writer with a popular Instagram account; Alex is a high school teacher in their tiny Ohio hometown), they still manage to get together each summer for one fabulous vacation. They grow closer every year, but Poppy doesn't let herself linger on her feelings for Alex--she doesn't want to ruin their friendship or the way she can be fully herself with him. They continue to date other people, even bringing their serious partners on their summer vacations...but then, after a falling-out, they stop speaking. When Poppy finds herself facing a serious bout of ennui, unhappy with her glamorous job and the life she's been dreaming of forever, she thinks back to the last time she was truly happy: her last vacation with Alex. And so, though they haven't spoken in two years, she asks him to take another vacation with her. She's determined to bridge the gap that's formed between them and become best friends again, but to do that, she'll have to be honest with Alex--and herself--about her true feelings. In chapters that jump around in time, Henry shows readers the progression (and dissolution) of Poppy and Alex's friendship. Their slow-burn love story hits on beloved romance tropes (such as there unexpectedly being only one bed on the reconciliation trip Poppy plans) while still feeling entirely fresh. Henry's biggest strength is in the sparkling, often laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue, particularly the banter-filled conversations between Poppy and Alex. But there's depth to the story, too--Poppy's feeling of dissatisfaction with a life that should be making her happy as well as her unresolved feelings toward the difficult parts of her childhood make her a sympathetic and relatable character. The end result is a story that pays homage to classic romantic comedies while having a point of view all its own. A warm and winning When Harry Met Sally... update that hits all the perfect notes.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2021
    Short, loud Poppy and quiet, tall Alex were best friends who took a vacation together each summer for a decade, until their trip two years ago changed everything and tore them apart. Now Poppy lives in New York and works as a travel writer, but she has been feeling unsatisfied. She reaches out to Alex, currently a teacher in their Ohio hometown, and they make plans to travel once again. Poppy hopes that this trip will repair their friendship, but from the onset, they encounter one issue after another. Told through Poppy's perspective, the story shifts in time between the present and past summer trips. Henry, best-selling author of Beach Read (2020), excels at creating chemistry and charm, and readers will eagerly anticipate these characters finally admitting their feelings for each other. Their slow-burn romance builds as the flashbacks reveal their journey as unlikely friends through different schools, jobs, cities, and relationships with other people. The pacing sometimes falters, but the emotions always ring true. While Henry's romance may inspire some wanderlust, it's the people more than the places that truly dazzle.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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