Title: Book Lovers
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 377 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2022
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: Beach Read, People We Meet on Vacation, Hallmark movies, Abby Jimenez books
Content Warnings: death of parent, grief, mental illness, pregnancy
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming….
Nora 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.
I loved this book a whole lot. The reverse small town/Hallmark-esque storyline was so well-written. Nora is not a typical main character for a romance book; she is perceived to be a shark, a cold-hearted workaholic, the woman men date before meeting the actual love of their life.
I thought Nora’s relationship development with Charlie was near perfect. This is not really enemies to lovers; they knew each other’s professional reputations and made a bad first impression on each other, but their next encounter became flirtatious very quickly. I liked that they were so similar (rare in romance books) because it helped them understand each other on a deeper level. And y’all know I’m a sucker for a forbidden/doomed love affair.
I also really loved Nora’s relationship with her sister Libby. I think many of us can relate to feeling of drifting apart from someone you’ve always been close to and wanting to do everything you can to fix it. The way they each remembered their mother was also very nuanced.
What I love about Emily Henry’s writing is how she makes me feel a whole spectrum emotions. Her rom coms are hilarious, but the way she includes heavier topics in her storylines is so realistic and emotional. Emily Henry books always make me both laugh and cry, and that is a sign of the very best books for me.
This book in particular was very clever in its use and subversion of classic literary tropes. It is truly a book written about and for book lovers.