Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Published: May 3rd 2022 by Berkley
Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Genre: New Adult, Adult // Romance, Contemporary
Quick Thoughts: A mosaic of slow-burn romance, tight sister bonds and what feels like a touch of genuine, summer magic
About The Book:
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.
Is it really a surprise that I’m reading another Emily Henry book? If you know me (and my love of her past two adult novels) you’ll know that she is one of my all-time favourites and go-to authors. I took Book Lovers with me on vacation this past week and absolutely felt it brighten each day.
Nora Stephens is that woman that appears to have a trademark, carefully planned life with boss marked all over it—the career as a cutthroat Literary Agent, the impeccable style, the whip-smart comebacks and creative drive. You could be mistaken for thinking she has it all, but there’s one thing that has always slipped out of her grasp: love. And Nora has tried. She really has. But, like clockwork, every man that she loves seems to up-and-leave her for the oldest trope in the book—the next best thing, the angel to her devil, the upgrade™. She feels that it’s her place in life, to be the woman from Hallmark movies that is so focused on her career that she literally drives her boyfriend into the arms of the charming lead heroine of the movie. The only thing she knows she’s the chosen one for is her clients, and that’s exactly what she focuses her all on.
So when her pregnant little sister Libby invites her on a month-long sister’s trip to one of the settings of a book-turned-movie Nora worked on—Sunshine Falls, North Carolina—Nora can’t say no. They quickly find that Sunshine Falls, however, is really the definition of a small town. Little-to-no WiFi, tiny stores with pun-inducing names, and not to mention seeing the same sets of strangers-turned-friends around town. And when Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, an editor she had a previous disaster-of-a-meeting with in New York, she’s even more shocked to find that he lives in the very place he seemed so dismissive of. But through trope-worthy chance meetings, close encounters and tip-toeing toward romantic territory, Nora and Charlie—two people with so much in common, yet couldn’t be more different in some ways—are clearly meant to be more than their will-they-won’t-they, phone-interrupting-moments.
Overall, Book Lovers swept me into the setting of an idyllic, beautiful small town with love, family and books at the very heart of it’s story. I went a solid 20% before truly falling in love with the story, unlike some of Emily’s other books, but once I fell—I fell hard. Nora had some wickedly sweet character development and I adored the relationship she had with her little sister, Libby. I feel like Nora was such an incredible big sister to her, and actually looked out for Libby/was there for her always—my heart hurt a little (in the best way) at that. Charlie, as well, seemed more or less made for Nora, and vice-versa. Emily Henry has this way of writing so eloquently just how perfect two characters are for one another, and demonstrated it flawlessly in this book. This was, more than anything, a mosaic of slow-burn (and fiery) romance, tight sister bonds and what feels like a touch of genuine, summer magic. The easiest five stars.
Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies. Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.