Book Lovers

- Emily Henry


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.



When books are your life – or in my case, your job – you get pretty good at guessing where a story is going. The tropes, the archetypes, the common plot twists all start to organize themselves into a catalogue inside your brain, divided by category and genre.


enjoyable/easy to read:
I’ve finally stumbled upon an Emily Henry book that lived up to the hype. Or at least wasn’t a massive disappointment.

Charlie and Nora’s banter is probably what won me over. Always quick with a snappy response or a surprise twist (Bigfoot erotica?!), it provided some excellent chemistry and pulled focus to what did work in this book. Sure, they overcomplicated their relationship, and it was all way more dramatic than necessary.
Libby running the bookstore so Charlie could return to New York was the obvious solution before Charlie said he was staying, and Libby admitted she was moving. I doubt one person reading this book didn’t already know this would happen while they’re all having a sappy farewell tour.
But at least I believed in the relationship and thought they made a good couple. It’s more strange that it took so long for them to spend any time together and realise it before being stuck together in this small town. I doubt publishing would be such a big world that they wouldn’t have crossed paths after their first meeting.

Unfortunately, the focus of the narrative (the relationship between Nora and Libby) was pretty flat in comparison. Nora is overpowering and spends her life smothering Libby and fixing everything for her before Libby can even acknowledge a problem. Nora is so wracked with guilt and responsibility it’s a surprise that her body hasn’t broken down with all the weight and lack of sleep. I did appreciate how they both had different perspectives on their childhood and their mother, but I thought it was strange that they had never discussed it before this. Considering their rituals and traditions, they must have had previous conversations about memories and realised they weren’t lining up. I found the roles they were playing stereotypical and predictable, and I didn’t feel invested in what happened between them.

I know it probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy Book Lovers, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not my favourite. But it’s such an improvement over the other Henry books I’ve read (Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation) that it’s a bit of a relief. I actually wanted this relationship to happen, and I related more to these characters than to any others Henry has written. I’m torn between 3.5 or 4 stars, but while I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was good, so 3.5 stars it is.



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