Book Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Up next for the 2023 PopSugar Reading Challenge: a book about a vacation! These books are always fun, especially to someone like me, who hasn’t been anywhere but my house since 2019. That’s one of the best parts of reading, getting to explore the world from the comfort of my own home. I have a map of the world on the wall in my living room, and it came with little magnetized pins, so whenever I read a book set in a country not the US, I move a pin there. It’s always really cool to see how many countries I’ve book-traveled to by the end of the year. But for this challenge, I stuck to the US and traveled to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina with Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Berkley, 2022). 

Nora Stephens, tough-as-nails literary agent, is taking some time off. Something’s up with her sister, Libby, her younger sister whom she’s always felt protective over, more so since their mother died when Libby was still in high school. Libby wants to take a sisters trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, setting of one of the best-sellers Nora has helped come to life. Unable to say no to her sister (who is five months pregnant with her third child), Nora packs up. The town isn’t *quite* what the book led her to believe, and who’s also there but Charlie Lastra, a fellow New Yorker and editor with whom she has a somewhat contentious relationship. YAY. This will be fun.

But there’s a little more to Charlie than she previously expected, and as Nora works to complete the list of activities Libby set out for the two of them, she not only discovers more about her sister and a clearer picture of their childhood, but she begins to fall for Charlie as well. As multiple spanners end up in the works, Nora realizes she’s going to have to adjust her thinking about her own life, and maybe learn to take a few risks for herself and her own heart.

This was a cute, fun read with a bit of an unexpected edge to it. Nora and Libby’s mother was a struggling actress. She did the best she could for her girls, but they were always struggling, always on the verge of poverty. Libby’s view on this is clearer, but Nora, unable to see how parentified she was as the older sibling, has a much rosier view of this that colors her entire relationship to the past and with her sister. Ms. Henry did a really incredible job of writing the two different views of the same situation, both of which were true and valid. Charlie Lastra is a great hero, responsible, kind of grumpy, and still swoony as hell. 

The settings were excellent in this book. New York, home of Nora, Libby, and Charlie, features heavily; Ms. Henry does it justice and sings its praises in a completely believable way throughout the text. But the fictional town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina is just as much fun, in a much different way, and it was truly enjoyable to take this trip to its dusty little downtown with its struggling stores, eat in its questionable restaurants, and tramp through its woods that lead to its vacation cottages. I’ve been to North Carolina before and absolutely loved it; being able to book-travel back to it was definitely enjoyable.

All in all, a fun, quick read.

Visit Emily Henry’s website here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s