Book Lovers by Emily Henry | A Book Review
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Page Count: 384
Hi friends I'm back with another hot take on the latest books I've read. I just closed this one, and by "just closed" I mean, I scrolled to the last page on my kindle and then turned it off and sat down to write. A quick backstory on this one, it's literally everywhere. It's on a shelf display at the local Barnes and Nobles, there's 50 copies of it in Target, it's all over Bookstagram and Booktok. Every where I turn, this book was staring me directly in the face ready to pounce like a feral cat. Amazon even dubbed it as Schitt's Creek for Book Lovers which admittedly piqued my interest because I am a huge Schitt's Creek fan. Even Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkin's Reid, two authors I really enjoy, put their stamp of approval on this thing. I kept putting off reading it, because I felt like I was lowkey being bullied into it, but eventually peer pressure won out and I grabbed a copy. I will be honest, it took a while for me to truly start reading it. Maybe that was my rebellious spirit preventing me from enjoying it because everyone was telling me I would enjoy it. I almost wanted to yell: "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!" and chuck it into the nearest campfire. Stubborn for stubborn's sake I suppose.
Thankfully, I ignored all urges to burn it in protest and actually sat down to read the book literally everyone has been raving about. It didn't take long for me to see exactly why everyone was so adamant about reading Book Lovers. It was absotively posilutely fan-freaking-tastic. Like holy frick balls you guys! I'm almost mad at myself for not biting the bullet and reading it sooner. Now, this is definitely out of the norm for me. As you can see from the genre listed, it's a romantic comedy and if you've been paying any attention literally at all, I don't tend to read comedies. Let alone romantic ones. I mean barf.🤢 I always feel like they're trying too hard to make it funny and it never really lands. It's rare that a book actually makes me laugh. But lo and behold, I actually cackled a few times with this one and each time I stopped myself mid-cackle like "whoa are you actually laughing at a book?" So of course, once I finished I absolutely had to run over to my laptop and tell you all about it. Let's get after it.
Excerpt from Amazon
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.
Holy frick. Wow. Just wow. I loved this book. So much. This was definitely a sharp left off the path of reading I usually travel but I am so glad I made the detour. I almost don't want to read anything else or go back to my usual genre after finishing this book. Which is saying a lot. This book has ruined me for psychological thrillers, at least for the moment anyway. Usually books take me a good two days to read, four if I hate it, but I purposely took my time reading because for once, I actually didn't want to be done. I didn't want Charlie and Nora's story to end. If I could immerse myself in this book and watch it play out in real time, you would never see me in this version of the universe ever again. I'd just watch their story and then hit rewind and watch it over and over again (insert that irritating Nelly and Tim McGraw song here). I could be the surly best friend that lives in the apartment next to Nora in New York. Think about it! So it's pretty obvious that I'm a fan, but let's really dive into what I liked and didn't like about this book.
The use of tropes. If you're unfamiliar with what a trope is, allow me to educate you. A trope, in literary terms, is a plot device or character attribute that is used so commonly in the genre that it's seen as commonplace or conventional. For example: the busy, hardhearted New Yorker is forced to move to a small town down south where they meet a sweet, southern-twanging local business owner that they fall in love with. Suddenly, the busy and coldhearted New Yorker realizes that small town living isn't quite so bad. So they break up with their significant other back in New York so they can become available to the pig-picking southern gal or guy. blah blah. We've all seen or heard of at least 50 lifetime movies with this plot. Especially around Christmas.
A word of advice: if your significant other is required to move to a small town to save a local business, either move with them or just end the relationship there because they are going to fall in love with a toothpick using, four-wheeler riding local. Book Lovers nods to those tropes that we've heard so many times. It isn't afraid to call them out. This book is about an editor and a literary agent. They mention all of the typical love story tropes and even make fun of a few. I appreciated the fact that the author acknowledged that Rom-Coms can be incredibly cheesy (even the books) and used that
to her advantage in order to tell a convincing story.
The banter. Holy smokes, batman! The banter in this book was *chef's kiss* superb. Phenomenal. Amazeballs. You name it. It is incredibly rare for me to laugh out-loud at a book but this one had me cackling a few times. The conversations between Nora and Charlie were absolutely heee-larious. Their quips were sharp, intelligent, and didn't give me the feeling like I was watching a ping pong match instead of a conversation. For a split second, it made me a bit jealous that I am unable to banter that well in my own life or writing. Emily Henry I can only imagine what a conversation with you is like. Whew!
The plot. Yes, Charlie and Nora were the main characters of this story, but it didn't focus completely on their budding romance. There were other things happening to keep Nora occupied throughout the book. Between her job, her relationship with her sister, and her own past traumas that she needed to sort through, Nora wasn't all Charlie all the time. I appreciated this. Sometimes, for the sake of trying to show the budding relationship, the author forgets the rest of the plot. Nothing else happens. There's no mention of the job or anything else in the main character's lives. As soon as they meet the love interest everything else stops. Nothing else matters. Everything is frozen. Which gives the impression that love is more important than anything else. Love is important. Love is necessary. But love is not everything.
There isn't really much for me to say here. I loved this book. Honestly, truly, I think it's actually my favorite now. Sorry Colleen. Sorry Kiersten. Sorry TJ. You've been replaced by Emily Henry. I liked this book so much that I'm going to go grab a copy even though I read it on my kindle. I'm still going to go out and get a paper copy of it. If that gives you any indication of where this book ranks on my list, but for the sake of consistency, I will try to name a few things that I didn't love as much.
The slow burn. This plot took it's time. Like really took it's time. Things between Libby and Nora weren't addressed until pretty close to the end of the book. Charlie and Nora "will they won't they'ed" for a good portion of the story. It took a while for things to develop. Might have been at least a hundred pages or so into the story before things started to pick up. Which was fine, because the lead-up to the big moments were just as entertaining as the big moments themselves, but I feel like we could have gotten more out of all of them had we seen some of that unfold a little sooner.
The lack of insight into familial relationships. We barely get a glimpse into the family dynamics of Libby, Nora, and their mom. Very briefly it's mentioned that the sisters both viewed their childhood through different lenses but then the story kind of backed off of that point. For a while, I was so confused as to why Nora was so devoted to her sister. I mean it was an intense devotion. There is loyalty and then there's obsession. And hers was almost in an obsessive kind of way and even when we did get small glimpses into their childhood, to me, it didn't really explain the need for such intense emotion. Poor Nora, girl you need some pretty heavy therapy to work through all of that. Their whole dynamic as sisters confused me, but maybe that's just because me and my sisters have never been nor will we ever be (most likely) close. So I don't get it. That could be a character flaw on my end. I'm not above that possibility.
In case it is unclear from the gushing I have done in this entire blog post, Book Lovers by Emily Henry is 100% Booky Babe Approved. This was such an enjoyable read. This is the one time that peer pressure has benefitted me. I should have read this sooner instead of refusing to conform. You should definitely grab this book. Like right now. What are you waiting for? Grab it here
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So there you have it friends. Buy this book immediately and allow it to sweep you into the world of Sunshine Falls. I guarantee you'll love it. If you do decide to check it out, please come back and let me know what you think of it or you can join me over on Facebook or Instagram and let me know your thoughts. I can't wait to hear from you!
Happy Reading Babes! ❤