12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.
11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.
10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.
7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.
2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.
THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.
Ever since Beach Read, Emily Henry is a hot, blinking light on my radar for writing the most exciting rom com. Like her previous book, don’t be fooled by the light-hearted, sugary cover – this is a deep friends-to-lovers story with sharp lines. The characters are intense, one-of-kind and reassuringly real and messy. From start to finish, I was laughing at the quips and frowning at the complexity of the relationships described.
I love opposites-attract and this book does it so well. Poppy is adorably loud while Alex is reserved and self-conscious. When they get together it’s both comforting and hilarious. I’m not a fan of the friends-to-lovers trope as it can be quite frustrating and the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ question lingers into a slow burn. To be honest, this book did have some long moments and I was glad that I listened to it as an audiobook. It was more relaxing to listen to some of the awkward moments. The narration was also energetic, sophisticated and avoided being too embarrassing when it came to the more romantic parts (which can be a problem when there’s one narrator doing male and female voices!).
Most of all You And Me… stood out to me as a truly deep exploration of relationships; what people mean to each other and how we need them at particular moments of our lives. It stayed with me and I can’t wait for the next book.
If you want to weep, laugh, melt and cry out in anguish during the chilly months, then One Day in December is your perfect fix, an ideal Christmas romance for fans of Richard Curtis tearjerkers. It not only deals with the sentimental and cosy parts that love-stories should tick off, but the infernal frustration and rage involved. This debut novel proves that fate can be both cruel and wondrous.
I do genuinely believe in love at first sight, or a certain connection that two people can have which is almost instant. You have to believe in this theory, even a tiny bit, to enjoy the story. Two strangers, Laurie and Jack, glance at each other through a misty bus window and experience just that. Everybody knows how buses can get during the winter; jam-packed, foggy and cough-fumed. For Laurie, all of this evaporates for one second of life-altering, mysterious magic. Then it’s gone as her bus drives away. She spends a whole year searching for ‘bus-boy’ only to be introduced to him as her best-friend’s new boyfriend. She convinces herself the whole concept of Jack as her instant soul mate is insane and gets on with life. And life certainly barges through, another point this novel conveys successfully. Through new careers, holidays, illnesses and even marriage, time slips by ruthlessly. The only way to claim moments is to be fearless and take chances. Ten years can be filled with everything and nothing.
We have all been a Laurie; out of uni and trying to figure out how to be independent. She is sweet, passionate and realistic. I have just watched the Bridget Jones double dose of lunatic and heart-warming tumbles. The films came out when I was too young to understand all the jokes grown-up girls and mums were making around me. One Day… reads like a homage to the great Bridget. It has the same hilarious manic narration but navigates a style of its own. It does well in keeping a reader’s attention through the spirals of diverting events. The language was at times quite dated, perhaps a generation behind. Overall, it was a pleasure to have been part of Laurie’s and Jack’s beautiful journey, which truly left me in awe about life’s magic moments.
Many thanks to Georgia Taylor at Penguin General for my copy xxx