I have never read Emily Henry before, and just from her popularity and the cartoony covers, I was not expecting full blown romance with steamy scenes from her work. I figured they’d have more of a “women’s fiction” spin. (No hate to that genre.) But OMG, my eARC of Book Lovers really showed me what this author is all about. This totally romantic, gorgeously written story had me sucked in and completely in my feels from page one.

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The summary, from Amazon:

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ Parade ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ The Washington Post ∙ and more!

An insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.

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.

“Emily Henry never fails to deliver … this may just be her best yet.”—Taylor Jenkins Reid

Buy Book Lovers here.

Nora is a literary agent in NYC. She’s very close with her little sister, Libby, who is married with her third child on the way during the heart of the novel. After their mother died, Nora took care of Libby, and in some ways behaves more like a parental figure than a sister to her, though the two are best of friends. One day, Nora meets Charlie, an editor to whom she is trying to sell a book. The two get off on the wrong foot, and Nora thinks of him as an enemy of sorts.

A few years later, Libby suggests to Nora that during the publishing “off season” they take a vacation in the small town of Sunshine Falls. It’s a fitting location as it was the setting of a popular book by Dusty, one of Nora’s clients. In fact, it was the book Charlie was uninterested in. Nora reluctantly agrees to the trip and all of the shenanigans Libby plans to get up to during their month vacation. While there, Nora spots Charlie. The two end up working together to edit Dusty’s next novel when Dusty’s regular editor gives birth earlier than expected. It turns out Charlie is from Sunshine Falls and is there to care for his family after his father had a stroke. Throughout the weeks, the two quickly realize they have chemistry, and that chemistry turns to a strong emotional bond.

I loved how much Charlie and Nora had in common and how he saw her for her and loved her for who she was. Nora and Libby’s relationship was also stunningly done. I’m an only child and I still felt the sisterly love to my bone. Nora always took care of Libby, and while Libby appreciates that and even can’t imagine life different, she wants to help her sister too and really does so in this book. I loved that through Nora’s relationship with Charlie and Libby’s actions, Nora was able to live the life she wanted instead of living to care for others – and received her own happily ever in the process.

Finally, I am so here for 30-something romances. I particularly appreciated the representation of a couple not wanting to have children. (I want kids of my own one day, but marriage-and-babies epilogues make me GAG.) Finally, while most of the book takes place in Sunshine Falls, Nora’s constant reflection on NYC, my place of residence, was a true love letter to the city – or at least Manhattan and Brooklyn. This was a true 5 star read for me and I’ll be sure to check out more of Henry’s work.

Book LoversBook Lovers by Emily Henry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much and cried on the desk a number of times while reading it. (Thankfully the part that made me all out sob was read at home.) I was sucked in from the first page. Nora is a great character, and her relationship with Libby was done so well. I don’t have any siblings and still felt that sisterly love to my bone, it was that well written. I loved how Charlie loved Nora for who she was, and how through her relationship with him and Libby’s actions she was able to live for herself by the end of the book and still get her happily ever after. Also VERY here for 30-something love stories where the communication is ON POINT and the representation of not wanting kids. (Marriage and children epilogues always bother me, LOL.) Finally, while most of the book doesn’t take place in NYC, Nora’s thoughts on it throughout the book are truly a love letter to the city (or at least Manhattan and Brooklyn lol).

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Book Club Questions

  1. How does Nora change over the course of the novel? What inspires this change?
  2. Why are Nora and Charlie a good match for each other?
  3. What makes Nora good agent? What about a good editor?
  4. Explain Charlie’s motivations over the course of the novel and how and why they change.
  5. Explain the dynamic between Nora and Libby.
  6. Libby insinuates that Nora needs to stop acting like her father. What does she mean by that?
  7. How does Dusty’s writing impact Nora and the other characters in this story?
  8. Given the choice between a small, quirky town where everyone knows one another and a big city like New York, which would you choose? Is one more magical than the other? Why or why not?
@daily.manifestationx Preorder Book Lovers – it is honestly so so good. #booktok #romancebooks #romancebooktok #emilyhenry ♬ original sound – Marissa

Interested? Buy Book Lovers.
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