For anyone a fan of the “friends turned lovers” romance genre, it’s hard to get more on theme than People We Meet on Vacation.
With another book by Emily Henry is blowing up all the biggest book popularity charts (I’m looking at you, #1 New York Times best-seller Book Lovers), I wanted to start with one of her earlier works for these book club questions to get a better sense of her as an author.
It’s safe to say that Emily Henry definitely has a way with words. Her depictions of love and yearning between Poppy and Alex are sometimes so intense I’m surprised her characters don’t just melt where they stand.
Of course, it’s patently obvious to everyone but them that they are desperately in love and should never have been just friends.
But that would make for a very short book (and a way less interesting read).
What keeps this book from just your average romance is just how much the characters’ own personal traumas keep them apart.
Even knowing how much they love each other isn’t enough to make them take that final step when they just don’t know how to trust a good thing.
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Watching them struggle and take concrete steps to make their lives happier is not only refreshing, its a powerful lesson to anyone reading that even the deepest love isn’t enough on its own. It needs self-awareness and commitment to really be in it too.
As a choice for your reading group, you can’t get much more “will they or won’t they” than this.
It’s also what makes it an excellent read!
So pick up a copy of People We Meet on Vacation so you can start discussing these tailored book club questions ASAP.
People We Meet on Vacation Book Club Questions
1. Poppy spends most of her young adult life focused on reaching a certain level of success as a travel writer, but when she achieves it finds she isn’t as happy as she thought she would be.
Why do you think the chase is often more satisfying than the end result? Does it say something about Poppy, or are most people like this?
2. Alex and Poppy bond on their road trip over the fact they are so completely comfortable and delighted with each other and that they truly feel “seen” for the first time.
How important is it to have one person who knows you completely versus lots of friends who fit different parts of your life? How do you think this friendship shapes Alex and Poppy?
3. Even when she describes them as friends, the language used to depict Alex and Poppy’s relationship often felt romantic.
Did the romance between them come as a surprise, or did you see it coming from the first chapter? What were the earliest clues?
4. Throughout the book Poppy talks about the “five percent what if” she feels towards wondering if maybe she and Alex could be together, and how in some moments that percentage pushes higher.
How often do you think this kind of thing happens in real life, where friends just refuse to enter the romantic arena because of a fear of destroying the friendship? Have you seen it work out (or not)?
5. How believable did the plot feel overall to you? What pushed you one way or the other?
6. Alex and Poppy both tried to be happy with other people. Do you think that was kind or selfish to those other people, knowing how they really felt about each other?
Do you think it could (and can) work out with other partners if there is someone in your life you maintain a deep connection to? Why or why not?
7. The story is told in two timelines: their current summer and then all their past summer trips. How do you think the story was helped or hurt by using this device?
8. If you could ask the characters or author any question, what would it be?
9. Poppy tries very hard to figure out what will make her happy, including starting therapy and ultimately leaving her coveted job.
Why do you think it is important to have a character’s struggles depicted in books like this? How can it possibly help readers, if at all?
10. Which character did you feel the most empathy for? Why?
11. How did you feel overall reading People We Meet on Vacation? Did you feel the same at the end as you did in the beginning?
12. Did this book make you want to read more novels by Emily Henry? Why or why not?
Book club questions PDF available below for easy printing
Don’t have a book club yet? Why not start your own! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal club for your lifestyle.
Did you read People You Meet On Vacation for your book club? What were your thoughts about it?
Leave a comment below about how the questions and book worked for you!