Spotlight Review: BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry

From the publisher:

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

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!

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.

“One of my favorite authors.”—Colleen Hoover

This was such a fun read! Nora is an uber successful literary agent who fights to the death for her clients, earning her a reputation as a real shark. Charlie is an editor with a stellar reputation, but also for one who doesn’t coddle his authors. When Nora’s most successful author loses her editor to maternity leave, Charlie wants to take her on. But he hated her last, most successful book, so Nora doesn’t think he’s a great choice. She meets with him anyway, and it does not go well.

Nora is recently out of a bad relationship, so the only real relationship in her life is with her younger sister, Libby. Libby is married and pregnant again, so when she asks Nora to take a sisters’ vacation together while the publishing industry goes on vacation for the month of August, Nora reluctantly agrees. Libby wants to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, where Nora’s author’s bestselling book was set. They rent a cottage and leave their beloved New York City for the month.

The girls had lost their mother a few years earlier, and Nora feels like she needed to take over that spot for her sister. She tries to fix everything in Libby’s life, even when Libby refuses to ask for help. Libby thinks Nora works too hard and too much, but they agree that Nora will work during the day remotely, but from 5:00 pm on she will be available to Libby. It works out pretty well – except her first day in Sunshine Falls, she runs into Charlie.

Somehow he finagles his way into editing that book, but Nora stipulates that all his notes go through her so she can soften them and not scare her skittish author away. Except when she gets the first ten pages of the book, she realizes that her author has made Nora the villain of the story. She changed the name of course, but Nora recognizes herself on the page and while it isn’t pretty, it is engaging and a phenomenal start to the new book.

Turns out Charlie grew up in Sunshine Falls, and one of the reasons he hated the book that was set there was because it was obvious to him that the author had barely set foot in the place. But the small town takes their fame to glory, loving that they are now on the map and tourists are flocking in.

Charlie has returned home to Sunshine Falls to help out his parents. His dad isn’t well, and his hippy-dippy mom needs help running the family business – a bookstore, of course. As Charlie and Nora start working together, the chemistry between them ignites, but they both push it onto the back burner, as much as they can. Until they realize what they have is special, but to complicate things further, they also have major logistical issues in the way.

Henry is a pro at writing snappy dialogue and finding the humor in a relationship. It goes a smidgeon long in the will-they-or-won’t-they, and it was a bit of a slow start for me, but it quickly turned into a terrific read – warm, sweet, sometimes sexy, and very funny. Highly recommend!

5/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry. Berkley (May 3, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-0593334836. 400p.






2 Responses to Spotlight Review: BOOK LOVERS by Emily Henry

  1. patgalca says:

    I just finished this book and I loved it, especially because it dug into the reading/writing/publishing world. I do agree with you that the will-they-or-won’t-they went on too long.

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