Poppy and Alex couldn’t be more different, so why do they have such a deep connection? Use our People We Meet on Vacation discussion guide to explore this very topic with your book club. Despite living their lives mostly apart, Poppy and Alex go for a vacation together every summer. As best friends, they share their adventures and relationships with each other for years, until one fateful trip creates a rift they don’t know if they can come back from. Our People We Meet on Vacation book club questions will help your group dive into this fun and charming relationship.
Get ready to read to discuss a book full of quirky personalities, romantic tension and steamy romance, along with fun travel destinations. This discussion guide will help your book club get started with 10 discussion prompts, a synopsis, and selected reviews.
If you are looking for more engaging contemporary romance titles, scroll down for our recommendations featuring 3 more books like People We Meet on Vacation.
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People We Meet on Vacation Synopsis
People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Hendry
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
10 People We Meet on Vacation Book Club Questions
- What did you think about the chemistry between Poppy and Alex?
- The book was told from Poppy’s point of view, did you feel like you understood enough of Alex’s perspective?
- “I’ve always felt like once someone sees me deep down, that’s it. There’s something ugly in there, or unlovable, and you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel like I’m okay.”
Can you relate to Poppy’s feelings? Have you ever felt this way?
- “On vacation, you can be anyone you want. Like a good book or an incredible outfit, being on vacation transports you into another version of yourself.”
How did travel bring out different aspects of Poppy and Alex’s personalities?
- What did you think about the other romantic relationships that Poppy and Alex had? Were those relationships just filling a void, could they have worked out if Poppy and Alex hadn’t had each other?
- In an NY Times interview Emily Henry spoke on the travel, which is central to her novels, “On a trip there’s this feeling of possibility that you don’t necessarily have in your normal life because you’re going to be around all new people and all new things, and you don’t know what could happen and who you might meet. Everything just feels exciting. From a story perspective, it lends itself to this big transformation because characters are already on this sort of uneven ground. Travel works the same way that it works for us in real life: to just shake things up.”
What effect did Poppy and Alex’s vacations have on their various relationships?
- Throughout the book Poppy is struggling to find her career path when she feels stifled after reaching what she thought was her dream job, “Apparently the completion of long-term goals often leads to depression. It’s the journey, not the destination,”.
How was her career journey related to her relationship journey and her personal development?
- What was the funniest part of the book for you?
- “Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to get a little perspective.” What was your favorite travel locale in the book?
- “Poppy there may come a day when I no longer need to be touching you at all times, but that day is not today.” Sizzle! There were definitely some steamy scenes in this book, what was your favorite?
Selected Reviews for People We Meet on Vacation
“Gahhhh. I would die to have a connection/bond with someone as cute, wholesome, hilarious, and passionate as Poppy and Alex have with each other. Better yet, just give me Alex. He’s what I really want. […] the humour, the chemistry, the tender way heavy topics are discussed. the realness of it all. the easy-breezy writing that makes me tear up at times. Everything about this is so easy to love and want.”
“The trope of friends to lovers has been done so many times, yet this book finds a way to give it a fresh take. Poppy and Alex are fun and hilarious together, and I found myself smiling through all their banter and interactions. […] Where this story fell a bit short is towards the end. I started to find Poppy’s antics too over-the-top. Often, instead of just saying what she’s feeling, she’ll go and do crazy things to avoid talking. She starts coming across as needy and high-maintenance, sending mixed signals and jerking Alex around. And poor Alex just had to take it.”
“It’s (a) second chance romance, opposites attract, and friends to lovers, three of my favourite tropes! […] The chemistry between Alex and Poppy was amazing. Poppy as a character was so much fun to read about. I loved the then and now, how you got to follow all the summer vacations they had taken over the years while following the present day too. It made for a well rounded story and look at the characters and their relationship.” It’s definitely a slow burn but the pay off is worth it. The characters are really what drives the story. But the settings provided a nice back drop for everything to play out. I felt like I was vacationing alongside them and with Poppy’s whimsical way of living, it was refreshing to just roll with the punches”
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3 Books Like People We Meet on Vacation
If you really love Emily Hendry’s writing, we’ve also got a book club guide for Book Lovers. And we have a number of romance guides for Colleen Hoover books, including November 9, Reminders of Him, It Starts With Us and It Ends With Us. And also a guide for The Rosie Project.
Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
Living in the spotlight of the media is never easy, particularly when you are the President’s son, or the Prince of England. Alexander has to deal with a media firestorm after a confrontation with his nemesis, Prince Henry. When they are required to fake a friendship to fix the PR nightmare they started, they begin to realize their feelings for each other reach far beyond the friendly kind.
Red, White & Royal Blue provides readers with an engaging romance set in the modern era of politics, royalty, and media.
It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey
Looking for more steamy chemistry between two opposites? Find it in Tessa Bailey’s It Happened One Summer. When wealthy, attention-seeking Piper gets cut off by her step-father, he wants to instill some responsibility into her. So, he sends Piper to run her late father’s small town tavern. While there she meets gruff and handsome fisherman Brendan. Despite being polar opposites, there’s an undeniable attraction between them, and Piper learns more about her desires for her life and for Brendan.
The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton is forced to share an office with the impeccable Joshua Templeton, the only person in the office she can’t seem to win over. Their weeks begin to fill with the petty competitive games they play, along with a real world promotion competition. Lucy thinks she hates Joshua… until she doesn’t. In The Hating Game Sally Thorne delivers a debut novel that is sweet and entertaining with a satisfying slow burn romance.
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Authored by Lacy Challe
She’s is an avid reader who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and dog. She has loved reading and writing about books since childhood, and eventually earned degrees in Comparative Literature and Library and Information Science. She loves analyzing books and providing recommendations to family and friends.