The Daily Gamecock

Column: 4 Emily Henry novels to cure your post-summertime sadness

The cooler weather settling into Columbia means people have begun to reminisce about summer fun. Let’s face it, it is the time of year where sweaters and puffer vests start to appear, and one can only reflect on sitting by the beach, attending Fourth of July barbecues, relaxing by the pool and tanning in the hot sun.

It can be hard to adjust to the colder weather that these next few months bring, but to help cure the late fall and early winter blues, here are four Emily Henry novels to remind you that summer will be back again soon. 

“People We Meet on Vacation” 

Poppy and Alex are polar opposites. She has an adventurous spirit. He likes to play it safe. But over the course of ten years, they spend ten summer vacations together. Their summer escapes have always been a wild tradition, until one goes horribly wrong. Now, two years later, Poppy and Alex decide to reconnect and push their pasts aside for one final vacation in order to fix their friendship

This iconic best-friends-to-lovers story will take you all over the world without ever having to leave the comfort of your bed. Grab a snack, get cozy and prepare for a lighthearted and witty rom-com where you will join two best friends on the trip of a lifetime. 

“Beach Read” 

The only thing Augustus and January have in common is that they are both writers. Living next to each other one summer in a small beach town, they strike a deal. January, a romance connoisseur, must tap into Augustus’ genre and write a nonfiction piece as her next work. In exchange, Augustus agrees to draft a romance novel, something that is far beyond his wheelhouse. Through the deal, however, the two rivals strike up a friendship and maybe something more

As the title implies, this book is the typical beach day page-turner, but it can also be the best post-midterm escape. It’s hilarious, yet at times equally serious. Henry crafts a remarkably well-rounded plot that will keep you entertained until the very last page. 

“Book Lovers” 

City girl and literary agent Nora escapes with her sister to the small North Carolina town of Sunshine Falls in order to get away for a while. The town is perfect on paper, but it is also home to her publishing rival, Charlie. What was supposed to have been Nora's escape has now trapped her in a place she doesn’t want to be. However, small-town Charlie proves to be nothing like city Charlie, and Nora realizes that there is much more hidden in the pages of every story

"Book Lovers" is a combination of small-town romance and finding oneself in adulthood. Once again, Henry is able to craft characters in a way that makes them so descriptive that it is almost as if you actually know them. The characters come first, followed by the romance. This novel is one of her best works and is the perfect wintery escape back into summer air. 

“Happy Place” 

Harriet and Wyn have been dating since college. So, when their friends get together in the summer for their annual Maine cottage escape, everything should go smoothly, right? Aside from the fact that Harriet and Wyn are no longer together. They broke up months ago and still haven’t told their friends. Now, they are pretending to still be a couple in order to save their friend group's last trip together. Let’s face it, all of them have grown up, and that also means that they have grown apart

Through this exciting read, Henry explores the fake dating trope and the idea that change is essential in adulthood. It’s a brilliant reminder that the seasons changing is inevitable, just like every character. Don't fret, because before you know it, you'll be reading on the beach again soon. For now, "Happy Place" is an amazing getaway.


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