For some reason whenever I have a book that I'm excited to read, I always wait a few months before diving in. I don't know if it's because I want the feeling of having something exciting to read to be prolonged or because I'm afraid it won't live up to the hype in my head but it's a bad habit.

This time around though, I didn't wait too long to read Happy Place by Emily Henry. It was released in May and I finished reading it at the beginning of June. That's the quickest I've read a book that I couldn't wait for!

I had heard that Happy Place was getting mixed reviews from Emily Henry fans so I went in not really knowing what to expect. I knew I was going to love it but would it be my favorite? Time would tell.

Spoiler alert: I DID love it but it's not my favorite. I still prefer Book Lovers & Beach Read but this was definitely an Emily Henry book in a slightly different font. We'll get into it...

I still think you should read it because it was so beautiful and was such a good story that combined the tropes of fake dating and second chance romance.

Publisher's Summary

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

My Thoughts

This book was slightly more literary than I was expecting and definitely more literary than Emily's other books but my goodness was it beautiful.

The writing was poetic, it was heavy, it flowed so beautifully and painted such a stunning picture. The character development of Wyn and Harriet was right on par with her other books. Their emotion was raw, real and you completely understood who they were as people, as friends, and as a couple. 

I love the setting of Maine, but also in a house with their best friends. The relationships jumped off the page and the banter between everyone was so good. It made you want to be part of their friend group, and it made you understand why Harriet and Wyn needed to lie to everyone.

From the moment you meet Harriet and Wyn you know they need to be together; the chemistry is electric, the sexual tension is palpable, the love between them is right there. 

The story is told in alternating past and present timelines and I I loved seeing the difference between their past relationship and their present one. Seeing when they met, how they fell in love, their big relationships made you root for them so much more. 

I also really enjoyed reading more about their friendships and family lives; it added a lot of context to who Harriet and Wyn were as characters, as people, as a couple... it tied everything together with a nice ribbon.

Wyn is a cinnamon roll, a precious gem of a human and I think he's my favorite EH book boyfriend. Harriet on the other hand was infuriating. She was too inside her head, too whiny, too hell bent on miscommunication. It was irritating and grating, and to me, her ending was very random. 

It seemed as if the resolution for Wyn and Harry came out of nowhere and wasn't thought through. It didn't feel very Emily Henry like, but I won't complain about a beautiful, happy ending.

The idea of a happy place was present throughout the book, as it should be, but it added a layer a depth to the book that Emily Henry's other books didn't quite have. The fact that Harriet was going back to her happy place to escape the pain of her failed relationship, only to be faced with it head on -- it was poetic in the best way possible.

Even though this book wasn't my favorite of Emily Henry's books (and yes I feel the need to say her full name when I refer to her), it's one of my favorite books of the year. It has the recipe for a perfect novel: likable characters, a good setting, perfect romantic tropes, lots of details, steamy sex scenes, friendship, love and everything in between.

If you like Emily Henry, if you like romances, or even if you've been looking for something slightly deeper than the average cartoon cover romance novel, you will enjoy Happy Place!

Did you read Happy Place? What did you think?

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