Book Lovers review: Emily Henry’s latest novel is a romantic exploration of family obligation

I fell in love with Emily Henry’s writing with You and Me on Vacation like so many others, so when I heard about Book Lovers I could hardly contain my excitement.

The final novel follows a cold literary agent who looks like that character we see in all romance novels, except she’s not the romantic lead. She’s the mean ex-girlfriend you don’t sympathize with.

Nora Stephens doesn’t have time to be a laid-back, small-town girl. She has a career she gave her all for and a little sister she would rock the world for. She is capable of loving, but she does not give it to everyone.

She has talent and she knows it, her clients have books that fly away and sell so well that they are made into films.

So when her heavily pregnant little sister Libby begs her to go to town, her favorite client’s best-selling book takes place in her caves.

It’s exactly the kind of place you go and fall in love with a local lumberjack, uprooting his whole life and regretting nothing.

Libby knows this and makes a list for Nora. There’s a series of things they have to do, including, for Nora, dating a local.

It’s a huge surprise when Nora spots her nemesis, the publisher who refused to work on one of her books minutes after being dumped, Charlie Lastra.

He is New York at heart, so finding him hiding in this small town makes no sense to Nora. Charlie may be cute and from Sunshine Falls, but he’s so far off the mission that it’s a really bad idea for Nora to go looking for him when she’s supposed to be hunting brooding lumberjacks who will camp with her in the forest.

But of course, she can’t help but be drawn to Charlie and this secret life he has hidden up his sleeve.

Book Lovers is a beautiful tribute to older sisters around the world, those who feel the pressure to stand up and nurture their younger siblings into adulthood.

Emily Henry explores family obligation and how you give too much to those you love that it becomes detrimental to your own well-being.

I found myself falling in love with Charlie Lastra, as I’m sure readers around the world will too. Set against the backdrop of a dreamy small town, a big-city romance filled with denial and a reluctance to embrace one’s own desires.

Nora isn’t your typical fluffy romantic lead, and it made me wish she was happily ever after even more.

This book went straight into my re-read pile – although it should be noted that there is a theme of grief over the loss of a parent for those who don’t wish to be triggered.

Have you read this? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments.

Alternatively, you can pick up a Kindle version, audiobook, or physical copy from Amazon or you can pick up a copy of Waterstones here.

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