Two exes. One pact.
Could this holiday change everything?
Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple – they go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Every year for the past decade, they have run away from their lives to drink far too much wine and soak up the sea air with their favourite people in the world.
Except this year, they are lying through their teeth. Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago. And they still haven’t told anyone.
But this is the last time they’ll all be together here. The cottage is for sale, and since they can’t bear to break their best friends’ hearts, they’ll fake it for one more week.
But how can you pretend to be in love – and get away with it – in front of the people who know you best?
Brimming with characters you can’t help but fall for and off-the-charts chemistry, HAPPY PLACE is Emily Henry doing what she does best!
Title : Happy Place
Author : Emily Henry
Format : Physical ARC / eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 400
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Viking Books / Berkley
Release Date : April 27, 2023 / April 25, 2023
Reviewer : Micky / Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 4.5 star review
Everything isn’t fine
I really like what Emily Henry did with this novel, we started with the difficult and pretty much stayed there for a lot of the book. This was one hell of an angsty read, the type where you close the book to breathe a bit and then get the courage to open it again.
The story immersed the reader in found family but that family was hitting the dysfunctional buttons pretty hard for all sorts of reasons. I feel like this bunch of friends had grown and changed but they felt the need to pretend they were still as they were a decade ago. Sabrina was a tough one to like but the others were easier to bond with.
The MCs Harriet and Wyn were truly likeable but fathoming what the heck was going on with these two was difficult. I could figuratively feel the unease in Harriet about a bunch of things, Wyn included. There was a bucket load of baggage from family, childhood and pressurised expectations. Harriet was all about the people pleasing but she lacked insight into herself.
I devoured this book over two days and there was so much substance to pick over. I love that Emily Henry doesn’t write to a personal formula. This offering felt quite different to her other romances but equally as great. Don’t expect ease and laughter, brace for tension and angst. Highly recommended.
“Love means constantly saying you’re sorry, and then doing better.”
Thank you to Viking Books for the review copy.
Hollis’ 4 star review
Second-chance romance is rarely my cup of tea. Mostly because the author does too good a job convincing me the couple was right to break up the first time. Or I’m not sold the connection is enough to weather future conflicts and go through everything all over again. But here we are. Henry has convinced me otherwise.
And she did it twice. Because she had me falling in love with these two as they fell in love the first time. And aching as I hoped they would find their way back to each other, desperate to know what really had gone wrong, and if it was fixable. Because sometimes it’s not. Sometimes all the love in the world doesn’t equal a happy ending.
I used to think of love [..] as something so delicate it couldn’t be caught without being snuffed out. Now I know better. I know the flame may gutter and flare with the wind, but it will always be there.
But it wasn’t only the romance that inspired tears. The friend group, reading about this collection of people who had found each other, grown up together, and maybe were clinging too hard in the face of growing apart, it was all so so real. Picking up old traditions, trying to carry on even when so much was changing, the friction that results in some of that, oh. It resonated. And I’m sure other thirty-sometimes will feel that, too.
[..] even when something breaks, the making of it still matters.
As were the conversations are jobs, careers, lifegoals. Sometimes ones ambitions change, sometimes there are none to be had, and success isn’t in having an important job but being happy with yourself at the end of the day. And while it won’t come as any surprise based on the title, this book dealt a lot with happiness. What it represents, what it means, and how to find it.
I think this is the most heartfelt and romantic of all Henry’s books (so far!) but don’t worry there are plenty of laughs alongside some great banter. Also, longing. I think I used the word “aching” in this review already but it’s worth mentioning again because I ached. They ached. We all ached. I spent the last whoevenknowshowmany percent dripping tears and I cannot wait to relive this one. I want to take the time and start from the beginning, work my way through all her romances, and I always say these things and never do it but oh do I want to. I hope I make the time.
Obviously, highly recommend this one. And also, thank you for making my dreams come true and making it pink. Please make the next one green. Also also, can I just say, I’m so glad whatever mojo in the universe which has lead to two of my other most anticipateds falling flat did not impact this one. We have a win. Thank goodness.