Published by Berkley on 3rd May 2022
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One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming....
Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
‘Book Lovers’ was an odd reading experience and one that I hadn’t really paid much attention to in recent times. But I read this over the course of many, many days, finding that it was engaging and engrossing and so damn witty each time I picked up the book, which strangely didn’t have the sustaining power for me to literally stay awake all night wanting to finish it.
Obviously this is also probably due to a huge number of factors that’s probably not book-related, because ‘Book Lovers’—a somewhat funny and skewed take on literary agents, editing and the publishing world—does take your real-life woes, compress it into nothingness and tosses them out for that however-short magical moment you’re lost in the story.
Still, Emily Henry is a new-to-me-author whose writing style is so perfect for contemporary rom-coms, with such stylish dialogues and lol-moments in the frenemies-to-lovers-type story. It’s a combination of a woman who has held it together for her sister with shark-like determination for ages until it has been a part of life she can’t disentangle herself from, her family relationships and her newfound like/dislike/attraction that she develops for an editor in a supposedly idyllic town in North Carolina.
Admittedly it’s a story that’s probably longer and slightly more bloated that I thought should have been—the ending made me somewhat sceptical and not as swoony as I thought I’d be—, but I generally liked Henry’s style and the little treasure troves of emotional spikes that came through when you least expected it.