Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

Traveling together through books. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Our First Bookish Kit Pick: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

August 3, 2021

It’s that time of year where we tuck books into our beach bags, suitcases, and picnic baskets and enjoy the environment around us. That hasn’t been easy for us in a long time, and now that things are opening up again, there is still time to tuck those books in our bags and enjoy some summer reading. Norma and I put together a fun bookish pairing with a book sleeve, bookmarks, and stickers and discussion questions for People We Meet on Vacation. Norma featured it in her  Etsy shop, and it sold out within an hour. I didn’t even get a chance to feature it here on the blog. So this is not the kit Norma created, but I substituted another book sleeve made our very talented Mom that is available to feature with the book and added some bookmarks that would go perfectly with the book and theme.

You can find the book sleeve here

You can find the beach bookmarks here and the pool bookmarks here

Use SISTERS20 at checkout for 20% off

Why Norma and I picked People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry for our first bookish kit.

We wanted a fun and entertaining summer read that took us on an adventure, and Poppy and Alex did just that. We loved the themes we could come with to go with the book. People We Meet on Vacation makes for a fantastic summer getaway read. It’s easy to get buried in; it’s a lighter, fun one with some depth to the characters, especially Poppy. She is a character to talk about.

Pack your bags and travel with Poppy and Alex to the places they vacationed on, and then travel over with Norma and me to our discussion post on our blog. (I will be adding the post soon)

“Two best friends. Ten Summer trips. One Last Chance to fall in love.”

Brenda’s review

My favorite summer read so far this year!! It’s one not to be missed! It’s the perfect getaway read, and I loved traveling with Poppy and Alex to the places they vacationed on. It doesn’t demand much from readers but still has some depth to the story and characters.

People We Meet On Vacation has all that I needed for a perfect getaway read. It’s a funny, heartfelt, engaging read with banter and dialogue between the characters that felt fresh and exciting. I often find with rom- coms the banter can become tiring and old fast for me. Here it felt realistic, fun, and lively. Their connection felt genuine, and I enjoyed the dynamics between Poppy and Alex from start to finish. 

What stood out the most for me was how Emily Henry nails those tropes like opposites attract, best friends to lovers, secretly in love with each other, and a more modern one friendship breakup. She adds a fresh, exciting modern twist while brilliantly weaves those tropes in by creating a history of friendship told across the vacations Poppy and Alex shared once a year. There is an interesting personal growth dimension that adds depth to the characters. We see this more with Poppy’s character, and Alex creates more depth for Poppy.   Emily Henry has a little surprise in the end that stands on its own and pays homage to the golden age grand gesture and confession of love elements of a rom-com. That clinched the deal for me, and I loved how it all wrapped!! I highly recommend it!!

Norma’s Review:

4.5 Stars! Romantic, delightful, and a captivating page turner!

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by EMILY HENRY is a refreshing, thought-provoking, compelling, emotional, sweet, and fun rom-com that absolutely stole my heart.  The friends to lovers trope here was done extremely well and not in your typical rom-com fashion.  The author has this unique ability to tap into your deepest emotions as well as the characters’ that are deeply affecting to you the reader.  Right from the very beginning I found myself fully immersed in this tale.

EMILY HENRY delivers a multi-layered, engaging read here with great characters that I absolutely adored, totally immersing me in Poppy and Alex’s friendship as well as in every vacation that they took together.  I loved their strong chemistry and the dynamics between these two.  Poppy is so quirky with the best sense of humour ever to Alex’s reservedness.  The author does an awesome job with totally investing us in their relationship and I was definitely rooting for a happily ever after ending for the both of them.

The teasing, humorous and witty banter between Poppy and Alex is what I absolutely loved and couldn’t get enough of.  I kind of envied Poppy’s teasing and witty nature.  I am more reserved like Alex so she had me thinking plenty of time how in the world do you come up with this stuff.  

The only part that frustrated me a little bit was when the friends didn’t talk for a few years.  The silence and miscommunication in a story normally bothers me though.  We as readers can see what’s happening so why can’t our characters? 

The story is told from alternating timelines of This Summer, and their past Summer trips of the places that they vacationed.  Their yearly vacation is where we really get to know Poppy and Alex as individuals and see the dynamics they shared as friends and a couple.  I think the title is a little more meaningful to who Poppy and Alex are as people rather than the people they actually meet on vacation.

It was an absolute pleasure reading this lighthearted rom-com with substance.  Some parts of this story really touched me and tugged at my heartstrings, either putting a huge smile on my face or making me a bit teary eyed.  Would recommend it!  

We received copies from the publisher through NetGalley

Howdy (howdoyoudo?) Friends!! I am back with a cookbook review, and again I am focusing on vegan recipes. However, it’s easy to substitute meat with some of the recipes here.

I agree, along with the author, “the greatest memories are made around food and in between bites,” and these boards make for great meals and conversations among family and friends. 

Vegan Boards: 50 Gorgeous Plant-Based Boards for Snacks and Meals for Family or Friends is a gorgeous cookbook with stunning colourful photos and appealing easy to read recipes. The concept here is serving everyday meals on boards for a fun and entertaining twist to your meals.  

When I think of boards, I think of cheese, meat, crackers, dips, veggies, and fruit-style boards; however, this is not the same concept here. It’s a fresh take on how everyday meals are present and not much different from a family-style way of sharing. It’s all in how the food is arranged on the boards. There are boards for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts, snacks and parties.  

Some boards that caught my eye and to temp Y’all with

Vegan Banh Mi Board. Instead of making the sandwiches up and serving them, the ingredients are on a board for everyone to help themselves. The recipes calls for pulled Jackfruit and I am not a fan and I will substitute with tofu or just vegetables. Oh and by the way I dislike regular mayo but love vegan mayo. Give it a try instead of regular you might be as surprised as I was.

Mediterranean Grazing Board is a fun board you can make using fresh ingredients and is easy to bring together on a board.

Build your own bagel sandwich board. I love bagels and this is such a fun idea way to share that love with family on weekend summer day on the deck

Some fun themed parties boards fo at home with your special somebodies or extended family and friends

Game Day Cauliflower Wings and Midsummer Backyard BBQ Board

Back Yard Campfire Board. We have fire pits often even in the winter and I love the idea of this board. It calls for vegan hot dogs and I not a fan of hot dogs at all but it can easily be substituted for smokies or carrot dogs as the recipe has in it.

Watermelon Pizza Board and many more

I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley and one I am adding to my wish list for a print copy

Below is my own personal reasons and why I choose this cookbook and not the authors views.

Why eating some of your meals meatless and dairy-free is so essential?

BC is on fire, and here in Alberta, we are experiencing a high amount of smoke and it has never been more apparent how climate change is effecting us with the extreme heatwave and forest fires. Reducing meat and dairy can improve your carbon imprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are significantly impacting our planet.

Now I have to talk about my new handmade reusable produce shopping bags. I have decided it’s time I own my carbon footprint and start making some changes in our lives to reduce plastic and waste. I found these cute, fun reusable bags on Etsy made by It’s Sew Katrina in London, Ontario, Canada.

Lindsay’s Review

A suspenseful, easy and entertaining read!

Alice and Leo purchase a home in a tight knit gated community known as The Circle. Alice is excited to make new friends and feel a sense of belonging in this new neighbourhood while Leo holds back from socializing too much. Soon after they move in, Alice senses something isn’t right. She begins to question her neighbours intentions and doesn’t know who she can genuinely trust, including Leo.

This was the perfect read for me during a really busy time. The shorter chapters were easy to fly through. The pace and flow were consistent and kept me highly intrigued and invested. Each chapter had my curiosity building and my suspicions changing. There isn’t a lot to overthink with this book which I loved – it was exactly what I needed at the time I read it. There were some questionable elements to the plot but the writing was so smooth and addictive that they didn’t bother me.

I truly love this author! I’ve read all of her books and highly recommend them if you want an addictively suspenseful and entertaining story without having to think too much. They are books that you can just sit back and enjoy as the plot unfolds, keeping you intrigued to the last page. Nothing too intense or gripping, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless. They all follow that same formula of slowly building up tension and suspense and throwing some great unexpected twists and turns in the mix.

I am already looking forward to what this author comes out with next!

Brenda’s review

I enjoyed this psychological suspense for it’s easy and entertaining plot and unlikable characters with an intense setting to get lost in.  I sat back, read, and gave that over thinker in me a rest.  So I am not going to overthink this review by delving deep into anything.  Like Lindsay said in her review, there isn’t much to think about here, and like her, I loved that about the story. Sometimes that all is needed in a good book.  

I loved the setting with the closed vibe of the sought-after gated community of “The Circle” that our main character Alice is not feeling is so sought-after moving in. Her newly renovated dream home holds a shocking secret, and she tries to find more about what happened to the therapist Nina who lived there.  Things start to spiral out of control, and those twists and turns kept me on my toes right up to the hard to buy into but entertaining and satisfying ending. 

I highly recommend it for a fun distraction from the world around you and not to over think this one!!

We received copies from the publisher. 

Lindsay’s review

Extremely enjoyable from start to finish!

Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is returning to her job after taking leave to recover from a brutal attack that landed the Jigsaw Killer, Peter Olivier, in prison. On her first day back to work she is partnered with trainee Salim Ramouter and they are assigned to a murder scene that is the beginning of what appears to be a copycat of the Jigsaw Killer.

I LOVED Henley! She was an outstanding main character – so strong yet vulnerable. I loved the relationship dynamic between her and Ramouter which was definitely a stand out aspect of the plot for me. I also loved the unsettling relationship between Henley and Olivier and everything that brought to the storyline. Henley’s backstory kept me highly intrigued as it was slowly revealed as the story progressed.

Beware there are some gruesome scenes and plot points. The pace and flow were perfect. This wasn’t a super intense or gripping serial killer story, but I enjoyed every single page. It was more of a character driven police procedural that had me hanging on every word. The unique and fascinating character relationships were what drove the plot forward for me.

The writing was excellent! I loved the short chapters and how some chapters switched perspectives. Brilliant execution of this debut novel! I highly recommend!

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for my physical review copy! I can’t wait for Book #2 in this series! 

Brenda’s review

Dang, it!! I should have loved this one, but I couldn’t get into the tried and drawn-out storyline involving The Jigsaw Man Peter Olivier and a copycat killer. I didn’t find them compelling killers, but there is something different here from those tired and overused character types with black female Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley. She shines a light on marginalized groups, mental health, gender, sexism, and racism. I loved Henley’s strength and vulnerability that take on a convincing, human side to her with her struggles to control the anxiety attacks she experiences due to the trauma caused to her by Peter Olivier.

The crimes and killers here are disturbing and twisted with graphic scenes; however, it felt like that was the focus instead of the tension need to create an exciting climax to the story. Then things started to happen so fast that it lacked the danger and action needed to make the showdown between the characters exciting and thrilling.

I loved the strong, well-developed characters but it missed the mark with the elements to make it a compelling Police procedural for me. Even though it missed that mark, I think it is one of the better books from an author moving forward with our times. I recommend it.

I received a copy from the publisher on EW.

Howdy Friends!!! Yahoo!! Since we are getting closer to life on the go again, I know you want to protect those fantastic books, kindles and kobos. Right? Well, I have some new book sleeves my Mom has made for me and their Etsy shop to share with you all!!

What a find this fabric is!!! We just about missed this one and were happy when our clever sales person showed us the fabric after hearing we were looking for fabric for book sleeves. We snatched up what little they had left. So hurry and check one out before they are gone! Click here to purchase from their Etsy

Coffee, tea and books are always a great combination and this is such a fun book sleeve to take your book on a date to a coffee shop. click here to purchase

I could not pass on this one!! I love the diversity to the pattern and reminds me I need to catch up on my diversity challenge and pick the perfect book for this sleeve. For now I picked The Other Black Girl to go with it. It has some mixed reviews so I am not sure it’s one to fit my challenge. The book sleeve also has such a wonderful summer vibe to it and I just want to pull out my beach towel and find a spot to read and pretend I am by a pool somewhere fabulous. Find it here

Kittens!! Adorable!! Enough said!! Click here

I thought this was a fun one to carry my book I am currently reading while out and about. I just love sitting on a bench and sneaking in a chapter. click here

One of my favorite new additions to my book sleeve collection!!! How pretty is this one!!! click here to purchase

My Mom also makes Kindle and Kobo Sleeve. Drop Norma a message in her shop if you want either in the fabrics and don’t forget to check out her bookmarks. She will be adding some new ones soon. To see all their wonderful bookish things Click here for their Etsy store. Use SISTERS20 at the checkout for 20% off.

Lindsay’s review

Mina is a flight attendant living separated from her police officer husband, Adam. They both have secrets but they have a strong enough relationship that they can amicably share custody of their young daughter in the family home. Mina is part of the flight crew working on a record breaking 20 hour non-stop flight which is the first time for any airline. Soon after the flight takes off, Mina receives an anonymous note from a passenger and it becomes evident there is a scheme on board the flight that Mina is caught in the middle of.

This was an intense storyline that would be a worst nightmare for most – a plane hijacking. The novel unfolds through Mina’s perspective on the plane and Adam’s perspective at home with their daughter. The plane chapters with Mina had an intense, anxiety-filled, gripping feel that kept me engrossed and worried. Adam’s perspective, while equally important to the storyline, didn’t hold as much intrigue or spark.

I am a huge fan of this author, as I’ve read most of her backlist. I love her writing and this was no exception. My one issue is that I felt the last quarter of the book lost some of its intensity. The claustrophobic, suspenseful feel wasn’t as captivating for me in the end. I remained invested and curious, but it wasn’t pulling me as strongly as the start.

Overall, this was another unique, entertaining, thought-provoking read by this author and I am already looking forward to what she comes out with next!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy!

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