Title: Book Lovers
Author: Emily Henry
Date of Publication: May 3, 2022
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.
This book provides an original perspective–that of the self-proclaimed “Other Woman”. In Hallmark movies and traditional romance novels, there will be the “other woman”–the woman that the hero is dating before he finds his one true love. Nora self-identifies as the career-driven, city woman who’s dated not one, not two, but four different men who left her for their soulmates in romance novel trope-like situations. Nora is a cutthroat literary agent, and in this book, her sister, who’s pregnant for the third time, decides to take her to a small town for a much-needed break. But Nora doesn’t want a break. She loves her job. She loves the city. Everything about this small town goes against everything she is and everything she wants out of her life. As much as Nora wishes she could be something that she isn’t, the truth is, heartbreak aside, she’s happy with her career-driven life.
But then she keeps bumping into an editor from the city that she doesn’t get along with. It turns out that he’s from this small town, and he’s back to help his father who’s sick. They’re both working remotely (much to Nora’s sister’s dismay), and they grow closer as they start to edit a book together. Sure, Nora is viewed as a shark in the industry, but is it possible that someone can love her because of it, not despite it?
The banter between Nora and Charlie is what makes this book oh-so-freaking amazing. There’s so much angst in the storyline–particularly because of Nora’s self-loathing for not being the type of person that everyone else wants her to be, but also because Charlie is stuck in town taking care of his father, and anything that develops between them can’t go any further. She’s a city girl, through and through.
This book is so unique and special in that it somehow has you laughing while simultaneously battling heartache. I feel for Nora’s plight, and the plotline nicely allows for her self-discovery and growth, while not completely going at odds with who she is. The message is quite nice and it’s refreshing to see this trope turned on its head.
I recommend this book to those who want a witty and angsty romance read with themes of self-acceptance and love.
*Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for the ebook to review*
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