Books & Literature

Book Review: Book Lovers, by Emily Henry

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: A hilarious enemies-to-lovers rom-com from the author of Beach Road and You and Me on Vacation.

She’s no heroine and he’s no hero but, together, they might just be the best anti-hero pairing of the year.

Book Lovers is Emily Henry’s third romantic comedy novel and possibly her best yet.

Nora Stephens is a successful New York literary agent, known by competitors as “the shark”. Charlie Lastra is an editor with the Midas touch and Nora’s sworn nemesis. Neither are what’s considered romantic hero tropes, and they know their tropes.

Nora lives a carefully controlled life, dates only real prospects and has been the woman four of her previous boyfriends have dated right before they found The One. She is jaded when it comes to love, even though she represents bestselling romance authors. Nora’s one weakness is her younger sister, Libby, so when she asks Nora to take a three-week break with her in Sunshine Falls, the small town that provided the setting for one of Nora’s recent successes, she accepts. The commercial hit was also roundly rejected prior to publication by one Charlie Lastra–no wonder she hates him.

But as in all great enemies-to-lovers tales, this status quo can’t last forever. Especially when Sunshine Falls also happens to be Charlie’s hometown and the two keep bumping in to one another. What starts out as true animosity quickly gives way to a barbed working relationship full of Henry’s trademark witty banter and, eventually, an attraction neither can fight.

While readers know what to expect when selecting a book such as this, there is absolute joy in this particular journey from enemies to lovers. Picking up on all the small-town romance tropes, Henry examines them and turns them to her own advantage, showing why this genre remains so popular. The chemistry she creates between Nora and Charlie is powerful enough to blow-up a lab and her dialogue is both masterful and hilarious.

There is a deeper level to this romance, a tragedy both anti-heroes must overcome to earn their happily-ever-after, and this provides depth to what might otherwise be a paddling-pool deep tale.

Fans of Henry will know what to expect and will not be disappointed, and for newbies, this is the best place to start your reader/writer relationship. On a personal note, I reviewed this while recovering from COVID and it was the one bright spot in an otherwise horribly unpleasant week. Rush out and buy it immediately.

Reviewed by Samantha Bond
Twitter: @SamStaceyBond

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: 3 May 2022
RRP: $22.99

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