Book Lovers

Emily Henry

Quick Synopsis

A by-the-book literary agent must decide if happily ever after is worth changing her whole life for in this insightful, delightful novel.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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 Review

Book Lovers is an enemy-to-lovers romance novel about a literary agent, Nora, and an editor, Charlie, whose worlds collide in the unlikely place of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina after Nora’s sister forces her to take a vacation.

Along with being a romance, Book Lovers explores the responsibility we often feel for family. In the case of Nora, the story focuses on her relationship with her younger sister, with a little mystery at its heart. For Charlie, he is forfeiting his happiness to care for his parents and their business. I found these storylines to be interesting, authentic, and part of a timely cultural discussion on caretaking.

Emily Henry used Book Lovers as an opportunity to subvert the quintessential Hallmark romance. The novel embodied a fun, tongue-in-cheek approach to romance tropes. In addition, I found it refreshing that values like being independent, career-oriented, urban-dwelling, and childless felt validated rather than villainized. None of these characteristics were changed or compromised in order to find love and a happily ever after while the main character still exhibited personal growth.

I also have to applaud Henry for not using ridiculous or irritating miscommunications as plot devices. Instead, Book Lovers employs conflicts (PLURAL!) that feel more honest and realistic. Consequently, the relationship and plot were pleasantly plausible and reflect how life happens outside of romance novels. But I must mention that I think the last conflict could have been tweaked so that the ending did not lose all of its momentum.

Emily Henry retains her title of Queen of Banter. If I could, I would have Emily Henry script my life. I rarely laugh out loud at books, movies, or television. The fact that I actually laughed out loud several times is proof that Henry’s writing is both relatable and humorous. However, I was disappointed by at least one “joke” she made at the expense of Cornell alumni. Mostly, I was irritated that Henry decided to perpetuate a stereotype that is largely untrue.

In addition, I thought that the character development in Book Lovers was a bit lacking. We never really see the “ice queen” side of Nora. Despite her sister’s large role in the book, she feels more like a vignette than an actual person. I would have also liked to gotten to know more of the townspeople, including Charlie’s parents. They were so underdeveloped that I was completely taken off guard when there was a name I did not recognize that showed up three-quarters of the way through.

Overall, I loved Book Lovers despite its flaws. It was the happy, witty book that I expected from Emily Henry. I would highly recommend it. In fact, Book Lovers is now ranked as my second favorite Emily Henry book.


Overall Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Lovers



Publication Date
May 3, 2022


Storygraph Rating
4.30 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.19 stars

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