“I’m on vacation. Vacations always end. It’s the very fact that it’s finite that makes traveling special. You could move to any one of those destinations you loved in small doses, and it wouldn’t be the spellbinding, life-altering seven days you spend there as a guest, letting a place into your heart fully, letting it change you.”

After reading Beach Read, by Emily Henry, last year and falling in love with it, I was beyond excited to pick up her newest novel, People We Meet on Vacation, for this summer. As someone who rarely reads romance, I was surprised at how quickly I devoured both of Henry’s books. She writes witty dialogue in a way that makes a conversation between fictional characters feel natural and engaging. Her protagonists are charmingly flawed, causing you to hate, root for, and relate to them all at the same time.

Simply put, People We Meet on Vacation is a friends-to-lovers story.

Poppy and Alex are polar opposites who met during their freshman year of college. They quickly learned that they are from the same small town in Ohio and ended up carpooling home together that summer. During this painfully long car ride, we discover how incompatible this pair is. Poppy is wild and unpredictable, finding something to love about everything. Alex feels the need to always be in control, finding reasons to hate almost anything.

Against all odds, these two form a strong bond. Thus began a tradition of week-long summer trips together that lasted for a decade, until two years ago, when something happened during their trip to Croatia that caused Poppy and Alex to stop talking entirely.

In present day, Poppy lives in New York City and writes for a travel magazine. She has everything she’s ever dreamt of, yet she’s never felt worse. When a friend asks about the last time she felt happy, Poppy immediately knows it was with Alex. In an attempt to heal their relationship and get her life back on track, Poppy invites Alex on one last trip.

The two travel to Palm Springs for a low-budget vacation that will end with Alex’s brother’s wedding. Poppy hopes that in recreating their first cheap summer vacations, they’ll rekindle that special spark that made them inseparable in the past. Unfortunately, from broken A/Cs to pinched nerves and heat stroke, this trip is one big disaster after another.

People We Meet on Vacation takes us back and forth between the present-day Palm Springs trip and vacations of the past. Throughout the novel, we begin to understand the complex relationship these two friends have shared over the years. The tension between our two protagonists will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting for someone to finally make the move that will turn a friendship into the relationship it’s meant to be.

One of the things I love about this novel is how it enforces the fact that happiness comes from the individual, not outside factors. No job, relationship, or vacation can make you feel fulfilled. You have to do that work on your own.

If you’re in the mood for a light read that will satisfy your travel bug and inspire you to plan your 2022 vacation, pick up a copy of People We Meet on Vacation. Pair it with a Mai Tai and a lounge chair, then head to our Instagram (@beniciabooktails) to let us know what you think!

Pick up your copy of Supermarket by Bobby Hall to read along with us this month. If you want a chance to find one of our hidden copies around town, be sure to follow our Instagram account for clues.

Staycation Mai Tai


1 1/2 ounces Pineapple juice

1 1/2 ounces light rum

3/4 ounce orange curaçao

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce orgeat

1/2 ounce dark rum

Pineapple wedge and Maraschino cherries (for garnish)


  1. Fill a rocks glass with 1 cup of crushed ice.
  2. Mix pineapple juice, light rum, orange curaçao, lime juice, and orgeat in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Shake and strain into the rocks glass.
  4. Float dark rum on top.
  5. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherries.
  6. Sit back and relax (the most crucial step).

Staycation Mocktail


Pineapple juice

Ginger ale

Pineapple wedge and Maraschino cherries (for garnish)


  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice.
  2. Pour equal parts pineapple juice and ginger ale over the ice.
  3. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherries.