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The Book Everyone is Reading in May

Happy Place by Emily Henry
Ever since it was announced that Emily Henry was coming out with her next book, readers have been ecstatic about the release of "Happy Place." That being said, it should not come as a surprise that multiple clubs on Fable have chosen to read it in May (my club included!) So what exactly can readers expect when entering the next Emily Henry masterpiece? Let’s unpack this.

What is Happy Place About?

To begin, it is important to note that "Happy Place" is not just a romance book. Much like Henry’s other works, her books often focus on character development, self-discovery, and healing - while also having swoon-worthy romance. That being said, readers have found that "Happy Place" is a book that is much more than just the romance between two characters, more so than any of her other novels. Exes Harriet and Wyn are stuck together in a cottage in Maine as they have to fake still being in a relationship around their friends - no, they haven’t told them that they broke up yet; yes, it’s been six months since they broke up. This trip is an annual tradition for the group, and with the cottage being up for sale, they couldn’t possibly break their friends’ hearts by not going - so they decide to keep up appearances. Yet, being this close again - and having to fake being in love in front of their friends - they notice that they still desperately want each other. How could this possibly end? I think fans of Emily Henry, and romance readers in general, have a pretty good idea, but you might find yourself surprised as you read chapter by chapter. "Happy Place" holds all of Henry’s typical themes - self-discovery, healing, making (and remembering) memories, character development, and so on - but it is also about found and chosen family. Harriet and Wyn find their way back to each other, but their friendships with their best friends is incredibly heartwarming and comforting - they have obviously found their people. 

“My best friends taught me a new kind of quiet, the peaceful stillness of knowing one another so well you don’t need to fill the space. And a new kind of loud: noise as a celebration, as the overflow of joy at being alive, here, now.”

But on top of this strong plot, you also get tension and heart flutters from the romance. While Harriet and Wyn are the main couple in this story, the book also follows other relationships within the friend group. While having multiple relationships in a book can be tricky (it can lead to an imbalance between which couple/characters get more attention), Henry took the time to flesh out all relationships within her book, leaving readers with plenty of details - and heart flutters - for most of the book.

“I understood then, the immense honor it is to hurt like she does. To have loved someone so much that the taste of maple syrup can make you cry and laugh at the same time.”

While you still enjoy the tension and heart flutters from the romance, it doesn’t take anything away from the plot. You get to see the characters change and grow, and see how this group of friends is the perfect image of a happy family as they spend time together at their happy place. 

“You are in all of my happiest places.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love myself a book where the romance is at the heart of everything and the story unfolds around the main characters’ relationship. However, there is also something rather exciting about reading a book that has both plot and romance combined in a balanced way. This can be a bit tricky at times, as it can happen that a book will be a bit too literary and not romantic enough - or vice versa - which may lose the attention of readers who go into a book with certain expectations. However, Emily Henry has managed to pull off the perfect balance between the two. Yes, the romance element is evident and is dispersed throughout the book, yet there is much more to "Happy Place" than just a relationship between two people starting as fake and ending up as real. And again, yes, you do get to read about characters falling in love, but they fall in love in various ways. Featuring both romantic and platonic relationships, "Happy Place" depicts what loving someone can be like. 

“You’re like gravity. Everything keeps spinning, but my mind’s always got one hand on you.”

What Readers Have to Say

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️“Genuinely loved the pacing of telling Wyn and Harriet’s story. The fake dating, second chance romance, character growth, only one bed, found family, and dual POV had me hooked. The friendships, the reality of loss, love, family, and best friends was all so relatable . The whole time I felt this quote, ‘I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’ - Harry in When Harry Met Sally.”⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️“Really enjoyed all the characters and their dynamics with one another & as a group. At its heart, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story about chosen family, and about how home isn’t always really a physical place so much as a feeling inspired by certain people. The smut was just spicy enough, lots of tension too. Listened to the audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan - it’s always a treat listening to her narration! Can’t wait to read Book Lovers.”

The Bookish Gossip Times

While it’s hard to say whether this Emily Henry book will be adapted into a movie since it was released just a few days ago, it would not be surprising if it got a deal soon. With three of her adult novels already having acquired adaptation offers - "Beach Read," "People We Meet on Vacation," and "Book Lovers" - Henry’s "Happy Place" is well on its way to being her fourth novel to receive a movie adaptation. If you were to make your own cast for this book, who would you choose to play all six best friends?

Clubs that are Reading Happy Place in May

Rainy Days Call for RomanceCrow ClubTwo Sisters and a BookNB Mommas Book ClubLoss Moms Book ClubBook Therapy Book ClubProseandshows shelf care3 girls, 1 book club

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