Cover Image: Happy Place

Happy Place

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Member Reviews

I’m as obsessed with Emily Henry as everyone else so I was thrilled to read this. It took me a little longer to get into than her previous novels, but once I was in I was all in. Wonderful setting and characters, sexy, funny and emotionally intelligent. I loved it.

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Happy Place is another fantastic read by Emily Henry! She has become an auto-buy author for me. Like I have come to expect from Henry, this was an unflinching look at the fears we have about growing up and, more importantly, growing apart from the people we love. The ideas are explored in both Harriet and Wyn’s relationship and through their college friendship group. I adored the found family in here it is one of the best I’ve read. 

Harriet and Wyn were the perfect college sweethearts. They were meant to be, except when they don’t. They broke up six months ago and they still haven’t told their best friends. Harriet has planned to tell them during the group's annual group getaway to Maine. However, the cottage is up for sale, two of their friends are getting married and Wyn has shown up unexpectedly. Not waiting to ruin the trip, the pair spend the week lying to their friends, all while trying to navigate their heartbreak of their breakup and the undeniable pull to be together.

The romance in here plays out in two timelines. First, the present, where Harriet and Wyn are lying about their breakup and pretending to be together, and the second is in the past, where we see their first get together and watch it slowly unravel. The angst in here was at an all-time high. You can see the chemistry between the two, but Harriet is still reeling from their breakup. She's unsure of what happened and trying to figure out where it all went wrong. At first, the idea that they broke up because of miscommunication, or really a lack of communication, frustrated me. But learning why and what barriers they had to opening up – Harriet’s need to please everyone and seem unflappable and Wyn’s feeling of not being ‘good’ enough – make their breakup felt authentic and utterly human. We see it every day, relationships that break because people stop communicating.

Harriet is a driven surgical resident. She fears losing the people she loves and has a strong perfectionist streak. I found her oh-so-relatable. She’s used to not fighting for what she wants and ignoring her needs in hopes that it will make the other people in her life happy and more comfortable. It’s almost like she’s been programmed by her family to become small and not speak out or want anything to make everyone’s else life easier. However, it has the opposite effect as she comes across as apathetic and uncaring. Watching her learn to speak up and allowing herself to be vulnerable to Wyn, and her friends, was beautiful. The scene where she lost it and finally tells Wyn and her friends what she’s feeling and why she’s never spoken up before was stunningly done. You can feel how hard this is for her, but you also see how cathartic it is.

On the flip side to Harriet’s avoidance of confrontation and driven personality, is Wyn the laid-back charmer who rarely lets people in to see below his carefully constructed persona. We slowly learn that he's been dealing with some mental health issues and, in the flashback scenes, we get glimpses of his lack of self-worth. It’s clear that he adores Harriet and lets her go, mostly because he thinks it’s what’s best for her. The way he keeps asking if she’s happy, and knowing why, it broke my heart!

I adore the found family aspect of this novel. Harriet and Wyn found this group of friends in college and they've stuck by each other’s side through all the highs and lows of their 20s. While Harriett is dealing with the loss of her relationship with Wyn, there is also this underlying fear of growing up and growing apart from this friendship group. This is what drives the pair to fake date for the weekend. The fear of losing the connection to the people we saw every day in school as we dive into adulthood and life takes us in all different directions is very real. The depiction of this had me tearing up at serval points. Henry managed to weave in a sparkle of hope that while yes, the relationship is different, it does not mean you have to lose these connections. They can adapt and change. Even if it does not look the same as in your late teens/early twenties, it's still a meaningful relationship.

I adored Happy Place! Harriet is someone I strongly relate to. The way Emily Henry can explore the love, fear and joy of this friendship group and highlights the importance of communication is beautiful. I highly recommend this! Just be aware it is not straight-up romance. While Wyn and Harriet’s fake dating and second chance romance is a huge part of the plot, I would argue that watching Harriet reflect on what she wants out of life and navigating expectations that her family and herself have placed on her is the real focus of the story.

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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the e-arc for an honest opinion.

Please take in mind it’s my opinion, and everyone is allowed to have one.

I DNFed this around 40% (maybe more, maybe less). I just couldn’t get into this, nothing was really going on. And the trope isn’t it for me.

Mind you just because it wasn’t it for me, I do hope you’ll like it.

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Exactly what I wanted and needed from an Emily Henry romance novel! At the start I wasn't sure - something about the idea of a second-chance romance for a couple that's broken up after years and years together didn't really grab me - but I really didn't need to worry. 100/10. I loved the flashbacks to the start of Harriet & Wyn's relationship and I also reeaally loved the dynamic of their friendship group, which kind of reminded me of the friends in LAST NIGHT by Mhairi McFarlane. Harriet the main character has to face up to what she really wants - from her friends and family and career and relationships - and I loved how she comes to her decisions at the end of the novel. Flew through this in 24 hours like I knew I would and already miss it <3

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I really enjoyed this book, maybe not quite as much as Book Lovers but it was a great story with really brilliant characters. I really liked the storyline too, I liked the time jumps which kept you guessing about the details of the backstory.

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emily henry is THE mainstream romance author i would defend to death - not a single one of her romances so far have been a miss, and this is not an exception. her characters, like always, are startlingly and refreshingly realistic - throwing them together in this particular scenario quite literally makes me want to scream. their backstory and insecurities are so real, and only adds to how invested i get.

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I read this all the way back in November but I didn't review it then because I didn't love it, in fact I felt distinctly lukewarm about it, and that's such an odd way for me to feel about this author I had to let my feelings percolate a while! I had a strange year for reading last year - a MUCH higher rate of DNF than usual, and virtually all eagerly awaited book releases missed the mark for me completely (Book Lovers being a rare exception). So I think taking all of that into account, plus the fact that structurally this book is similar to People We Meet On Vacation - two timelines, the present and vacations (or happy places in this case) from the past, not necessarily in chronological order, leading back up to the current timeline - which I didn't love either, it was definitely me not the book!

All of that coupled with the fact I wanted to shake Harriet (be proactive!) and slap Wyn (it was a small thing but as soon as he was described as always having to have a hand on her or in her back pocket or whatever my brain said 'absolutely not, back off sparky' and I wanted to punch him!) meant it just didn't quite hit the spot for me. But because Emily Henry is a genius and nobody writes better romances than her, I found myself swept along and rooting for them despite myself! I do think if PWMOV is your favourite Emily Henry this will appeal a bit more, but it's a good solid romance that will have mass appeal.

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It's official, Happy Place has made it to my favourites shelf 😍💫

This was one of the easiest 5⭐ reads I've ever given. I don't think I've read such a relatable romance book before but wow this book. Everything was resonating with me, I couldn't stop underlining passages or giggling or crying, my heart was clenching and unclenching constantly.

I think there's something so wonderful and innately human about all of Emily Henry's characters, but especially the ones in this book. I feel as though I am them or have known them my whole life, like they are people who actually walk our earth rather than existing between the pages.

If you've read any other of Emily's books (maybe you liked them, maybe you didn't) believe me that you will regret it if you do not read Happy Place. This is a masterpiece of a book, and I will be putting it into any and every customer's hands for the foreseeable.

Can you tell how much I love it?

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Harriet and Wyn, who broke up six months ago, pretend to still be together during their annual holiday with friends at a cottage that is up for sale. They struggle to keep up the act and wonder if this holiday will change everything.

-Thoughts
One thing that I absolutely love about Henry’s writing style is that no matter the plot difference, the character differences and just the overall differences in her books they feel familiar to each other. But not in a way that feels like they are a different font of the same story but instead that they feel comfortingly familiar, gripping you in from the very first page and this one was no different to that.

The thing that stood out the most to me in this one was the friendships, of course we all love a good romance but I absolutely adored the relationships between friends and how their friendship group evolved as they got older, how it was easier to feel more disconnected from each other but ultimately how the connections they had with each other were still just as strong underneath the life stuff.

Everyone knows I love a multiple timeline book and I thought it worked really well in this one to show us the friendship/relationship dynamics more quickly and feel more connected with the characters

Overall I think this book has the most depth of all of her books so far; I think it’s relatable and thought provoking and demonstrates the self growth required to become an actual adult and all the confusion that brings really well. Overall a really enjoyable read!

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1. It’s Emily Henry - you know you’ll love it.
2. If you don’t know who Emily Henry is, then you’re about to know because this is perfect to dive into!

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something joyful ✨I really loved this book! Full of some of my fave romance tropes, fake dating, second chance romance, forced proximity… #HappyPlace is perfect if you love any of these! I especially loved the way the chapters were split up into ‘Happy Place’, ‘Real Life’, and ‘Dark Place’ and there were lots of moments throughout that made me giggle! Definitely one to pick up (and I think perfect reading for a summer holiday!) Thank you to NetGalley and @vikingbooksuk for the advance copy!

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This book was amazing! I expected to love it and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I read two of the three other books of her and I loved those two. But this one is taking the top as fave for the moment.
Harriet and Wyn are so intriguing main characters. It’s all told out of Harriets perspective and that makes for all the more tension. They broke up but haven’t told anyone yet. But then they both get invited to their friend groups yearly getaway. Can they keep pretending to still be together. That aspect brought so much tension between the two of them and I loved it. Seeing them still act like lovers even though they broke up. The interactions with the friend group were also so fun to read as they seem like such an amazing bunch. The book also included lots of flashbacks to when they were still together and how their relationship came to be. Definitely recommend this book so much if you loved Emily Henry’s books before.

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Omg! She's done it again!!!! I love second chance romances and her writing style keeps getting better and better!!!

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I’ve had mixed experiences with Emily Henry's books in the past. I LOVED Beach Read, I liked You and Me on Vacation and then I found Book Lovers underwhelming.

I was nervous to pick up Happy Place because second-chance romance isn’t my favouirite trope, but this more than exceeded my expectations.

I thought the two main characters had great chemistry, and I loved the banter.

I also really appreciated the realistic friendship group that Emily Henry created and the way this talked about the difficulties of maintaining friendships as an adult. I felt like I was reading about real people and I almost cried towards the end because I felt so emotionally invested.

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This book was AMAZING!!
I was really excited when I got this ARC and I couldn't wait to start reading! It did not disappoint! Everything I've read from Emily Henry so far was really good!

While reading the synopsis I thought it was supposed to be a rom-com, but it's definitely not. This book broke my heart, but it was definitely worth it! Thank goodness I chose to read it at night, because I couldn't stop crying.
The main characters, Harriet and Wyn, are so real and the difficulties they had in their relationship is something that a lot of couples go through every day.
I just loved them and I felt like I was in their places. There were so many emotions involved! And it was really interesting to see the progress they both made and that they were able to find themselves and do whatever made them happy!
The side characters were perfect as well
They made the perfect found family!

I would definitely recommend this book!! It will make you cry, that's for sure, but it's definitely worth it!!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I was beyond excited to be granted this review copy!

Harriet and Wyn have broken off their engagement, they just haven’t told their best friends yet and when they are both invited to a week-long holiday in celebration of their friends’ wedding, they are just going to have to pretend to still be together.

This is a story about love, obviously, but it is also a story about friendship. About changing relationships when you grow up, about melancholy and the work you have to put in to keep your friendship, and your relationship good.

The perfect book for a sunny afternoon!

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Harriet, Cleo & Sabrina have been best friends for years. Each year they holiday together at Sabrina's parents summer home.

When Harriet met Wyn everyone thought they were the perfect couple but they broke up months ago and haven't told their friends. Now they are all on holiday together and the former couple have to hide their secret. Can they pull off their fake romance or will they rediscover those lost feelings?

Romance at its best with some really witty laugh out loud moments.

Chapters alternate between 'Happy Place' (then) and 'Real Life' (now).

This is the second book I have read by Emily Henry and I will definitely read more. She has a really fabulous  writing style with such warm characters that you can't help falling in love with.

Truly heartwarming, heartbreaking and hilarious all rolled into one.

Oh, and I adored Wyn! He's probably one of my favourite leading men now. 💗

Thank you so much to the publishers and the author for an ARC and to netgalley for being such an amazing place to discover new favourite authors.

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Happy Place by Emily Henry is fantastic! I have enjoyed all of Henry’s books but I think this might be my favourite. Harriet and Wyn have joined their closest friends for one last holiday at their friend Sabrina’s cottage before her father sells it. This is their happy place, well it usually is but Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago and they’ve not told their friends. They now have to pretend to be in love for a week when they haven’t spoken in months.
I think this book is perfect for this time of year, the holiday vibe is so good when we are all starting to think about summer and the days are warming up. It was one of my favourite aspects of the book, Henry really captures that nostalgic feel of long days spent in the sun with your favourite people.
Harriet and Wyn are both great characters and the tension between them is brilliant. I loved how Henry keeps us guessing about their relationship, just giving you the odd bit of information and leaving you wanting more. The other characters are great too and they keep the pace going as they each have their own separate story line.
I feel like Emily Henry has her own little genre going on, I can’t think of anyone I would compare her to. She is so good at really getting deep with her characters whilst still keeping the romance and humour whilst avoiding the many cliches that could be included. I would highly recommend this one, it would be a great holiday or long weekend read.

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This is one you do not want to miss!
Perfectly crafted, multi layered characters and a plot line worthy of a mini series. I love the way Emily Henry writes, she draws you in and makes you feel part of the story.

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Having adored Book Lovers, I’ve been looking forward to reading Emily Henry’s newest delightful release, Happy Place.

“Think of your happy place, the cool voice in my ear instructs….Sunlight, everywhere. Not just on my bare shoulders or the crown of my head, but inside me too, the irresistible warmth that comes only from being in the exact right place with the exact right people.”

Harriet is excited to be joining her best friends, Sabrina and Cleo in her ‘happy place’. Every year, since they met in college, the trio have gathered at a vacation home owned by Sabrina’s father in Maine, joined in time by their respective partners, Wyn, Parth and Kimmy. Now that the three friends all live in different cities the tradition is more important than ever to Harriet, but she’s been keeping a secret that she worries could ruin it all.
Six months ago, she and Wyn ended their ten year relationship but haven’t yet told anyone. Harriet plans to break the news when she arrives sans Wyn, who has agreed to make his excuses, but Sabrina has a surprise or two for Harriet of her own. Reluctant to spoil the occasion Harriet and Wyn agree to pretend they are still a couple, a tortuous proposition for Harriet who was crushed by their break-up, but she’s willing to do anything to stay in her happy place.

I really enjoyed Harriet and Wyn as a couple, there is plenty of chemistry between them in the present, despite the awkwardness of their reunion. A series of flashbacks reveal the history of their relationship, from their first meeting to the moment it ended. I was invested in understanding why they broke up, and felt for them both as those reasons, including insecurity, miscommunication, family expectations, and depression, became apparent. There are several recognisable romantic tropes at play such as second-chance romance, forced proximity, and fake dating but they are well executed.

The portrayal of the friendship group is a real delight, even as the week progresses and some strain begins to show. The dynamic of the relationship between Harriet, Sabrina and Cleo became as important to me as the feature romance. I particularly liked that Henry addressed how friendship changes over time, and how important it is to let it.

A joy to read, though both romantic and funny, Happy Place is also a heartfelt story exploring friendship, family, self-determination, and love.

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