People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
I have so much to say about this beautiful book! I was in a huge reading slump when I picked this one up, and couldn’t find a book that captured my attention. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry could not have been a better choice to bring me out of it. All the stars, all the feels, all the fun escapes, and all the laughs.
Poppy and Alex meet in college and they really had nothing in common. Alex is a total introvert who would prefer to stay at home with his cat, Flannery O’Connor and read books. (We love this obviously) Poppy is a travel loving woman who wants to see every amazing thing in this world. Despite their differences, they become best friends and share an epic vacation to reconnect every single summer. That is until Croatia when everything becomes awkward and they stop talking...for two years.
My favorite thing about this book was the natural witty banter and hilarious lines. Plus the vacations, of course. It was fun to escape to the streets of New Orleans then to the vineyards of Tuscany then to the mountains of Vail. Alex and Poppy have the best dynamic and this book is the ultimate summer read. I recommend this to everyone and I know this will be one of my favorite reads of the year.
No Exit by Taylor Adams
I read this one a couple years ago, but with the recent release of the movie on Hulu, I felt it was a good time to share my review. This was one of the most hyped thrillers at the time and that always makes me nervous, but Taylor Adams delivered with No Exit! It grabbed my attention with the premise of characters being trapped in a snowstorm in one of my favorite places, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I know how hostile that environment can be, add in a snowstorm it becomes even more vicious. Strangers at rest areas have always been a particular fear of mine. I also always love books that take place in a short amount of time, only one night in this case. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a thriller that made me feel so consistently on edge and desperate to find out what happens next.
Our protagonist, Darby Thorne, is a college student who just learned that her mother was diagnosed with fatal cancer. She drops everything and attempts to drive home to Utah, only to be stopped by the impassable mountain roads, and stranded at a rest area with no cell phone reception and four strangers. While she is wandering about the parking lot looking for reception to call her dying mom, she stumbles upon a van where she discovers a child locked in the back in an animal crate. What follows is a night of terror, as Darby tries to figure out which strangers she can trust and which stranger is a monster. Darby knows every move she makes is going to determine whether or not she survives the night.
This story was intense to the point I had to keep putting it down to catch my breath. My heart raced the entire time and I felt like I was in the room right along with Darby with all of the adrenaline pumping through me. It was shocking and rather gruesome, and I know some of those scenes are always going to stick with me. I highly recommend this to all thriller lovers!
My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and just recently moved back to West Des Moines! I have Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as @litwithkyiejo. As with most writers, one of my passions is discovering and reading great books. I hope my reviews will spark an excitement for literature in people around the Great Lakes area!