People We Meet on Vacation, p. 317

Yes, compared to self’s reading pace on The Slaughterman’s Daughter, she is practically on fire reading this, because dammit how long does it take to get to HEA? 350 pages? Are you kidding? Her jaw is dropping from disbelief.

Don’t get her wrong, the writing is engaging, but when you’re anxious to finish so you can get started on Paul Auster, and the two main characters have been PDA’ing all over the place, to have the narrator stop dead and ask these questions IS MORE THAN A LITTLE RIDICULOUS:

  • Do I want to have kids?
  • Do I want to live in a seventies quad-level in Linfield, Ohio?
  • Do I want any of the things that Alex craves for his life?

Especially when you know, and the narrator knows, and even the narrator’s love interest knows, that the answer to all three questions is Yes Yes Yes. But, damn, there are still 60 pages to go? Because we have to know exactly what went down two years ago that had these two not speaking for two years? Is Emily Henry really going to tease us for 60 more pages about that blessed event? Can these two people really be about to fight AGAIN? Can one person be saying (only for the nth time) “No, I have to go” and and can the other person really be staring dumfounded (also for the nth time)? Will the next 60 pages be about how they get back to “I love you” when they’ve ALREADY said it. How, how, can love interest be telling narrator, “You need to figure things out. Don’t talk to me” and can she really be breaking down in tears (for the nth time)

Is this book going to get three or two stars? That would all depend on whether the Blessed Event that has been teased since page 1 is indeed worth reading 350 pages to get to. Self has a sneaking suspicion that the author had, at one time in her life, a super-duper time in Croatia and wrote this book just so she could unleash 50 pages at the end about how fabulous Croatia is.

So here we are again, last 50 pages. Here we go, yet another trip, yet another hotel, all the usual funny details (ha ha). The narrator and love interest are fighting (only for the nth time).

SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT * SPOILER ALERT

What happened two years ago was: they both realized they were in love with each other. Oh.

Self really wants to know how that led to NOT SPEAKING TO EACH OTHER FOR TWO YEARS.

So this is what happens (you’ll note self put SPOILER ALERT above):

They kiss, and the love interest says, “We can’t do this.” (right after a passionate kiss). The narrator scoots away from him, so embarrassed.

The love interest looks miserable and says “I just mean . . . “

And the narrator says, “I get it.”

And THAT IS HOW THEY ENDED UP NOT SPEAKING FOR TWO YEARS.

UGH. AWFUL. These are two of the biggest blockheads in America. Funny, you would think Americans would be a lot more sophisticated. Then again, they’re from Linfield, Ohio. This keeps being brought up, throughout the novel. As if Linfield, Ohio were an awful penance.

Self cannot believe she’s on p. 328 and it is happening all over again. She checks to see how many pages are left. 30 pages. So they have to not talk for 29 pages, most likely. Narrator thinks of love interest, thinks of their kiss, blah blah blah. Do they just walk away from each other, blah blah blah. She should have thought it through blah blah blah (for the nth time)

So here we go, only 15 pages from the end. Narrator goes into a bar, sees the love interest. And SHE WANTS TO BOLT.

And then the love interest looks up and sees her. And they stare at each other without speaking, FOR TWO WHOLE PAGES. Narrator has the GALL to think: My heart is splitting in two places (You should see the inside of self’s head. That’s ALREADY split in two places. No, three). And then she is RUNNING OUT OF THE BAR (Figures, there’s eight more pages, after all. Oh, WAIT. There’s an EPILOGUE. Which seems to be de rigeur ever since The Hunger Games)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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