Book Lovers by Emily Henry is the story about Nora Stephens, a book agent who ends up on a trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina with her sister, Libby. While there, she runs into book editor Charlie Lastra, whom she previously almost worked with. In the prologue of the book, Nora meets Charlie for lunch to discuss the possibility of Charlie editing one of her clients books. She ends up working with Charlie while she’s in Sunshine Falls where things with both Charlie and Libby begin to get complicated and Nora’s whole life comes into question.
This story is more about Nora trying to figure out who she is and the evolution of her relationship with Libby more than it is about the love story. The Nora/Charlie plot is woven throughout the story in a way that it’s not always center stage but does get its own moments to shine. Emily Henry has a real knack for writing multidimensional characters with depth. As I read through the book, I felt like I knew Nora personally. I became engrossed in the story because I wanted to know why Nora was the way she was, what was going to happen between her and Libby, and obviously I wanted to know if she and Charlie would end up together.
Nora’s story is realistic in the way that towards the end, I wasn’t even sure she’d get what she wanted. This book is unlike other romance novels where the romance is front and center, and everything else about the characters are smaller/side details. Here it’s the opposite and I love that. If you’ve read Emily Henry’s other books, you’d know this of her writing style (reviews for both of her other books coming soon).
Nora’s relationship with Libby is the overarching plot point for the story. The sisters embark on this random trip to Sunshine Falls; never mind that Libby is like five months pregnant and Nora did not want to go at all. But because of their sisterhood and the fact that Libby looked like she needed a break, Nora complied. Aside from not wanting to be there, Nora spends a lot of time trying to figure out what the real reason for this trip was, given that Libby had been acting weird. Worth mentioning that Libby was married with two kids already and pregnant with her third.
As mentioned, the running theme in the book focuses on Nora and figuring out what she wants and what makes her happy. After losing her mom, she took on a parent type role for Libby where her sole focus was making sure Libby was okay in every aspect of the word. Nora worked to ensure Libby had whatever she wanted, but never took thought about herself. She figured that if Libby is okay then she would be okay. In doing so, she developed the “shark” personality she becomes known for and she realizes that maybe she doesn’t want to be known as a shark. Nora is very much still grieving the loss of her mother and begins to feel lost when her life seemingly begins to unravel.
This is the point where her relationship with Charlie becomes important. She realizes that she finally found someone that made her feel safe – a feeling she reserved specifically for Libby and didn’t outright feel for herself. Charlie sees Nora for who she is, not who Nora thinks she needs to be in order to be wanted. As the story progressed, I saw how much Nora and Charlie needed each other in order to realize what they needed from their lives to be happy. Could she have figured this out on her own? Possibly, but there’s nothing like having an outside perspective into things you’re not self aware about – turns out Charlie needed this too.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the plot between Nora and Libby, and the budding romance between Nora and Charlie. I also didn’t mind all the witty banter; reminded me of “Gilmore Girls” but way less obnoxious. I give this one 5 out of 5 stars. As for the spice, there are a couple steamy scenes worth giving three spicy peppers for but this book was way more about everything else than it was the sex.
Have you read Book Lovers? Let me know what you think in the comments!