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What’s the Deal With Emily Henry?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

Emily Henry seems to be the name on every book lover’s lips. Henry burst onto the romance scene on May 19, 2020, with her debut adult novel, Beach Read, and ever since she has been topping bestseller lists and stealing reader’s hearts. So, who is Emily Henry? And what makes her books so great? 

Writer Extraordinaire 

Emily Henry studied creative writing at Hope College and would also go on to study at the New York Center for Art and Media studies. She currently resides in Cincinnati, OH and can be found on Instagram at @EmilyHenryWrites. She wrote 3 solo YA books before Beach Read, as well as another YA novel that she co-wrote with Brittany Cavallaro. However, the contemporary romance genre is her domain. Since 2020, Henry has released a book a year, each of them going on to top New York Times bestseller lists and being universally beloved by readers.  

Her Books 

Henry’s books are incredible for four main reasons. First, her stories involve deep characters. Henry’s novels are packed full of happy moments that will have you blushing and kicking your feet, but they are also balanced with a heavy aspect of realism. Her characters are always fully fleshed out, with real, relatable struggles, allowing the reader to not only love the characters, but to connect with them deeply, in a way that is not typical of romance novels. Additionally, Henry’s books are full of wit and incredible quotes. She is a master of writing banter (and spicy scenes), and never fails to give her readers butterflies. Furthermore, her books are always about books. Her main characters are authors, editors, publishers, or book lovers themselves. Each one of her books is a love letter to readers everywhere, and that only further adds to her appeal. And finally, her books pay attention to the little details- be it in reference to the character cameos she’s sprinkled in her books following Beach Read, or in the ways she always slips in references to Ohio, her books are packed full of little snippets to make the reader’s heart smile just a bit extra.  

The Emily Henryverse 

Henry’s books are not a series. They are each standalone stories, but they occur in the same world. So, while her books do not necessarily have to be read in publication order, it’s definitely recommended! That way you get to smile at all her references and cameos that she’s added throughout her books since Beach Read.  

Beach Read 

This book-marked Henry’s entrance into the adult romance world- and what an entrance it was. Beach Read would rise to the top of bestseller lists and later be even further popularized through BookTok, the side of TikTok dedicated to reading recommendations. Beach Read is the story of January Andrews and Augustus Everett, two writers who are spending a summer in Michigan, trying to write their next best sellers. And in a whirlwind of mishap, the two end up shoved together helping each other draft their new books, and just maybe falling in love. Beach Read is not only a romance, but also a story about grief, growing up, and finding your way in the world. The characters are lively, the romance is blush worthy, and the entire thing is a joy to read.  

People We Meet on Vacation 

Henry’s second adult romance, People We Meet on Vacation, is based around the friends-to-lovers trope. It tells the story of Alex Nilsen and Poppy Wright- two college best friends who have drifted apart, but on one fateful trip are thrown back together. This book is for travel lovers, anxious girlies, hopeless romantics, and the grumpy x sunshine lovers. It shines with adorable moments, is packed full of memorable quotes, and is a wonderful romance that also contains lots of reflection on personal identity.  

Book Lovers 

Henry’s most recent release, Book Lovers, is meant to be a play on typical romance tropes- letting the ambitious woman take center stage. Nora “the Shark” Stephens is a cutthroat literary agent who is stuck in the small town of Sunshine Falls for the Summer, where she unexpectedly runs into intense editor Charlie Lastra. This book is full of encouragement for ambitious women, has a subplot about sisterly love, and is truly a love letter to book lovers everywhere.  

Happy Place 

Happy Place is Henry’s upcoming release, set to release on April 25, 2023. It follows Harriet and Wyn, a recently broken up couple who are hiding their breakup from their friends in order to have one last, great vacation together. It has found-family aspects, a fake dating story line, and even takes place in Maine! It’s basically guaranteed to be amazing! 

Why I Love Emily Henry 

Emily Henry is my favorite author of the moment. She has a way of writing books that are somehow both fun and deep. She makes you feel everything to your core. You will laugh and cry with her characters, you will empathize with them and see yourself within them. Her characters will be ones that you carry around in your heart and cherish forever. She is an incredible writer, is awesome to follow on Insta (she has the cutest dog!!), and is just all around incredible. Whenever someone asks me for a book recommendation, I always start with Emily Henry. If you are looking for a book to cheer you up, a book to make you feel safe, or a book to make you believe in love, you can find it all with Emily Henry. Reading her books will change your life for the better, I know it has changed mine. Happy reading!  

Lauren Deaton is a second-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, she is currently serving both as Chapter Chair and Writer. She most frequently writes about entertainment topics– including music recommendations, topics of representation, and anticipated movie lists. Lauren is double majoring in English Literature and Media and Professional Communications with a focus on Public and Professional Writing. She is also pursuing a Film and Media Studies minor and is a member of the Honors College. She recently completed a communications internship with the Fletcher Free Library and will be beginning a research position with the Language and Literacy Division at Pitt during the Fall 2023 semester. In the future, she hopes to work in publishing helping to increase access to representation. She is also a writer for Studio 412 a creative outlet on Pitt’s campus and is a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. Lauren loves her dog, her friends, her family, and everything reading, coming of age and cold brew related.