Happy Place by Emily Henry is a dazzling romance

Happy Place. Image courtesy Berkley.
Happy Place. Image courtesy Berkley. /

Everyone has a different idea of what their happy place is. Happy Place by Emily Henry takes that a step further, though.

If you’re a romance reader or have looked up romance books within the last few years, you’ll recognize Emily Henry’s name. She’s one of those romance authors who took the publishing world by storm.

Despite her extensive YA catalog, Emily Henry is now the undeniable romance queen. 2023 gives us her 4th romance release with Happy Place and it’s frankly unlike anything she’s written about before.

No doubt there is a lot of buzz around Happy Place by Emily Henry but this book has managed to exceed any and all expectations I had for this book and this author.

Happy Place is dazzling, dismal, and delightfully written.

As I said, Emily Henry has really found her audience when it comes to romance novels. To me though, Happy Place hits that middle ground I’m sure most of us haven’t been able to identify. If you’re a reader of her other works, you’ll know that some of her books tend to be extremely character-driven with little romance or vice versa yet Happy Place hits that middle ground.

Happy Place follows Harriet and Wyn who are forced together for a last vacation hurrah with friends and have to pretend they’re still happily engaged. The story does focus a lot on them dealing with that, but we also watch their first meeting, their first kiss, and eventually their breaking up. Everything is all-consuming with these two and makes for a compulsively readable experience.

In the flashbacks though, we learn a lot about Harriet and Wyn as people. It’s watching them go from young adults to adults with all the trials and tribulations that come from that. In a way, it’s painfully realistic, especially with what Wyn’s going through. He’s dealing with so much change and it’s all so much while Harriet is trying to make the best of her situation while caring for him.

If you couldn’t tell by the title, Happy Place is about being in a happy place with friends which is what Wyn and Harriet are doing. It’s also about finding that happy place within yourself to be able to sustain taking care of yourself and nourishing a relationship. To me, there was something so realistic about watching what Wyn and Harriet went through and how it affected their relationship.

You might have guessed that this book features a deceased parent and it does, but it didn’t consume the entire story as the previous books have. I won’t give away too much about that because I felt like it’s an integral part of the story, but it did seem to reinforce what a happy place is and can be for someone.

Considering that I read this book in one sitting, I can confidently say that this is my new favorite Emily Henry book. Happy Place managed to combine everything I’ve loved in previous books of hers and made it more streamlined. I feel like this book is good if you’ve loved Emily Herny’s previous books or if you’re looking for a place to start with her catalog.

Regardless, I don’t really have much to say about this story aside from Wyn and Harriet’s friends being annoying at times. I know they meant well but I felt like Sabrina was so grating at times and I couldn’t understand why those two were so quick to forgive her. Aside from that, Happy Place is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2023 yet.

Next. The Nanny by Lana Ferguson is a steamy yet sweet romance. dark

Happy Place by Emily Henry is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up Emily Henry’s latest? If so, share your thoughts in the comments.