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Explore the best Emily Henry books here. This post ranks and reviews her top adult romance novels and shares a printable PDF checklist so you can track your reading. Learn which books you absolutely can’t miss from this massively bestselling contemporary author. Let’s get literary!

people we meet on vacation by emily henry in front of bookshelves.

5 Best Emily Henry Books Ranked

beach read by emily henry with beach gear.

Below are the best Emily Henry books to read. I have ranked them in order of personal preference. But, because everyone seems to have a different favorite, I have also incorporated the GoodReads readers’ rankings for your reference. They’re pretty close overall to my rankings!

#1 TOP PICKBeach Read: (My Rating: ★★★★☆; GoodReads’ Rating: 4.01 out of 5) Best for fans of, well, beach reads! The characters, their story, and even details about their dates remain memorable to me and readers years later.

#2 Book Lovers: (My Rating: ★★★★☆; GoodReads’ Rating: 4.14 out of 5) Best for fans of the “enemies to lovers” trope. This was a close second for me because I love small-town romances like this one, and many readers do call it their favorite overall.

#3NEW BOOK 2024Funny Story: (My Rating: ★★★★☆; GoodReads’ Rating: 4.52 out of 5) Best for fans of love triangles and the fake dating trope. The main characters are a lot of fun in this one, and the dialogue is extra sharp. As the title suggests, it’s definitely a funny story.

#4Happy Place: (My Rating: ★★★★☆; GoodReads’ Rating: 4.02 out of 5) Best for fans of second-chance romances. I loved that this one involved a group of friends and real-life challenges, but with a broken-up couple “fake dating” in front of them, we lost the charm of falling in love in this one.

#5The People We Meet on Vacation: (My Rating: ★★★☆☆; GoodReads’ Rating: 3.88 out of 5) Best for fans of When Harry Met Sally. Though I love the movie to which it’s compared, this “friends to lovers” story just never totally hit the mark with me. That being said, it has the most reviews on GoodReads.

READING TIP

  • All of Emily Henry’s audiobooks are narrated by beloved narrator, Julia Whelan. She’s a favorite of mine and readers generally, so these books work especially well on audio.

Overview of Author Emily Henry

about

Emily Henry is one of the most famous authors today. She studied at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies (part of Bethel University).

Previously, beginning in 2016, she wrote Young Adult novels. Since 2020, she has written for adults. Today, she is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of several modern adult romance novels, known for sharp and witty dialogue.

Henry lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Visit Emily Henry’s website.

Reviews of the Best Emily Henry Romance Novels (in Chronological Order)

Beach Read (2020)

  • New York Times bestseller

Best for fans of beach reads and the neighbors to lovers trope

My Review: ★★★★☆

Beach Read was Emily Henry’s first massively successful novel. With a title like “Beach Read,” it’s fair to say it’s one of the best beach reads for a lazy day in the sand.

This is the story of two different writers: January, a bestselling romance writer who has stopped believing in love, and Augustus, an acclaimed literary fiction author.

As they spend three Summer months at neighboring beach houses, they challenge each other to beat their writer’s block by writing something different. Augustus will write something upbeat, and January will write a great American novel.

To help each other achieve their goals, January takes Augustus on romantic field trips, and he takes her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult.

Meanwhile, they both must cope with painful pasts and the fact that they are falling for each other.

Years later, so much of this book remains memorable to me, from the characters to their story and even small details of the little “research” dates January and Augustus went on. To me, that’s the hallmark of a good book.

The fact they were coping with very real issues at the same time also made for a very realistic love story.


The People We Meet on Vacation (2021)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • GoodReads Choice Award for Best Romance

Best for fans of When Harry Met Sally and the friends-to-lovers trope

My Review: ★★★☆☆

The People We Meet on Vacation became a huge hit, marketed as a “friends to lovers” storyline for fans of When Harry Met Sally. (truly the quintessential romantic comedy)

It’s about two very different best friends from college: Poppy, a wild child in the big city, and Alex, a buttoned-up introvert in a small town. Together, they meet up to take ten Summer vacations and have one last chance to fall in love.

Two years earlier, they ruined everything and haven’t spoken since. However, Poppy feels stuck in the wrong life and reaches out to convince Alex to take one more vacation together. So, she has one week to think about their last ten years and how to fix everything now.

The People We Meet on Vacation wasn’t a bad book, but it never totally hit the mark for me. Perhaps because I loved When Harry Met Sally so much, my expectations were that much higher. That being said, this is Emily Henry’s most popular book according the the number of GoodReads reviews it has.


Book Lovers (2022)

  • Instant #1 New York Times bestseller
  • GoodReads Choice Award for Best Romance

Best for fans of “enemies to lovers” tropes and small-town stories

My Review: ★★★★☆

In Book Lovers, again, Emily Henry utilized her skills to tap into book titles and storylines that modern bookworms crave.

Nora is a cutthroat literary agent. But, when her beloved little sister, Libby, asks her to take a sister’s trip to the small town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, she agrees.

There, she keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, the book editor from back in the city who she loves to hate.

They both have a lot of personal life and family life baggage to unpack. Together, they begin to unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

As a fan of both books and small-town stories, I thoroughly enjoyed Book Lovers. It also offers meaningful family issues that remain memorable to me. Many readers do consider this one to be their favorite Emily Henry book.


Happy Place (2023)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • GoodReads Choice Award for Best Romance

Best for fans of second-chance romances and the fake dating trope

My Review: ★★★★☆

In Happy Place, Harriet and Wyn were the perfect couple. They have broken up but are pretending otherwise for their annual Maine vacation with friends.

They play their parts as the week progresses. They are forced to figure out how it really feels to pretend to love each other, all while exploring how they got to this point.

Overall, I thought it lived up to the hype of an Emily Henry book. It had the same smart, sharp writing, plus it delivered a pretty unique plot for a second-chance romance. I also liked the fact that it incorporated a whole group of friends and heavier, real-life topics, including grief and purpose.

That being said, it did lack the charm of a couple falling in love for the first time. Read this one if you want something different than that.


Funny Story (2024)

Best for fans of the love triangle trope and the fake dating trope

My Review: ★★★★☆

In Funny Story, Daphne relocates after her fiancé, Peter, falls for his childhood friend, Petra. Working as a librarian, she becomes roommates with Petra’s ex, Miles, an impulsive music lover.

An odd “couple” at first, they strike a friendship and an unexpected romance while they grieve their prior relationships.

Daphne and Peter are my favorite Emily Henry couple to date. They are a lot of fun together, and they are also complex characters who help each other through some tough stuff, from their breakups to their family baggage. The dialogue between them is also as razor-sharp as ever.

As a book lover, I also enjoyed following Daphne’s librarian life and her work friendships. Emily Henry knows how to hook us!

While it’s a fairly slow burn, the spicy romance lovers out there will also enjoy a few steamy scenes in this one. It’s not to be missed.

Printable PDF of All Emily Henry Books

free emily henry book list.
emily henry's book list.

EMILY HENRY BOOK LIST

Get instant access to your printable list of all Emily Henry’s books when you subscribe to The Literary Lifestyle’s free email newsletter community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Emily Henry book should I read first?

Many readers like to start with Beach Read by Emily Henry, both because it was her first adult romance novel and because it remains one of her most beloved books to date.

What is Emily Henry’s best selling book?

According to the number of Goodreads reviews, The People We Meet on Vacation is Emily Henry’s most popular book. It’s a modern take on the movie When Harry Met Sally.

Are Emily Henry books spicy?

Yes. Emily Henry includes spicy scenes in her books. They are usually moderately spicy. The characters and the plot are front and center, but you can always expect some steam between them.

Who should I read if I like Emily Henry?

If you like Emily Henry, then read the books of other popular modern romance authors, such as Colleen Hoover books, Abby Jimenez books, and Taylor Jenkins Reid books.

Are Emily Henry books connected?

No. Emily Henry’s books are all standalone novels. None of her books have sequels or are part of a series.

Do you need to read Emily Henry books in order?

No. Emily Henry’s books are all standalone novels that can be read in any order.

Conclusion

The best Emily Henry books are contemporary romance novels that have become books you need to read. They’re popular with millions of readers for their sharp writing and quick wit.

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