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If you’re looking for a great summer read, one of the best authors to pick up is Emily Henry. In recent years, her books have become those perfect go-to reads that feel just right when you’re looking for something light but not completely mind-numbing to read when you’re heading to the beach or the pool.
While Henry’s recent books all fall in the category of contemporary adult romance, that’s not how she got started.
Her first four books were all young adult novels before she pivoted to adult fiction. Here a breakdown of Henry’s books by genre:
- The Love That Split the World (2016)
- A Million Junes (2017)
- When the Sky Fell on Splendor (2019)
- Hello Girls (2019)
Contemporary Adult Romance:
One of the things I personally enjoy about her adult fiction is that several of them include characters who are also book lovers or writers, which as a book lover myself, I can always relate to.
Here are Emily Henry books in order!
Emily Henry Books in Order
Henry’s debut novel is referred to as “Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife.” In Natalie Cleary’s small Kentucky hometown, strange things start happening, like her town disappearing and seeing glimpses of alternate realities. A mysterious apparition named “Grandmother” tells her she has three months to save someone.
Then, Natalie meets a boy named Beau and they share an intense connection. Natalie must take a leap of faith and risk everything for a chance at a new world with Beau. Fans describe this novel “gut-wrenching” with “unique twists” and “a journey to embrace.” This novel is recommended for grades 9 and up.
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In this story, Jack “June” O’Donnell has always been told to stay away from the Angert family. But when she meets Saul Angert, everything changes. June begins to question her family’s deep hatred of the Angerts and the century-old rift between their families. As their connection grows, they uncover the truth about a curse that has haunted their bloodlines for generations
Now June must decide if it’s time to let go of her family’s grudge and embrace a new future. Great for fans of fantasy and magical realism. This novel is recommended for children 12 years of age and up.
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In the small town of Splendor, Ohio, a devastating explosion at the local steel mill has left many residents affected. Seventeen-year-old Franny, whose brother is in a coma as a result of the accident, finds solace in a group of friends called The Ordinary. They spend their time investigating local ghost stories and filming their adventures for YouTube.
However, everything changes when they encounter a real and dangerous phenomenon from the sky. It is described as The Serpent King meets Stranger Things. Fans say this book is a mix of friendship and grief combined with the supernatural. Henry says this is “probably my favorite book I’ve written.” This novel is recommended for children 12 years of age and up.
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Emily Henry co-wrote this book with Brittany Cavallaro. Hello Girls is a story about teenage girls Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, who form a strong bond when they meet outside a police station. Both girls are facing difficult situations in their lives – Winona suffers abuse from her seemingly perfect father, while Lucille feels trapped by her family’s involvement in drugs.
hey decide to escape their circumstances and need money and a stolen car to make their getaway to Las Vegas. Emily Henry describes this book as “a good book full of very bad ideas.” Fans describe this book as a “wild ride” and a book that features “dark comedy, fierce feminism, and a poignant friendship.” While Henry’s first three books were all in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. This one is definitely realistic fiction. Recommended for teenagers from age 14 to 17.
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This was the first book I read by Henry when it came out in 2020. Beach Read explores themes of grief, forgiveness, love, and vulnerability. The story follows January Andrews, a renowned romance author facing financial struggles and a severe case of writer’s block. After inheriting a beach house from her recently deceased father, she decides to spend the summer there in hopes of finding inspiration for her next book while she battles some serious writer’s block.
She’s also considering potentially selling the property to alleviate her financial burdens. To her astonishment, January discovers that her next-door neighbor is none other than Augustus Everett, who goes by “Gus”, a literary fiction writer who also happens to be her former college rival.
Despite their contrasting styles and backgrounds, they start to form a friendship that blossoms into more, which is helped by the vicinity of their two beach houses. Given the beach setting of this book, Beach Read would make a great one to add to your summer reading list.
Note: This book contains open door scenes, but they are brief and I found they were easy to skip.
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People We Meet on Vacation is the second Henry book I read after hearing a ton of people rave about it. Poppy and Alex are about best friends who are also polar opposites and have a strong bond despite their differences. They used to spend a week together every summer, but a falling out caused them to stop talking, which also meant no more summer trips.
Poppy, a travel writer who lives in New York City, decides to mend their friendship by convincing Alex to go on one last vacation together. Surprisingly, he agrees. Now, with just a week to repair their relationship, Poppy must confront a hidden truth that could jeopardize everything.
This last chance romance is supposed to be a When Harry Met Sally retelling. I literally laughed out loud at parts of this book. It definitely is a lighter read than Beach Read.
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Nora Stephens is a cutthroat literary agent and caring sister. When her beloved little sister Libby suggests a trip to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, Nora agrees hoping for a transformative adventure. Instead, she keeps encountering Charlie Lastra, an editor she has met before in less-than-ideal circumstances. As they continue to meet by chance, their preconceived notions about themselves may be challenged.
Great for those who love an enemies-to-lovers romance. This books is described by fans as “heartwarming and steamy” with “excellent subplots” while also being “witty, funny, great banter-depth to the story.”
Note: Contains open door sex scenes.
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Harriet and Wyn, who were once the perfect couple, broke up six months ago but haven’t told their friends. Now, they find themselves sharing a bedroom at their annual Maine cottage getaway. They must pretend to be fine even though they still harbor feelings for each other, all while trying to enjoy their last week together in this special place. It’s a challenging task, but they’re determined to keep up appearances in front of their closest friends.
I mean, what could go wrong? This book includes themes of friendship and heartbreak with a heroine that one fan described as “a contradictory but yet understandable character.”
Note: This books is open door.
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Emily Henry FAQs
Who is Emily Henry?
Emily Henry is a New York Times bestselling American author from Cincinnati, Ohio, who says she also spends time in the part of Kentucky that is south Cincinnati. Henry attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan where she studied creative writing. She spent the years after graduating from college as a technical writer. She published her first novel in 2016, The Love That Split the World, which was a YA magical realism novel. She published three more YA novels before publishing her first adult romance in 2020.
What Kind of Books Does Emily Henry Write?
Henry’s first four novels are in the young adult fantasy/magical realism genre. Her last four novels are in the adult contemporary romance genre.
What is Emily Henry’s Most Popular Book?
Happy Place is the most popular Henry book on GoodReads, with an average rating of 4.19/5 stars with Book Lovers coming in at a close second with an average rating of 4.18/5 stars (as of this writing).
(I find that GoodReads members tend to be pretty tough critics, so having a rating above a 4.0 is a good sign.)
If you like audiobooks, her adult romance novels all have ratings of 4.2/5 stars or higher on Audible. Book Lovers has the highest rating with 4.6/5 stars. Beach Read has 4.5/5 stars.
In terms of most copies sold, People We Meet on Vacation sold a whopping 1.039 million copies as of March 2023.
Which Emily Henry Book Should I Read First?
My personal recommendation is to start with her adult romance novels. One critic says that Henry has “cracked the modern romance novel.” I don’t always enjoy romance novels, but I like hers.
I recommend reading the summaries above and pick the one that interests you the most.
What Order Should I Read Emily Henry Books?
None of Henry’s books are part of a series. They are all standalone novels, so they do not need to be read in any particular order. That being said, Henry’s adult romance novels do reportedly contain some “Easter eggs” that reference characters in other books — something fun to look for!
Have Any Movies Been Made Out of Emily Henry Books?
No movies have been made out of Emily Henry books as of this writing, but three of her books have been optioned for film and are reportedly in the process of adaptation, according to Deadline.com:
- People We Meet on Vacation: This is the first book that was picked up in October 2022. It is being produced by Temple Hill along with studio 3000 Pictures. Yulin Kuang is writing the screenplay, and Brett Haley is slated to direct it.
- Book Lovers: Henry announced in March 2023 that Book Lovers was picked up by the studio Tango, and Sarah Heyward was tapped for the adaptation.
- Beach Read: Henry broke the news on her Instagram account on April 5 that Beach Read was the latest to be picked up for film adaptation. Yulin Kuang will both adapt and direct Beach Read, Deadline.com reported.
How Many Emily Henry Books Are There in Total?
As of this writing in July 2023, Henry has published a total of eight books.
Which Emily Henry Book Are You Going to Read Next?
Have you read any Emily Henry books? What do you think about her books? If not, which one are you going to try first. I want to hear all about it!