Emily Henry's Iconic Rom-Com Books, Ranked

Emily Henry is a huge name in the literary world. The author first dipped her toe into writing back in 2016 when she released her first book, "The Love That Split the World." The young adult novel about a girl named Natalie Cleary who falls in love with a boy named Beau after a series of very mysterious goings on. That theme of love is one Henry writes about so well, so well in fact that she left the young adult world behind in 2020 to pen her much loved adult rom-com book, starting with "Beach Read."


She's released four more romantic novels since then, sharing some of the most red-hot love stories (in a still somewhat tame way compared to several other spicy books) in literary history. But, we totally get it, if you're not already familiar with Henry's books, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to a new author. That's why we've ranked her most popular novels, so, if you just don't have the time or money to pick up multiple books, you can get started with the one that's been best received. Particularly perfect if you made that promise to yourself to read more in 2024.

How we ranked Emily Henry's books

To ensure we ranked Emily Henry's books as fairly as possible, we relied on Goodreads' ranking system to determine which of her novels book readers loved the most. The hugely popular book website allows users to rank each book out of five stars (with an option to also leave a more detailed review). The average of all number ratings then gives each book a ranking out of five. 


We also took into account social media reviews of each book, primarily using reader comments that were posted to Instagram, to see how readers really felt about the novels and why they loved them or not. We only included Henry's adult romantic novels in our round-up, leaving out the young adult books she released prior to her writing her first rom-com novel, "Beach Read," in 2020. Once we'd determined the most popular novel, we presented them in ascending order.

People We Meet On Vacation

The fifth most popular Emily Henry book, according to readers, is "People We Meet On Vacation." The book was released in 2021 and has a 3.88 average from a huge 1.14 million ratings on Goodreads. It also won the Goodreads Choice Award in 2021 for Best Romance. The book tells the story of Poppy and Alex, complete polar opposite best of friends. The two live miles apart after Poppy leaves their small town behind for the bright lights of New York City, but they make a point of heading out on vacation together every year for some quality time. Only, that tradition gets ruined when the two have a massive falling out and stop speaking to one another. Yikes. Despite all the drama though, Poppy knows that she's missing her vacations with her bestie and convinces Alex to go on a trip just like they used to as she plans to fix their relationship once and for all.


But why does "People We Meet On Vacation" average quite a bit lower in approval than Henry's other books? "This was... cute," Instagram book lover @blue_house_books shared in their review. "Did I particularly LOVE it? No. Did I enjoy enough? Yeah, I did. The thing that took my score down for this was basically the ENTIRE basis of the conflict: miscommunication," they added. Another review by Instagram user @allieaboutbooks confirmed they thought the story was a bit long, drawn out of 12 years, and called it "predictable."

Happy Place

In the bronze spot on popular Emily Henry romance novels, it's actually a tie. "Beach Read" and "Happy Place" both have an average of 4.01 out of five stars on Goodreads, but seeing as "Beach Read" has a seriously impressive over 1.12 million reviews compared to "Happy Place's" just over 817,000, we put them this way around. Released in 2023, "Happy Place," is all about Harriet and Wyn; the perfect couple in every sense. The two take an annual vacation with their closest friends, only, this year will be a little different — because the young lovers are actually no more. What they haven't told their friends is that they've been broken up for months, but they decide to fake it for one final vacation.


One of the reasons this book (which will get you into your "1989" era, by the way) is towards the bottom ends of Henry's best? In their reviews, some fans shared their confusion over the book's timeline. "The book is written in the past and the future and I wish it was labeled as that at some points I would get confused about what year it was," Instagram user @thindbooks wrote. But, as is often the case with different tastes, others absolutely loved the book. "'Happy Place' is officially an all-time favorite book. The story arc is one I have always wanted to read and it's finally here, and it's even better than I imagined it," @emmalouisebooks wrote in their Instagram review.

Beach Read

As we know, "Beach Read" has a seriously impressive over 1.12 million ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.01 average star rating. The 2020 book marked Henry's big foray into adult novels, and it clearly didn't disappoint. The number one New York Times Bestseller tells the story of January Andrews, a romance author who's given up on love. When she takes a vacation and ends up next door to Augustus Everett, a fiction author, she finds out he has no time for a happy ever after. The two end up embarking on a pact in which, to help rid them of their writer's block, Augustus should only write happy stories and January should try to write a serious novel. To do that, they agree to take each other on adventures to learn more about their new worlds. And it seems like romance could be in the blurb of their lives.


"This book is cute, it's emotional, it's bookish, it's deep, it's tense, it's lovely, it's well written, and it's freaking romantic. It's everything you could ask from a romance novel!" wrote Instagram user @bethsbookshelf on Instagram of why they loved the book. "I loved it so so so so much," they added. And they weren't the only one. "[Henry's] writing is addicting, the banter between characters was a funny and entertaining," another Instagram user, @mabeljournals, wrote in their review.

Book Lovers

Based on more than 1.06 million Goodreads ratings (yes, you read that number right), the second most popular romance book by Emily Henry is her third release in the genre, 2022's "Book Lovers." It has an average of 4.14 stars out of five, so it's little surprise it won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance in 2022 as well as being a number one New York Times Bestseller. "Book Lovers" is all about a, you guessed it, book lover and literary agent named Nora Stephens. After her sister, Libby, encouraged her to head on vacation for a month, Nora is initially reluctant, but Libby's determined to get her away from the big city and her no-nonsense career. But, while there, Nora finds herself repeatedly crossing paths with a man she knows from the big city, who, well, let's say is not her favorite person. But as fate steps in, the two grow closer.


Readers praised the way Henry kept them guessing about how things would end up. Book fan @booksnandpeonies wrote in their Instagram review, "The story kept surprising me, it wasn't written in a boring way like so many other romance books are. Until the end I wasn't a 100% sure how the book will end." Others praised the similarities of the characters, and how their relationship built up. "I love the way that they quickly ease into familiarity because of their depth of understanding for each other because of their similarities," @thereallifebookreviewer wrote on Instagram.

Funny Story

As the most recently released of Emily Henry's books (the novel hit the shelves in April 2024), you may be surprised to see "Funny Story" sitting pretty as the most popular romance book from Henry. But, the numbers don't lie. Over on Goodreads, with nearly 80,000 ratings and an average of 4.44 stars out of five, it's safe to say that readers absolutely loved "Funny Story."


Henry's 2024 novel centers around Daphne. She seems to have it all until her fiancé runs off with his childhood friend named Petra. After losing who she thought was the love of her life, Daphne finds herself alone and away from her family and friends, forced to roommate with, of all people, Petra's ex-boyfriend, Miles. Daphne and Miles form quite the odd couple and the two decide to make their exes jealous by living it up and having the summer of a lifetime. All while faking how good things were going for social media, naturally. But as the two grow fake closer, it seems like there may just be a new romance blossoming. Plenty of fans shared their thoughts on the novel on social media, with @welldonebooks sharing, "Am I bold enough to say this is her best book yet?! Maybe... just maybe." And, clearly, they're not alone in thinking so. "Truly one of the best!" wrote fellow book lover @welleread on Instagram. "And as a beach girlie, born and raised, who also loves summer, you gotta read it!"