Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Dates Read: April 20-21, 2020
Format: Bought through BOTM (book of the month)
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
I really enjoyed Beach Read. I went into this one blind and I was expecting a very light and fluffy read, and I was incorrect. This was such a great romance story, and had so much more depth than I was expecting.
First off, I want to say how much I loved the writing! This was my first read from Emily Henry, even though I already own a lot of her books. I will be diving into the other ones I own now that I read this one. The words flowed so effortlessly off the page, and it was so captivating that I was consumed and finished in a day.
As far as the premise, I really enjoyed the writing reversal in the story, and I think it truly helped highlight the depth to the characters. I felt like January could have been my best friend in real life. I felt so many emotions when it came to her storyline with her dad, and there were a few tear-jerker moments.
There were only a few things I wish would have been different in this book. First, I wish that we would have gotten a dual perspective with January and Gus. It would have been so fun and fascinating to see his POV of everything as well. Second, I thought that there was a little too much emphasis on the research aspect of Gus’s cult novel. It had quite a few disturbing details and it took me out of the romance storyline a bit every time it came up.
Beach Read had some really great side characters though, and I hope that Henry gives us another book with some of them. One of those is Shadi. Shadi is January’s best friend and she was such a fun character. Super bubbly and she brought the comedy aspect into the story which I loved. I also really loved the characters of Gus’s aunt Pete an
d her wife Maggie. They made only a very brief appearance, but I really enjoyed what we saw of their characters and definitely would be interested in seeing more of their story.Overall, I found this to be a highly enjoyable romance, but I definitely would not go into it expecting something light and fluffy. This has some hard themes and topics such as, cheating, death, and a slightly disturbing cult side storyline. On the flip side of that, while it was emotional, it also had some very fun and lighthearted parts as well. A great read if you enjoy Adult Contemporary Romance.
About the Author
Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies.
Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites
Advanced Praise for Beach Read:
“Once I started Beach Read I legit did not put it down.”—Betches
“A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Reader, I swooned! Beach Read is a breath of fresh air. My heart ached for January, and Gus is to die for – a steamy, smart and perceptive romance. I was engrossed!”—Josie Silver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December
“This is a touching and heartfelt book about love, betrayal, grief, failure, and learning how to love again. I adored going along on Gus and January’s journey, and I closed this book with a satisfied sigh.”—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Proposal
“Beach Read is original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling. Has trying to see the world through your long time crush/rival’s eyes ever been this potent and poignant? If whipcrack banter and foggy sexual tension is your catnip, you’ll adore this book.”—Sally Thorne, USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine
“Beach Read is exactly the witty, charming, and swoony novel we always want; it also happens to be the unexpected wallop of emotional wisdom and sly social commentary we need right now. I adored it.” —Julia Whelan, author of My Oxford Year
“Beach Read by Emily Henry has everything the title promises–a romping plot, family secrets, and the thrill of falling in love, all set on the sweeping shores of eastern Lake Michigan. I cannot wait to read what Henry writes next.” —Amy E. Reichert, author The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
“Delightfully romantic and slyly poignant, Beach Read is brimming with crackling banter and engrossing prose. It has every flavor of booklover catnip: rivalry, creative struggle, family secrets, and the sweet head-over-heels tumble into love. Emily Henry’s Beach Read is 2020’s perfect anywhere read.”—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners
“If you liked Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game and Linda Holmes’s Evvie Drake Starts Over, you will definitely be into this, which feels like their spawn. (No one asked me to say this, by the way. I’m just high on that happy-sad feeling of finishing a book I enjoyed, that I wish wasn’t over.) Well played.”—Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, best-selling authors of The Royal We