Beach Read by Emily Henry
Publication Date: May 19th 2020 by Berkley
About the book:
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.
Hearing the title “Beach Read “ I think of a light, funny romance, and Beach Read was funny. Laugh-out-loud funny; parts that made me smile and giggle, but it was a lot more than that. Beach Read had depth and made me think. Made me think about relationships, how complex they are. How they can bring on such a range of emotions, good and bad, highs and sometimes intense lows, yet you’d bear all of that for someone you love.
January, a popular romance writer, is suffering from writer’s block and she needs to finish a book promised to her publisher by the end of the Summer. But she’s been dealt a hard blow. A disillusioned view of romance and happily-ever-afters don’t mix well with her deadline. So out of money and options January retreats to her father’s lake cottage to hunker down and write. Little does she know that she’s moved next door to Augustus Everette, her college nemesis, now an acclaimed literary author working on his own novel. Their writing is polar opposite, and yet Gus share’s January’s problem: writer’s block. So, they strike a bet to help get out of the funk: he’ll write a rom-com, and she’ll write depressing but literary fiction without her signature HEA.
This was so much fun and yet full of soul-searching, longing, and lusty encounters! Gus and January have a shared history and yet they knew little of what actually made each other tick back in college. Both held some pre-conceived notions that were off the mark, and I loved it as they discovered the actual truth of both the past and present. Both had some past hurts to get through, and as they do that together they grow closer and closer. January’s afraid to lose her heart to dark, sexy, broody, Gus, and I was a little afraid for her, too! She didn’t need more heartbreak.
Oh, I just loved this story sooo much! The small-town setting of North Bear Shores, Michigan was magical! Just the kind of place I’d love to summer in, and I could picture the quaint cottages (like January and Gus’) lining the shores. There were quirky side characters that made me laugh and want to visit. The writing was gorgeous without being pretentious or slowing the plot down and gave me all the feels!
Beach Read is a total recommend, one of my favorites of the year; one that’ll leave an impression! I’m still thinking of Gus and January’s story.