Monday, June 15, 2020

Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry
Publication Date: May 19th 2020 by Berkley
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher

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.

My Thoughts:
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.


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  2. I'm so glad you loved this one, Rachel. I've heard amazing things about it, but I'm really hesitant to pick it up for some reason. Gus and January sound like a great couple!

  3. I’m so glad this was a hit for you, Rachel! The title and cover art seems a tad misleading but thankfully I’ve read enough reviews to know not to expect a rom-com (which is really what this one looks like). But I love when a story delivers more than I expected and it sounds like this one did just that.

  4. This wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but it was something special and wonderful. When you talked about the writing, I was nodding furiously. I have read YA books by Henry, and she does write beautifully, and you pinpointed why I like her's so much - not pretentious at all.

  5. I've only seen good reviews for this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on it! I love that it was so soul searching!

    Great review. :)

  6. I feel like I need something funny in my life right now, my mood's been so blah. excellent review, glad you enjoyed it

  7. I'm so glad you loved this one, too! It's such a fun romance...but like you said, with unexpected depth. :)

  8. I've seen only positives on this one. Fantastic review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  9. great review. if i need a beach read, i know where to go
    sherry @ fundinmental

  10. Yay, I'm really glad to hear you loved this one. I have a copy that I hope to read soon. It might not happen in June, but hopefully July. I have a few "summer/beach" type of reads that I want to get to soon!


  11. This one sounds like such a cute read! I've read only positive reviews so far.

  12. I do love a brooding, grumpy hero. This story sounds like one I would enjoy.

  13. oh yay....I am happy that you loved this one and it worked so well for you. I love those lively fun reads that have a good balance of depth to it

    Great review

  14. I've seen this one around a lot (on ARC lists and the like) but hadn't seen any reviews. I'm glad to hear that this one was a hit for you! I like sexy brooding heroes so I'm in! lol.

  15. My goodness you've sold me on this, it's going on the TBR!!

  16. Wow Fantastic Review Rachel! I'm adding this to my TBR! I love a fun read, but even more I'm excited that this story had added depth and made you think :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape