Published by Berkley on May 19, 2020
Genres: adult, contemporary, Romance
Source: eARC from Publisher
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.
Beach Read is an adult contemporary romance novel by author Emily Henry. I loved everything about Beach Read. Honestly, this book was like a breath of fresh air, but at the same time was everything I love and find comforting about a great romance novel. It is perfect “beach read” book, but moreover it is the perfect read for any time of year. And don’t let the fact that this book is a contemporary romance scare you away. This is a fantastic story about two people. People in all of their imperfectness, living their messy, sad, chaotic and sometimes happy lives. It is a really spectacular story that manages to be feel good, lighthearted fun as well as poignant and introspective.
In Beach Read, we meet our main character January as she goes to her late father’s secret beach house to clean it out for sale, and to write her next romance novel. Beach Read picks up at a pretty awful time in January’s life. Not only has her father passed away suddenly, but at his funeral she learns about his mistress and a secret house he owned, and on top of that she has serious writing block going on. How can she write about romance when she is disillusioned about life. When she gets to the beach house, she discovers her next door neighbor is a total grump. But not just any grump- Augustus Everett, or Gus as she knows him was her college classmate and is a total elitist who thinks literary fiction is the only writing that has any value. (or so she thinks)
Watching Gus and January interact was pure gold for me. I want to see their story played out on the big or little screen so badly. They scream movie romance in my opinion! Their banter was just as enjoyable for me, as it was to watch them get to know one another, and peel back layer after layer of their preconceived notions. Yes, Beach Read is a romance, and a great one at that. But it also delves deeper into a lot of character issues that I think brought the story to a whole new level. This book honestly felt like the mash up between a literary fiction story and a romance (heavier on the romance side, which is exactly my preference.) I loved the bet January and Gus struck up, and I really loved seeing the byproduct of their bets. Each of their stories screams them, which I loved!
Bottom line: If you are looking for a great summer read, Beach Read should be your number one pick! I loved the romance and witty dialogue in this story just as much as I loved the characters and everything they had going on in their lives. This book was pretty darn near perfect in my opinion and I had a blast reading it!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2020