book reviews, contemporary, Women's Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: Beach Read by Emily Henry


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.

The Bookish Fae’s Thoughts:

Before I begin, you have to know that I’m one of the most basic people you would ever come across. Enemies to lovers? Slow-burn romance? Falling in love in summer? Constantly brooding boys with dark hair and a tragic past? SIGN. ME. UP. I’ve been seeing Beach Read all over social media and since I wanted to take a break from reading fantasy, I knew it was the perfect time to read it.

I started this book fully-prepared for a lighthearted love story – the title alone makes me picture myself reading on a beach (because it’s Beach Read, geddit?) without a care in the world. As I read through the first chapter, I found out that it’s not the ordinary feel-good contemporary book I’m used to. This book holds so much more than meet-cutes, faux-dates in ‘carnivals’, and kisses in the rain.

As much as I adored how January and Gus’s romance developed, I was more invested in January’s intense relationship with her father. I love how that whole story with her father unfolded because it was so beautifully written. I am not ashamed to say that I was a blubbering mess when I got to Chapter 25. (Pro tip: hydrate and get the tissues out)

Emily Henry managed to pretty much control my emotions. I felt all the grief, betrayal, giddiness, joy, fear, and contentment that January felt. There were even times when I felt – what I could only describe as – ‘happy pain’ or ‘painful happiness’ that I couldn’t tell if the tears were of joy or agony.


5 starts

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.

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