A book rich with love and emotion, Beach Read by Emily Henry is both a charming romance and a punch-you-in-the-feels story about overcoming grief and trauma.
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.
Do not let the breezy cover and charming synopsis fool you. Beach Read is not the fluffy rom-com they might lead you to believe it is; but rather, Beach Read is so much more.
I should clarify, that while the actual content of the book took me by surprise based on my preconceived notions going into it, I absolutely loved it. LOVED. IT.
Beach Read punched me hard in the feels, and at one point near the end had me in literal tears. (Okay, maybe that was partly the book & partly pregnancy hormones? I was openly weeping though, friends.)
January and Augustus don’t just “find” themselves as neighbors, trying to overcome writer’s block. January is overcoming a major loss in her life, and coming to terms with a huge revelation about her family that has shaken her belief in happily ever afters. She’s struggling to meet her publisher’s writing deadline, while trying to cope with a huge upset in her personal life.
Meanwhile, Augustus isn’t just a cranky writer who writes morose “literary fiction” novels. Life’s turns have left him with a twisted view on how the world works, and what makes up a realistic ending to a story. He’s more than just a pessimist; he’s been knocked down and left behind too many times to have the glittering faith in the world that January once did.
As the two of them connect over the course of their summer as neighbors and friendly writing rivals, we see a friendship blossom into possibly something more — but emotions and past baggage keeps holding them back.
Beach Read gives us a slow burn reveal into these characters’ minds and inner workings, and builds up a romance that is equally passionate, lustful, and achingly real. I felt so deeply for these characters, and ultimately, it was wanting to get to these reveals and see how things would work out that had me eagerly turning the pages and racing through this book in a single weekend.
I am happy to report that the ending left me wholly satisfied.
Look for Beach Read in stores & online today.