Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publication Date: 19 May 2020
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. (Goodreads)
Beach Read caught me by surprise and is in the running to be one of the best romance books I’ve read all year. And in the midst of 2020’s up and downs I’ve been reading A LOT of romance to keep myself happy and sane. It is the best comfort and feel-good genre after all (at least for me). But I digress… back to the enthralling experience that was reading this book.
What surprised me the most about this story was how it managed to have the perfect balance between fun, witty banter and deeper themes. This wasn’t the chick-lit book I had been expecting. Rather, it explored the journey of two people in desperate need for another soul to lean on.
January was a breath of fresh air in regards to the usual romantic heroines. She had a strength of character and lightness that drew me in and kept me interested throughout the book. I’m not going to give anything away (spoilers and all that…) but January’s journey was one of the best parts of this story – along with the development of January and Gus’ friendship to more.
Gus was likewise a fun character to read about although I connected with him less. He was just a bit too cynical for my tastes and yet… he paired so well with January. Together they were a cute yet realistic duo. Their ‘dates’ had me emotional at times while their window chats ( a la Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ video) while writing provided a delightful levity to their romance. Honestly those scenes were one of my favourite parts of the book!
This story had great pace and it wasn’t an easy book to put down and walk away from. If you’re in the mood for an emotionally satisfying and impactful romantic story (without an ending that will leave you hugging your Kleenex box) then this is the happy-medium book for you. It’s the perfect balance between drama and romance and covers some deep themes in an open, unapologetic way for a romance book. I truly adored this story and will be eagerly reading more of Henry’s books in the future!