Oh my … Henry’s Beach Read was WAY better than I was expecting! Honestly, I should’ve started reading it the DAY I purchased it. January and Augustus are such AMAZING characters, and Henry’s side characters are so full of personality!
I didn’t really understand what people meant when they kept saying this is more than a romance novel … but now I see what they mean. Henry’s beautiful story really dives into so many complex issues and struggles, tearing your emotions apart. We really need more novels like this.
Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Published on May 19th, 2020 by Berkley
Format: Paperback, 361 pages
Synopsis: 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.
Going into this, I expected Henry’s book to be just another enemies-to-lovers trope. But it’s so much more than a romance novel. Henry’s novel examines the many ups and downs of being a writer, such as writer’s block and the struggles of writing when your own mental health needs caring for. For January, it’s even more of a challenge, as she discusses the sexism in the world of publishing and literature. For a woman, being taken seriously as a writer can be unfruitful. It’s a great message and a good wake-up call about the world of authors and the work needed to be done to bring equality in the publishing world.
January and Augustus are such fascinating MCs; I couldn’t get enough of them! Their witty sense of humour and constant ability to get under one another’s’ skin is comedy brilliance. And that SLOW-BURN ROMANCE is just utterly incredible. I loved seeing January and Augustus getting to know one another, slowly breaking down walls and becoming vulnerable with one another. Seeing them transform felt like a whole experience within itself in this novel.
What I was NOT expecting was the amount of depth and emotion to this story. The characters in Henry’s novel are struggling to overcome so many hardships: grief, loss, letting go of past relationships, family secrets. You FEEL so much for these characters, feeling their pain and agony as your own.
The only issue I had with this novel was the PACING; it felt off at points, unnecessarily dragging slowly during certain scenes and parts in the novel. The flow of the novel was lost during these parts. But luckily, the majority of the novel was still compelling and captivating enough to pull me back in.
Oh my … what to say. To be blunt, I feel as though this is a MUST read. Beach Reads is a magnificent novel with a complex plot and so many intriguing characters. Watching January and Augustus transform in this story was a treat in itself, making readers feel hopeful. Life can through so many curveballs your way, but Henry’s Beach Reads shows how you can take control and through those curveballs back. I’m very excited to read more books by Henry.
I recommend this novel if you enjoy: LGBTQ+ representation; familial struggles; character growth; slow-burn romance; the life of an author; overcoming struggles.
Have any of you read this book or others by Emily Henry? This is my first experience with Henry’s writing and I adore her literature! I’ve really excited to read People We Meet on Vacation, which releases sometime in 2021 … I have a feeling it’s going to have a similar mind-blowing emotional experience like Beach Read.