Beach Read by Emily Henry
Publication Date: May 19th, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
I find it a bit difficult to classify this read to the Rom-Com genre which it is advertised as. I would consider it more of a contemporary read with some explicit romantic scenes. This is mainly due to the fact that while there are some humorous moments, the majority of the plot is dealing with some very heavy topics for our two leads.
This was not quite the light-hearted read that I was expecting. It focuses greatly on familial loss, parental lies, divorce and dealing with the fallout of lives turned upside down. As a creative person, I can fully appreciate how these types of events can put a stopper on being able to create and that’s exactly what January and Augustus are dealing with.
I had a great time reading their stories and could have easily spent a year with them as opposed to just the summer. I appreciated how honest they both were as characters in what they were each dealing with and how they handled situations they were placed in. Beach Read was at times dark and angst-y but also fun and hopeful.
The primary focus is obviously on January and Augustus but the supporting cast of characters were also fun to hear from. January’s relationship with her best friend is very indicative of a modern-day friendship where they live in completely different States and have opposite schedules but still are able to connect and fully understand each other. There are also the townspeople (as I’ll call them) who are both welcoming and offer a bit of mystery at times.
Beach Read is a great in-between read for if you aren’t quiet into the stereotypical rom-com reads but want to dip your toe in the water with a story that offers depth and reality to the normally unrealistic quality that rom-coms tend to have.