Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Purchase: Indigo (Affiliate link)
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.
What I thought I was getting: A light beach read summer romance, which would end HEA and I would recommend to friends as something to clear their minds.
What I got: A deep read about two people near a beach, who are each going through their own complex troubled time. Both learning about themselves, and how they see the world, as well as present themselves to the world and wondering if they should be more or less of who they actually are. There is also some in-depth thoughts of how we see our families, and how things are not all they seem to be.
Did I love this book? God yes, again a library read that I will have to buy. I will visit these two characters again and again, and appreciate the depth of feeling in Emily Henry’s writing, because there is a lot of it. The way these two characters see each other, and think they see each other is truly complex, and doesn’t feel at all unrealistic the way some books do. They feel like people I could know, in my every day life. It’s good. It made me feel things, including a deep sadness that stuck with me as I turned the pages, thinking about my own life and experiences.