“I lost myself in him, and instead of trying to convince myself that someday everything would okay, I focused that, right now, it already was.” – Beach Read, Pg. 288
Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!
It’s book like Beach Read by Emily Henry that remind me why I fell in love with reading in the first place. There are certain emotions you feel when you’ve been transported into the world of a book, totally transfixed in the story and with the characters. It’s one thing to see the story play out for you on the screen, but it’s another to play a story in your head, in total peace and quiet. This book was an absolute delight to read, and I will continue to scream about it from the rooftops for the rest of my life.
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 think I’ve come to the conclusion that I enjoy books that make me cry more than books that make me feel butterflies in my stomach. Sure, passionate romances are great (when written well), but there is something about feeling perplexed with emotions that makes me appreciate a well written novel. Clearly, this one was no exception. The writing in this novel was perfection. There were a few times where I stopped and re-read specific passages, as they often held a deep meaning. The more passionate love scenes were beautifully written with not only physicalities, but also emotions, kept in mind. While the gave me butterflies, they seemed realistic and truthful. Near the end of the novel when January begins to read letters her Father had left for her, the writing style changed effectively, which took my reading experience to a new high.
Truthfully, the title of this novel is actually quite deceiving. This is not your quintessential lovey, swoon worthy, romance novel, but rather a book that showcases the power of past trauma and how it can impact future relationships. While it isn’t highlighted in the plot, the characters have both experienced an immense amount of hardships, which contributes to their hard-exterior, yet soft interior, personalities. They are so alike yet so different in an abundance of ways.
I really didn’t want this book to end. I became so attached to not only the two main characters, Gus and January, but also the side characters that were equally important to the story. All of the characters were incredibly layered and written with distinctive voices. One of my favourite parts about this book revolved around January’s father. While January finds out that her Father wasn’t the great man she had always thought he was, she learned to understand his issues and separate his secrets from the way he treated and raised her. I am incredibly close with my Father and consider him to be one of my best friends(hi Dad! I know you are reading this!!), so I immensely enjoyed reading about January’s relationships with her Father. I think it’s hard to come by a novel where you whole-heartedly enjoy all of the characters, and that is another reason why this book was (is!) so special.
This book mostly takes place inside/outside of a lake-front house, which is one of my favourite settings to read books take place in. While I am not a big “outdoors” person, I have always loved homes that back onto water-fronts, and reading this book reminded me of that.
I appreciated that while this was technically a hate-to-love romance (although I haven’t seen it publicized as one), it was about characters who misunderstood eachother, and through the process of individual growth and maturity, they learned and connected with one another. Words cannot describe how lovely it was to read this first hand.
And of course, I rated this book 5/5 stars (I would have given it 6 stars if I could have)! I hope you enjoyed my review of Beach Read by Emily Henry! If you’ve read this book, let me know your thoughts on it in a comment!
Good Night Book Owls!