Beach Read
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.

Beach Read Details

TitleBeach Read
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 19th, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139781984806734
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humor, Writing, Books About Books

Beach Read Review

  • chai ♡
    January 1, 1970
    therapy: expensive adding romance books to your TBR to fill the void that is (the lack of) your love life: free
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    OH MYYYYY GOODNESSSSSS! Finally literature gods heard my prayers that Ive been requesting to read a fantastic romance that Ive been craving for so long! I need something heart wrenching, shaking me to the core, help me feel everything at the same time: happiness, angst, joy, forgiveness, enjoyment, resentment, hurting! Yes, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I want to scream it! Oh, thankfully I already did! I have to add that: This is not beach read. This is GLUED READ. You dont want to end it and you OH MYYYYY GOODNESSSSSS! Finally literature gods heard my prayers that I’ve been requesting to read a fantastic romance that I’ve been craving for so long! I need something heart wrenching, shaking me to the core, help me feel everything at the same time: happiness, angst, joy, forgiveness, enjoyment, resentment, hurting! Yes, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I want to scream it! Oh, thankfully I already did! I have to add that: This is not beach read. This is GLUED READ. You don’t want to end it and you don’t want to stop reading it so you carry your book at everywhere as if it’s one of your internal organs. I expected to read something more chic lit, soft, sweet story but instead of that, I got an amazing fiction, a remarkable romance juggles between so many things at the same time from friendship, regrets, cancer, betrayal, dysfunctional families and their secrets, enemies to friends and friends to lovers, rivalry between the authors!The things I loved mostly:-Sarcastic but so smart, entertaining, unique dialogues between January and Gus-The soul crushing, tear jerker, heart shattering, intense father and daughter relationship-Captivating the story telling from the beginning: I couldn’t put down this book. I actually devour the pages (maybe I accidentally licked my kindle but its screen looks dustless and I’m the grossest person right now!), I couldn’t stop reading January and Gus’ growing attraction, their struggles to open up and their scares not to get hurt, their stupid and childish actions towards each other. Yes I had some many “awww” and sighing moments. My husband thought I was secretly ordering cases of French wines because I smiled so much and I got appointment from the surgeon because it glued to my face and I’m looking like worse version of Joker right now! I cannot stop!-A witty plot: Two writers were nemesis from college now neighboring beach houses. They both have their deadlines for their books but they’re suffering from writer’s big bold scary blog! (Did it ever happen to me? Nope, after drinking, words pour out from my mind like torrent but next day editing them when you are sober is the most painful experience!) Gus thinks that HEA doesn’t exist but he can push himself to write about it and January could also write some high rated, complex fiction instead of swoony romances! So they bet and replace their places but for inspiration to do that they have to spend time together by experiencing the shiny and dark sides of the life. That means January will take him to carnival, romantic beach and field trips to watch the sunset as Gus takes him to hike at the graveyard or arrange an interview with a grieving woman who lost her death cult member sister. See, it was impossible not to get interested and hooked from the beginning!-Characterization: January and Gus seems like polar opposites. One pessimist who had problematic childhood with his abusive father and one optimist Pollyanna who loves to see from the brighter side even though her childhood was affected by her mother’s big C hanging over her head like the Sword of Damocles. They are suffering from loneliness and their wrong choices about their love lives. Actually they have so much in common and don’t forget THE SIZZLING CHEMISTRY and UNDENIABLY GROWING ATTRACTION!LAST PARTS OF THE BOOK: Oh boy! Please prepare your napkins, paper towels, anything to dry your non-stop dripping tears! I’m not giving spoiler but Ms. Henry is an emotional torturer knows exactly how to sing to our hearts, how to break into pieces and magically gathers each pieces and heals you with soul brushing, poignant words. She is a heart whisperer. She knows how to melt your heart!OVERALL: This is not only one of my favorite books of this year but it is also gonna be my all-time favorite romance books! I’m so happy my great written romantic fiction craving is over!Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this year’s one of the best books’ ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review. And Emily Henry, thank you for reaching my heart with your effective, soul touching, talented work.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    I did what any reasonable adult woman would do when confronted with her college rival turned next-door neighbor. I dove behind the nearest bookshelf. I really needed this book. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I was giggling along with all the awkwardness and banter and feeling like I'd been taken away from the dark, dreariness of this lockdown. It's exactly what it seems to be: a very cute, sweet romance.Beach Read is a warm, summery story about a romance writer (January Andrews) I did what any reasonable adult woman would do when confronted with her college rival turned next-door neighbor. I dove behind the nearest bookshelf. I really needed this book. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I was giggling along with all the awkwardness and banter and feeling like I'd been taken away from the dark, dreariness of this lockdown. It's exactly what it seems to be: a very cute, sweet romance.Beach Read is a warm, summery story about a romance writer (January Andrews) and a vair vair serious literary writer (Augustus Everett) who have been long-time writing rivals ever since they attended college together. They find themselves in neighboring beach houses for the summer, each trying to write their next novel whilst doling out perfect comebacks to each other. What could possibly happen?As they get to know each other a little better, they decide to strike a deal: Augustus will write a happily ever after and January will turn her talents to the serious world of literary fiction. Whoever sells their manuscript first, wins.I really enjoyed the dynamic between January and Gus. It's not quite love/hate because the author stops short of really making them tear into each other, but there's a lot of tension created by their competitive history. The banter is funny; a little snarky at times, but good-natured. Emily Henry has also perfected that blend of broody and sweet with Gus-- it turns out Romance love interests can be both darkly mysterious and not assholes. Who'da thought?The story is told entirely from January's POV, which I personally like. I prefer single perspective romance novels because I think a good portion of the tension comes from not knowing what's going on inside the other person's head.I will say that I might have been more critical of some aspects of this if I was in a different mindset right now. While I expected the novel to be cute and a little cheesy, it is a bit more cheesy and sentimental than I usually prefer. I would have been happier without things like this: "I don't need snowflakes." He kissed me. "As long as there's January." I also expected it to be a little more saucy, lol. There’s sex scenes, for sure, but they’re cute and kinda dorky rather than tense and exciting. I know that a lot of people prefer that; I just thought the whole competing authors dynamic was pretty hot and would have liked to see that played upon a bit more. And I loved the jokey banter… I just sorta wanted them to stop the jokey banter DURING sex.But, fuck it. This was such a heartwarming feel-good book. I had a good time, that's all I can say.Facebook | Instagram
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Easily my favorite book of the year so far. I just finished it and I already want to do a re-read to spend some more time with January and Gus. MY HEART. This book was equal parts swooney and grumbley while also being SO self-aware and I loved every little bit of it. Plus, the banter in this was *chef's kiss* PERFECTION. 10/10 do recommend TW: suicide, death of a parent, adultery, cancer
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  • Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
    January 1, 1970
    Don't let the cover and blurb fool you...This ain't stereotypical chick-lit. And before anyone gets their feathers all ruffled at my use of the term "chick-lit"....calm down. I actually picked this out as one of my Book of the Month picks this April because I thought it was chick-lit. And, if you have read my reviews or followed me for any length of time, this would surprise you as I have traditionally NEVER been drawn to those kinds of books. Nothing against them, they just never interested me. Don't let the cover and blurb fool you...This ain't stereotypical chick-lit. And before anyone gets their feathers all ruffled at my use of the term "chick-lit"....calm down. I actually picked this out as one of my Book of the Month picks this April because I thought it was chick-lit. And, if you have read my reviews or followed me for any length of time, this would surprise you as I have traditionally NEVER been drawn to those kinds of books. Nothing against them, they just never interested me. But alas, as I have mentioned in some reviews over the last couple years, my tastes have changed a lot lately and I am reading all kinds of genres I never used to be interested in. Personal growth? Maybe. The fact that I am quickly approaching "middle-aged?" Perhaps. But I digress. The blurb on this really interested me. I thought it was going to be light and exactly what I needed to forget the world for a few hours. And it was. But it was also so much more than that. The two main characters here (January and Gus) were both going through some shit that felt real and nuanced. There was a depth to them that was tangible. And the setting - while seemingly plucked straight out of a Nicholas Sparks book - never felt contrived or cliche. The romance (and so many other elements in the book usually considered trope-y in chick-lit or women's fiction) was written with a tongue-in-cheek hilarity that on one hand called itself out, and on the other, served to undercut any sense of the cliche. I was really impressed with Emily Henry's writing and style. I enjoyed her ability to flirt with the fourth wall and turn certain things on their head in a manner that made you laugh at it, but also seriously consider it at the same time. I also really enjoyed all the discussions on writing and the literary/popular culture jokes and references sprinkled throughout the story. In short, I loved every moment of this book and will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    I wrote this book because I wanted to do something fun but I still ended up making myself cry, so what's new?
  • emma
    January 1, 1970
    Everybody knows I love Emily Henry.Like, its probably gotten to the point that people who dont know anything about me or read my reviews know that. Probably the people who do all they can to avoid my crossing their digital path (and I imagine these people MUST exist, just judging by the number of John Green fans Ive angered) know it too.Its just that true.I love her and I shout it from the rooftops on the reg.I was very, very, veryveryvery excited to hear she was doing a rom-com, way outside her Everybody knows I love Emily Henry.Like, it’s probably gotten to the point that people who don’t know anything about me or read my reviews know that. Probably the people who do all they can to avoid my crossing their digital path (and I imagine these people MUST exist, just judging by the number of John Green fans I’ve angered) know it too.It’s just that true.I love her and I shout it from the rooftops on the reg.I was very, very, veryveryvery excited to hear she was doing a rom-com, way outside her usual genre of Young Adult Magical Realism About Funny Brave Prickly Young Women Who Have Magic Or Are Magic Or Are Uniquely Capable Of Seeing Magic, And Their Funny Fun Unique Bands Of Friends.(My favorite genre.)In fact I think I commented a concerning all-caps something or other on her Instagram announcement to convey the sheer breadth of my excitement, an event which I’m sure was mildly to severely frightening and yet she handled with grace and poise.With each passing day I grow more convinced I am a concerning presence on the outskirts of Emily Henry’s online life.But I digress.As I write this, my Goodreads review of this book contains five updates. Yes. I am currently writing my review, and yet I have already written five small reviews. Again. Excitement.This book was NICE. It is not my favorite Emily Henry book (a very tall order), but it does act as the first step in the execution of one of my most hoped-for dreams: An Emily Henry book in every genre. Which in turn is a step toward the pinnacle of my wishes: That all books be written by Emily Henry.A step in the right direction.This is often more Rom than Com. There’s a lot of Character Development and Relationship Arcs and Changing Life Paths here. It is overall a more serious book than that crazy-cute cover would imply.Which is the perfect real-life execution of one of the themes of this book: Literature is no less literature-y for being written by women, or for being written for women, or for ending happily.Books are books and books are good.Especially if they’re written by Emily Henry.Bottom line:
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Ive never met someone who is so perfectly my favorite person. I picked up Beach Read on a whim, looking for a fun distraction to while away the day and found a couple my heart wont soon forget. Deeply moving and perfectly paced, Beach Read is a love story riddled with infectiously snarky banter hiding behind a somewhat ironic title. This emotionally adept read was everything I didnt know I needed at this very moment.Utilizing her engaging and clever wordplay, Emily Henry brings readers into the “I’ve never met someone who is so perfectly my favorite person.” I picked up Beach Read on a whim, looking for a fun distraction to while away the day and found a couple my heart won’t soon forget. Deeply moving and perfectly paced, Beach Read is a love story riddled with infectiously snarky banter hiding behind a somewhat ironic title. This emotionally adept read was everything I didn’t know I needed at this very moment.Utilizing her engaging and clever wordplay, Emily Henry brings readers into the lives of two very different writers. There’s January Andrews, a once optimist romance writer, battling her own heart while slogging through a bout of writer’s block. And then there’s Augustus (Gus) Everett, a twice published literary author, all broody and mysterious, fighting creative demons of his own. A mix of crappy circumstances and serendipity find January in a lake house for the summer and next-door neighbors to her college rival, Gus. While there are some lust-filled memories for her to conjure from college, January knows behind that sexy, evil grin of his grumpy Gus has never taken her writing seriously. In an attempt to banish the writer’s block, and prove they can write in each other’s respective genres, a challenge ensues. And it’s not your typical love/hate battle. It’s a tit-for-tat, sarcastic tease fest that made me laugh, brought me to tears, and ramped up the pitter-patter of this optimist heart of mine.Henry is masterful in her unraveling of both characters, really getting down to the crux of who January and Gus are, and more importantly why. Proving assumptions can be the inhibitor of joy. And while this story is told entirely from January’s perspective, a heady mix of her goading, slipped secrets, and admissions from the man himself provide a glimpse into the soul of lovable Gus. His heartfelt musings to January are everything. “Before that.” Relatable, raw, and at times even a little awkward, January and Gus together managed to chip off a chunk of my heart to call their own. Witty exchanges paint the pages and provide the perfect counterbalance to the hurt in their apprehensive hearts. Yet, it’s the undeniable connection they share, and the palpable tension clouding every nook and cranny around Gus and January that makes for such an unforgettable read.The title seems a bit ironic, given Beach Read has more substance or depth than it suggests. Considering the author’s level of biting humor throughout the novel and her exploration of the stereotypes swirling around the romance and women’s fiction genre, I assume this was purposeful. And very well played. If you pick up one love story this year, make it Gus and January’s. *Thank you, thank you, thank you to Berkley Publishing for access to an advanced copy via NetGalley. A book I'm labeling "best-of-the-best" and purchasing for my collection of greats. Here’s to hoping I can track down a signed copy. ♥
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars Beach Read was my first Emily Henry book and I was blown away. Don't let the cover fool you, this isn't some light and fun chick lit story. It's a beautiful romance that has a lot of depth and emotion and I couldn't have loved it more. January and Gus are both published authors in neighboring beach homes. January just got to her late father's beach house and has a lot of questions. Her recent life events have put her in a bit of a funk when it comes to writing the romance she normally 5 stars Beach Read was my first Emily Henry book and I was blown away. Don't let the cover fool you, this isn't some light and fun chick lit story. It's a beautiful romance that has a lot of depth and emotion and I couldn't have loved it more. January and Gus are both published authors in neighboring beach homes. January just got to her late father's beach house and has a lot of questions. Her recent life events have put her in a bit of a funk when it comes to writing the romance she normally writes. Gus writes more serious literary fiction and they decide to switch genres as a bet to see who can write and sell a book first. To do this, they end up spending a lot of time together and go on adventures to help each other out. I loved the friendship January and Gus developed. Watching it change and grow was one of my favorite parts of this book. I loved how these two could be open and honest with each other and they challenged each other in the best ways. I was too much of a romantic for anything to stay casual, and even if we were totally incompatible, I was already in deeper with Gus than a purely physical attraction. And it seemed like neither of us could stop pushing the boundaries. Beach Read is witty, swoony, and hella romantic. It has a grumpy hero which I love and I seriously couldn't get enough of January and Gus together. Their 'dates' left me with the biggest smile on my face and their chemistry and back and forth was the best. These characters and their story were complex. And it captivated me from the start and never let go. They were both realistic and smart and relatable. I haven't had a ton of five star reads in 2020, but the ones I have had have been epic. This had the perfect banter, a slow burn romance, and gave me so many feels. I mean, really... what more could I ask for? it was the perfect kind of romance for a reader like me and I highly recommend it! "When I watch you sleep," he said shakily, "I feel overwhelmed that you exist."
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    My first by the author and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be more of a rom-com, but it is more women's fiction with a romance. The way things played out was entertaining and I was cheering for a HEA ending! Did it happen?Loved the characters, January and Gus, who are both authors and in a bit of a writing slump. It was interesting to read about how authors feel when writing and struggling to get a book completed. I felt their chemistry and liked the way they were both flawed characters My first by the author and I really enjoyed it. I thought it would be more of a rom-com, but it is more women's fiction with a romance. The way things played out was entertaining and I was cheering for a HEA ending! Did it happen?Loved the characters, January and Gus, who are both authors and in a bit of a writing slump. It was interesting to read about how authors feel when writing and struggling to get a book completed. I felt their chemistry and liked the way they were both flawed characters and little on the cautious side. The beach town setting was perfect. This made for a great change of pace for me and kept me invested to see how these two would fare. Thanks Berkley for my review copy. OUT on May 19, 2020
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, and that makes me sad. I had this as a five star prediction, one of my most anticipated of the year because this premise sounds PERFECT to me. I love books that follow writers, and I love the idea of two writers swapping genres and competing to sell their book first and have a kind of hate to love vibe but also being really cute still. When I started reading this I was certain it was going to be a five star read, and trust me no one is as I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, and that makes me sad. I had this as a five star prediction, one of my most anticipated of the year because this premise sounds PERFECT to me. I love books that follow writers, and I love the idea of two writers swapping genres and competing to sell their book first and have a kind of hate to love vibe but also being really cute still. When I started reading this I was certain it was going to be a five star read, and trust me no one is as bummed a I am that I didn't absolutely love this. I wanted to be obsessed with it the way I am with Unhoneymooners and The Hating Game, but this book just isn't it...This book started off fine, I actually really like January's character in the beginning. I feel like Gus, the live interest is one of my issues with the book. He comes off as kind of pretentious at times, and he has this attitude like "i'm so broken that nobody can ever understand me" and he doesn't believe in happy endings, he's such a cliche stereotypical brooding moody man character. I feel like the mood of this book was all over the place, because some of it was trying to be light and fluffy 'beach read' as the title implies, but then some of it was actually dark, like January finding out her recently dead Father was cheating on her Mom her whole life, and Gus making them do all these interviews with people from a cult for writing research, or people who's siblings killed themselves... like some of it got really dark so the tone of the book would shift constantly and it just didn't flow. I feel like some of their banter was freaking amazing and *chefs kiss*, but then some of their banter, especially towards the middle felt so forced and like the author was trying too hard to make them seem cute. I feel like January's character was wayyyyyy too insecure about some things, like damn Gus made a comment about her being a fairy princess at the beginning of the book and she literally brings it up constantly throughout the entire book.(view spoiler)[I feel like Gus's type of male character is annoying because he basically admits he was only an asshole to her because he was in love with her, and like that's obnoxious. I hate how also after the first time they have sex he basically tells her to leave when he gets an important phone call, such a dick move. And then he goes from being kind of an asshole to being like 'i'm in love with you' so freaking quickly, it was cringey. And the actual ending, the last chapter was so cheesy. Of course it ends with a cheesy proposal, like every other romance novel out there. (hide spoiler)]I also wanted more of their stories they were writing, because that is what made me so interesting in reading this in the first place, I was especially curious about Gus's romance novel and I just wish we got more information about the books they were writing. So what did I love about this book? I loved the first 100-150 pages, I loved some of the banter, I loved the scenes of them actually writing (I just really love reading about writers as an aspiring writer), I love the complicated relationship between January and her now dead Father, I love the competitive-ness between January and Gus when they are trying to write something outside of their usual genre that would still sell. I guess I just had too high of expectations for this after hearing the premise and there was just something about this book that didn't quite click with me, and I'm sad about it.
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  • lazybookconqueror
    January 1, 1970
    Beach Read by Emily Henry is the best book I've read this year so far, and easily a top 10 on my all-time favorites list. Beautifully written, this book tells the story of January Andrews, a romance author that fiercely believes in happy endings. That is until the fake perfection of her life comes crashing down. A year later and she is utterly broke, avoiding her agent and desperately trying to write some new material, while provisionally moving into her late father's secret love-nest on Lake Beach Read by Emily Henry is the best book I've read this year so far, and easily a top 10 on my all-time favorites list. Beautifully written, this book tells the story of January Andrews, a romance author that fiercely believes in happy endings. That is until the fake perfection of her life comes crashing down. A year later and she is utterly broke, avoiding her agent and desperately trying to write some new material, while provisionally moving into her late father's secret love-nest on Lake Michigan.There, while she is trying to make sense of her life without rose-tinted glasses, she crosses paths with her former college enemy - famous literary fiction writer Augustus ''Gus'' Everett, now turned next-door neighbor. Gus is the classic pessimist and January used to be the most optimistic of all. More than then exploring the classic tropes of enemies/friends to lovers or opposites-attract, Emily Henry creates a mutual understanding between both characters - telling us that it is ok to have balance and be both the sunshine and the grumpy.“See,” Gus said. “It’s shit like this that makes it impossible for me to believe in happy endings. You never get the paper umbrellas you were promised in this world.” “Gus,” I said. “You must be the paper umbrellas you wish to see in this world.” “Gandhi was a wise man.” “Actually, I was quoting my favorite poet, Jewel.”“People were complicated. They weren’t math problems; they were collections of feelings and decisions and dumb luck. The world was complicated too, not a beautifully hazy French film, but a disastrous, horrible mess, speckled with brilliance and love and meaning.”Emily Henry's writing is masterful in Beach Read, crafting each conversation carefully, making every phrase stand out as witty, interesting and utterly enjoyable. All the while, sending us in a layered voyage, where no one is truly right or wrong. Where the journey is the beautiful broken part of life that should always be appreciated. “Happy endings don’t matter if the getting there sucks.”This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time. It made me laugh, cry, and swoon. It made me conflicted and curious... but definitely made me addicted to the author's storytelling and I'll probably want to read everything she's ever written from now on. Thank you Netgalley and Penguin UK for approving me to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    Oh man. I have a feeling this book is going to confuse and mislead some readers because the vibe from the cover, and my understanding of the plot from the skimming I did of the summary when I requested it (#TeamMostlyBlurbFree), gives you a very different idea of what the whole of this experience is going to be. I'm not saying the book, or the marketing of said book, is a lie but that it's so much more than what you think it'll be. Also, like, I don't think this book is a book you would actually Oh man. I have a feeling this book is going to confuse and mislead some readers because the vibe from the cover, and my understanding of the plot from the skimming I did of the summary when I requested it (#TeamMostlyBlurbFree), gives you a very different idea of what the whole of this experience is going to be. I'm not saying the book, or the marketing of said book, is a lie but that it's so much more than what you think it'll be. Also, like, I don't think this book is a book you would actually take to read on the beach. But the title is still very relevant to the story.With that said, though, I totally loved this? Sure, I picked it up thinking it would be the fluffy frothy happy delight I needed after some not-remotely-those-things reads, plus, like, I needed a break from the dystopian nightmare world we're living in right now and instinctively reached for some brightness, but instead I got that and more. So, is this a book you might want to pack for the beach after release? And by beach I mean the towel you spread on your living room floor in front of your computer's screensaver showing some tropical location in the effort to remain socially distant? Maybe not. But if you love banter or an opposites attract situation; if you love books about books; if you like some emotional backstory and good realistic, complicated, backbones to your fiction, you'll love this. For me, this is like biting into a shortbread cookie and finding out the inside is stuffed with brownie. It was going to be good as it was, and instead it ended up even better, more substantial, and delightfully delicious in an unexpected way. Read this book.4.75 starsFull review to come.** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
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  • Emer (A Little Haze)
    January 1, 1970
    For me Beach Read was very much a slow burn in that it took a little while to get going but by the end I was utterly transfixed by the story and the characters.What I truly loved about the book however was the premise and the theme of romance fiction running through it. In book circles there are books called fiction and books called womens fiction... and whats the difference? Simply the preferred gender of the author. Men write fiction which both men and women will read. But women write womens For me ‘Beach Read’ was very much a slow burn in that it took a little while to get going but by the end I was utterly transfixed by the story and the characters.What I truly loved about the book however was the premise and the theme of romance fiction running through it. In book circles there are books called fiction and books called women’s fiction... and what’s the difference? Simply the preferred gender of the author. Men write fiction which both men and women will read. But women write women’s fiction which could only appeal to other women. Somehow there is an air of snootiness about what it is that men write versus what women write. ‘Beach Read’ plays with this idea as it follows two writers who agree to swap genres and try to write books outside their typical genres. January writes novels with happy ever afters and swoony romantic themes whereas Gus is a literary fiction author whose writing is more grey in tone. But when the pair meet as adults (they knew each other briefly at uni) one summer both are stuck in a rut battling writer’s block and personal demons.January is dealing with the death of her much loved father but is also struggling to come to terms that her picture perfect family was not as flawless as she believed as her father has been revealed to her as a cheat and a man with a second life. Her mother won’t talk about this and the isolation is plaguing January. She doesn’t know up from down anymore. And due to a lack of finance she ends up living in her father’s beach home where he spent weekends with ‘the other woman’. Juxtaposed with January’s story is Gus’ who lives next door to January in another beach property. Gus is a darker style of character. So much of his backstory is slowly revealed and it becomes apparent that the image of Gus as an arrogant, know-it-all author is entirely inaccurate. Soon after both characters realise they are now neighbours, the pair come up with this bet that they can each write the other person’s genre and sell the publishing rights. And what follows is a summer of immense emotional connection between the two. Somehow these two lost souls come together and begin to find healing. It could sound cliched and trite... but it’s really exceptionally well written with both characters feeling incredibly authentic! This book is especially written for people who think that the women’s fiction genre is all sweetness and light with zero substance as this ‘Beach Read’ happily subverts many traditional romance-novel tropes while still remaining true to its origins as a book with a firmly romantic plot. The main characters are wonderfully layered, the prose is engaging and the book is both deeply moving and playfully entertaining.Recommended. *An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review* For more reviews and book related chat check out my blog
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Dont write Beach Read off as just another rom-com!January heads to the Michigan shore after her life falls apart. A bestselling romance writer, shes used to creating happy endings for her characters. But now that shes unhappy, its going to make it even harder to deliver the fifth book in her deal with her publisher.Her neighbor in the beach house next door is Augustus Everett, who writes literary fiction. Gus doesnt believe in happy endings, and has disdain for the type of so-called fairytales Don’t write Beach Read off as just another rom-com!January heads to the Michigan shore after her life falls apart. A bestselling romance writer, she’s used to creating happy endings for her characters. But now that she’s unhappy, it’s going to make it even harder to deliver the fifth book in her deal with her publisher.Her neighbor in the beach house next door is Augustus Everett, who writes literary fiction. Gus doesn’t believe in happy endings, and has disdain for the type of so-called “fairytales” that January writes.As the two of them realize they’ll be working next door to one another every single day, they make a bet: they’ll swap genres and whichever one writes the better book will have the other one promote it and write a blurb. On top of that, every Friday they’ll go on an outing he plans, related to research he’s doing about a now-defunct cult, and on Saturdays they’ll go on a rom-com-worthy outing. (They’re not dates. And no one is going to fall in love.)So you know what comes next, but it’s far more complicated than that. Both January and Gus are fighting through significant emotional scars that they don’t want to talk about. And there are connections between the two of them they're not willing to acknowledge at first.Can happiness be found when two people don’t think they’re capable of happiness and aren’t sure if love is worth the risk? Where do you find the courage to let your guard down when you’ve been badly hurt before? And perhaps the most important question: will they both finish their books on time?I’ve been dying to read Beach Read for a while and it was just amazing. It’s fun and sweet and sexy and romantic, populated by fascinating supporting characters, and it’s also surprisingly poignant and thought-provoking.It’s everything I wanted in a rom-com and so much more! If you can’t get your hands on a copy ahead of time (thanks to Book of the Month for mine), it comes out May 19!Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Irena BookDustMagic
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4,5 (it could be 5 stars, though!)I can not even find the words to tell you how happy, honoured I feel to have received an invitation to read and review Beach Read so early before it's publication.I already know that this book will be on my "best of 2020" list.It is a perfect, relaxing beach read even though it can be devoured in any time, in every possible corner of the world, not only on beach. (😜😎)(I mean, I read it during winter and still enjoyed it the most!)The story is Actual rating: 4,5 (it could be 5 stars, though!)I can not even find the words to tell you how happy, honoured I feel to have received an invitation to read and review Beach Read so early before it's publication.I already know that this book will be on my "best of 2020" list.It is a perfect, relaxing beach read even though it can be devoured in any time, in every possible corner of the world, not only on beach. (😜😎)(I mean, I read it during winter and still enjoyed it the most!)The story is written in first person, following January (the name of our main character) who after loss of her father and revelation of his secret has hard time believing in happily ever afters, and suffers from the writing block, when she should finish her next romance novel.Placing herself in the new house in a small town, she comes across her rival from Uni days, who is well respected, published author of literary fiction now.They start spending more and more time together and January starts to develop feelings for him.I enjoyed every page of this book.Do you know that feeling when you read a good story and don't want it to end, so you start to read it at slower pace only to have more time with it?That's what my experience was with Beach Read. I didn't want it to end.My favourite part of the story was the chemistry between Gus and January, and her own self aware of her feelings for him, and the complication of their situation.I loved watching their relationship growth.Beside that, I loved reading about their writing process and journeys.Since I read an ARC, I am not sure if my copy was messed up or if it had two different ends to the story, and that is why I can't give it full 5 stars. I guess I'll have to wait for the finished copies to see what the case is.If it is the case of two different endings, then I think the one with only January and Gus is the better one.Overall, Beach Read was an amazing story and I would recommend it to romance, general fiction and women's fiction lovers who are looking for a new, light hearted and relaxing read.
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  • Navessa
    January 1, 1970
    We need to talk about marketing in the book world.Between the bright, illustrated cover and the media packages for Beach Read hyping how much of a fun, upbeat summer romance this is, many readers are going to be led astray here.Theyre going to get 75% into the book and think to themselves, This entire story is set in a beach house and the one time these two assholes actually go swimming is in a pool?!Seriously, I think they only went down to the beach together twice in this entire book, so that We need to talk about marketing in the book world.Between the bright, illustrated cover and the media packages for Beach Read hyping how much of a “fun”, “upbeat” summer romance this is, many readers are going to be led astray here.They’re going to get 75% into the book and think to themselves, “This entire story is set in a beach house and the one time these two assholes actually go swimming is in a pool?!”Seriously, I think they only went down to the beach together twice in this entire book, so that cover with two people casually reclining on towels and seemingly ignoring each other is a bit of a stretch.From the blurb, you might assume that this is about rivals pitted against each other, filled with one-upmanship and witty banter. And yes, I did laugh-out-loud several times while reading this, but for the most part, this isn’t what I think of when I think of fluffy rom-coms.Because a lot of the book is spent on the main characters researching a notorious cult from their local area. The head messiah of which locked all his followers into trailers and then burned them to death.So fun!Aside from that I had some issues with the male lead here. He went from aloof and quasi-grouchy in the beginning to over-the-top cheesy by the end. I also didn’t appreciate the fact that once their relationship evolved from friendly into something more he started making all the female lead’s decisions for her.You know, doing that man thing where they try to save you from the world.“Don’t come with me, you’ll get cold and wet.”“I didn’t invite you because I didn’t know if you’d have fun.”“Let me carry that heavy bag for you.”To me, there’s nothing chivalrous about a guy suddenly assuming that I can no longer make my own goddamn decisions just because I let his penis near me.All this said, I could be in a shitty mood because the world is ending, so take this review with a grain of salt.website | blog | fb | twitter | instagram
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  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    This was WONDERFUL. It made me giggle, it made my heart hurt. Im so in love with January and Gus and their beautiful romance! 100% adding this to my best of 2020 shelf. Full review to come. This was WONDERFUL. It made me giggle, it made my heart hurt. I’m so in love with January and Gus and their beautiful romance! 100% adding this to my best of 2020 shelf. Full review to come.
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  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARS I didn't know what to expect, I went to this one blind and I really enjoyed it!I was hooked immediately and I find the story intrigued. This is a love story between two very broken and complex characters.I liked the romance it was slow burn."Bad things don't dig down through your life until the pit's so deep that nothing good will ever be big enough to make you happy again. No matter how much shit, there will always be wildflowers."Well developed characters and a story that touched me 4 STARS I didn't know what to expect, I went to this one blind and I really enjoyed it!I was hooked immediately and I find the story intrigued. This is a love story between two very broken and complex characters.I liked the romance it was slow burn."Bad things don't dig down through your life until the pit's so deep that nothing good will ever be big enough to make you happy again. No matter how much shit, there will always be wildflowers."Well developed characters and a story that touched me from the beginning!It has all the feelings, you will laugh , cry , be frustrated in a good way and feel overwhelming!This book was really good!I'll definitely check this authors other books!    
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  • BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas)
    January 1, 1970
    5 Deeply Moving, Relatable, Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover, Must Read StarsBoy did this book take me by surprise! I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I did but January Andrews and Augustus Everett stole my heart. This story was full of snarky banter, and so much more emotion than that cover and title would lead you to believe.This isn't your typical love/hate trope plot. It made me laugh, brought me to tears, and was a lot more emotional that I expected. It was about learning to 5 Deeply Moving, Relatable, Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover, Must Read StarsBoy did this book take me by surprise! I honestly didn't expect to love it as much as I did but January Andrews and Augustus Everett stole my heart. This story was full of snarky banter, and so much more emotion than that cover and title would lead you to believe.This isn't your typical love/hate trope plot. It made me laugh, brought me to tears, and was a lot more emotional that I expected. It was about learning to accept yourself, opening yourself up to love after hurt and accepting that even when things are flawed, they are still worthy of love. One of the things that resonated with me the most about this book was the emotional journey both January and Gus were on. This one wasn't overly steamy and the romance was a bit of a slow build but it worked so perfectly with the story. I felt so invested in the relationship and each character's happiness.In short, this book was funny, sentimental, heart-wrenching and fills your heart with both hope and love. I completely loved it.
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  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
    this cover is so misleading, but i loved it. god i loved it◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog Goodreads Twitter Instagram The Book Depository this cover is so misleading, but i loved it. god i loved it◯ Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Blog • Goodreads • Twitter • Instagram • The Book Depository
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  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    Okay so here is my attempt at making a formal review for one of my easily favourite reads of 2020. This is a love story between two very broken individuals. One is a fiction writer who searches for the dark unsettling things and pours his gut-wrenching words into literary fiction and the other chooses happiness and sunshine, writing romance novels for those who seek an escape. They both have complicated pasts. He grew up with an abusive father and felt he was missing a piece of him because of Okay so here is my attempt at making a formal review for one of my easily favourite reads of 2020. This is a love story between two very broken individuals. One is a fiction writer who searches for the dark unsettling things and pours his gut-wrenching words into literary fiction and the other chooses happiness and sunshine, writing romance novels for those who seek an escape. They both have complicated pasts. He grew up with an abusive father and felt he was missing a piece of him because of the events that happened in his adulthood. She grew up in a loving family that turned out to have secrets buried deeper than her father's casket. Do not be fooled by the title or genre! Do not think that this will be your 'light beach read' you crave by the pool because this book will tear you apart, only to put you back together again. It was funny. So funny. I laughed so many times at their sarcastic remarks. I really loved the soft slow burn romance between them as these two people worked alongside each other, falling slowly in love, but deathly afraid of it because they knew what they had was magnified ten times of what they experienced and they weren't sure if they would live on if they didn't work out. It's not your perfect romance. It's filled with two broken people finding happiness with each other. It's ironically a combonation of what they both wrote. A realistic story but filled with a romance plot. I really recommend this but I'm scared some people might walk in and think one thing and being disappointed because of the marketing of the book
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  • Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, catch this on my Favorite Books of 2020 list at the end of the year.
  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    I really needed a cute book and this was exactly that.The thing I liked about this book is that it's also low-key kinda dark, along with the cute. It's not exactly a rom-com, but also, most definitely a rom-com, you know?Let's see if I can explain that better.The book is about two writers with a shared past. Years ago they were competitive rivals in college, where they both studied creative writing. Now they are neighbors for the summer, trying and failing to each write their next novel. Their I really needed a cute book and this was exactly that.The thing I liked about this book is that it's also low-key kinda dark, along with the cute. It's not exactly a rom-com, but also, most definitely a rom-com, you know?Let's see if I can explain that better.The book is about two writers with a shared past. Years ago they were competitive rivals in college, where they both studied creative writing. Now they are neighbors for the summer, trying and failing to each write their next novel. Their solution to the problem?  Dare each other to write a book like they never have before, in the other's genre. Now, January, a romance writer, has to write grim literary fiction. Gus, a writer who does not believe that people get happy endings, then has to write a romance novel before summer ends.All of this while they confront personal tragedies, family secrets, and their growing feelings for each other.And it's so great to read about!I said this book was cute, and it was. I loved the relationship between the two. From their good-natured rivalry to their constant banter to their very sweet romance.I really liked Gus. He was all mysterious and brooding but also... not a total jerk? Shocking, I know, but romance novels can have leading men that are both all brooding and nice, and I really liked that.January was also great. She was really likable and introspective. I also said this book was dark. I don't want to get much into it, but let's just say that neither Gus or January had ideal lives. There is a reason Gus doesn't believe in happy endings, and it's because he's never had one and feels as though maybe he never will. As for January, she has to face the consequences of her parent's mistakes as all their lies come forth and she realizes that maybe, things aren't always what they seem.**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest
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  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    January Andrews is a supposedly successful, yet broke, writer of romance novels...who no longer believes in happily ever after.Gus Everett, a writer she knew in college, pens more serious novels, but is also experiencing writers block for reasons of his own.They end up living next door to each other and agree, on a bet, to attempt to write a novel in the others preferred genre. Gus will take January through his research process, and January will provide a crash course on rom com.. because January Andrews is a supposedly successful, yet broke, writer of romance novels...who no longer believes in “happily ever after”.Gus Everett, a writer she knew in college, pens more serious novels, but is also experiencing “writer’s block” for reasons of his own.They end up living next door to each other and agree, on a bet, to attempt to write a novel in the other’s preferred genre. Gus will take January through his “research process”, and January will provide a crash course on “rom com”.. because “happily ever after” doesn’t matter if “the getting there sucks”...And, that is exactly WHY this romance did NOT work for ME, despite its many 5 star reviews. I did not feel ANY chemistry between them, so the getting there...well...you get what I am saying...it wasn’t fun. The only part of the book that I enjoyed was when the two characters were discussing writing.I found the rest of the dialogue to be TOO introspective, which grew boring, and was definitely not sexy.The descriptions, were not any that I could relate to (a one piece bathing suit which made January look like a water logged popsicle tangled in toilet paper) 🤔 Huh?And, January, when talking to herself, kept referring to herself as a “dumb bunny”.NOPE. Could not relate to this one. But, different books resonate with different people, so, if you have been wanting to read this one, by all means, you should! Available May 19, 2020.Thank You to Edelweiss, Berkeley and Emily Henry for the digital ARC, received in exchange for a candid review!
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    You know those rare books that enchant you from the very first sentence, the ones that grab your heart and dont let it go? Those books that have you barking out bursts of delighted laughter on your couch during a global pandemic, because you cant believe youre reading something this good when the world feels so bad?BEACH READ is one of those books. Its so smart and witty and self-aware and REAL, while remaining utterly swoonworthy and romantic. It doesnt shy away from hard truths, but it doesnt You know those rare books that enchant you from the very first sentence, the ones that grab your heart and don’t let it go? Those books that have you barking out bursts of delighted laughter on your couch during a global pandemic, because you can’t believe you’re reading something this good when the world feels so bad?BEACH READ is one of those books. It’s so smart and witty and self-aware and REAL, while remaining utterly swoonworthy and romantic. It doesn’t shy away from hard truths, but it doesn’t shy away from beautiful things, either. Both main characters are so wonderfully developed and human, and the romance left me breathless at times. There are so many layers to this story, and each one is executed to perfection. And the BANTER, y’all. THE BANTER. A million (haunted) hats off to Emily Henry for this one, because I know this is a story I’ll be thinking about for a long time.
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  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    This book is about two writers (January and Gus) that is having a writers block who fall in love with each other. I really loved this book, and it was everything I needed right now. This book I would not say it was a total romance because most of the book is mostly about January and Gus finding themselves while they fall for each other. This was my April book of the month book, and I am so glad I choose this book. Loved it. This book will be coming out on May 19-2020.
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  • Rachel (rachandbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    "Bad things don't dig down through your life until the pit's so deep that nothing good will ever be big enough to make you happy again. No matter how much shit, there will always be wildflowers."BEACH READ by Emily Henry was an extension of my hand for 12 hours reading it off and on, just waiting for the next opportunity to pick it back up. I finished it at 2:30 am and I had tired teary eyes, and a very full heart. Needless to say, it was incredible. The kind of book that plants itself into you "Bad things don't dig down through your life until the pit's so deep that nothing good will ever be big enough to make you happy again. No matter how much shit, there will always be wildflowers."BEACH READ by Emily Henry was an extension of my hand for 12 hours reading it off and on, just waiting for the next opportunity to pick it back up. I finished it at 2:30 am and I had tired teary eyes, and a very full heart. Needless to say, it was incredible. The kind of book that plants itself into you and blooms.Listen, here me out: Emily Henry writes with bits of glittery magic shooting out of her fingertips. I'm convinced!! This is how I picture her sitting at her computer, creating the most charming, captivating stories you can only dream of. How she can go from Young Adult fabulism (sidenote: A MILLION JUNES is one of my very favorites, as well) to Adult contemporary fiction and *still* manage to have this tangible magic between the characters is beyond me. She writes with such an understanding of the human spirit, and what breaks us down, and what keeps us going, that reading her books creates a cathartic experience. Also, she just understands what romancing is. Emily Henry just gets us.I mean, how can one resist a book that is about a romance writer, January Andrews, who has stopped believing in love and a literary fiction writer named Augustus Everett having writer's block, and them challenging each other to write their books over the summer, from their beach houses where they currently reside parallel to one another. To go even further, January challenges Gus to write something happy for once, and Gus challenges January to write the next great literary masterpiece. She will take him on rom-com level dates for inspiration, and he will take her to interviews that may or may not involve death cults. Did I mention that the writers also have a *history* from way back in college in which they were nemeses?Yes, I know, it is to die for.At the story's heart is a tender, beautifully paced and developed and love story, but there are pieces of from each writer's past, and how they're trying to heal from them, that propel it to another level entirely. And don't be fooled by the bright cover, albeit adorable, this book is more serious in tone than a lot of other romances, which I felt was a nice change. BEACH READ is rich with character and relationship development, and wow, it made me cry it was so wonderfully done. All of it was fantastic. There is truly nothing I would want to be changed. I feel honored to have read it early so I can shout about it from social media and my own rooftop (as I *am* quarantined). This book is special, folks. The ongoing writing challenge is fun to read as it forces the characters to see each other often, bantering all the while, and creates the kind of tension that makes you breathe a little heavier and your heart beat a little faster, which is what every reader wants in a romance, to be completely honest. The chemistry is *chef's kiss.* They sizzle when they're together. And separately, January and Gus are full, complete, smart, witty, and endearing characters. I loved them both.I was enthralled from the first chapter and was left extremely fulfilled by the end. It is such a sweet, joyous, uplifting reading experience. This is one of the best books any person will read in 2020, guaranteed. Emily Henry, I bow down to you. 5 stars.*ARC generously provided by Berkeley Romance via Netgalley for an honest review*
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  • Sheyla ✎
    January 1, 1970
    "Oh, damn. I was a bunny." Beach Read is a must-read!What do a disillusion romance novel and a literary fiction author have in common? Not much at first glance but as the story progresses, it's clear why they are meant for each other.January Andrews is licking her wounds. At twenty-eight, she had everything she wanted. She believed in romance. She believed in love. Her parent's marriage was an example to her. She had a wonderful boyfriend of many years and she was accomplishing everything she "Oh, damn. I was a bunny." Beach Read is a must-read!What do a disillusion romance novel and a literary fiction author have in common? Not much at first glance but as the story progresses, it's clear why they are meant for each other.January Andrews is licking her wounds. At twenty-eight, she had everything she wanted. She believed in romance. She believed in love. Her parent's marriage was an example to her. She had a wonderful boyfriend of many years and she was accomplishing everything she wanted in her professional life too. As a romance writer, she had successfully published several novels. Then twenty-nine hit her in the worst possible way. She losses everything she has cared for including her writing. She is on a deadline but unable to write a single word. Without anywhere else to go, she decides to go to the lakehouse to start over. On the first night, she is there, her new neighbor has a party with loud music playing and January wants to be able to sleep. When the music persists, she makes the decision to confront the neighbor. She makes an impression despite meeting in the dark but the next morning, they meet again. This time in full daylight and January realizes that she knows who he is. She has known him since college!! They had a rivalry but also one memory of a time where there could have been something more. "Because you're the bright light." August "Gus" Everett didn't have a happy childhood or adolescence. The only thing that gave him any type of satisfaction was his writing. His books are well-known and successful. He, however, is reserved and distant. While January was a happy person who wrote about happy endings, he was all about the dark truth about the ugly world out there. Yet, this new January who's living next to him, it's not the same woman he remembers. When January offers a change in their genres, he accepts the challenge. The rest is history.I loved this one so much. The banter with intelligent dialogue and the slow-building romance was very creative. Their chemistry was through the roof and the attraction to each other smoking! "When I watch you sleep," ...I feel overwhelmed that you exist." Kudos to Emily Henry for writing Beach Read. Definitely a much deeper story than what the title offers. Cliffhanger: No5/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Anna Luce
    January 1, 1970
    ★★★✰✰ 3 stars Romance enthusiasts will undoubtedly enjoy Emily Henry's Beach Read. Personally, while I do enjoy romance books, I usually prefer them to be less cheesy...and while certain scenes or lines in Beach Read did make me smile, it wasn't quite the 'laugh-out-loud' read I was hoping it would be.This is yet another novel that seems to hint at an 'enemies-to-lovers' romance but in actuality the two leads are never truly enemies or hostile towards each other. January, our lead and narrator, ★★★✰✰ 3 stars Romance enthusiasts will undoubtedly enjoy Emily Henry's Beach Read. Personally, while I do enjoy romance books, I usually prefer them to be less cheesy...and while certain scenes or lines in Beach Read did make me smile, it wasn't quite the 'laugh-out-loud' read I was hoping it would be.This is yet another novel that seems to hint at an 'enemies-to-lovers' romance but in actuality the two leads are never truly enemies or hostile towards each other. January, our lead and narrator, has a bit of a chip on her shoulder when it comes to Augustus. While they were in college Augustus made a comment that January interpreted as disparaging both her person and her writing. Years later the two find themselves living in the same town. January needs a place to write her novel. Not only is she financially 'broke', but her boyfriend recently broke up with her. January, who is still grieving the loss of her dad, has few options lefts, so she decides to move into her father's secret home. As she tries to make sense of the secret life her father kept, she finds it hard to envision writing a story with a 'happy ending'.January is quite 'shocked' to discover that her new neighbour is Augustus, aka Gus. She is sort of envious that his books are seen as 'highbrow' whereas hers are dismissed as 'women's fiction'. The two strike up a deal: January will write a book without her trademark 'happy ending' while Gus will try to write a 'happy' book.While I liked the premise of this book I soon found myself rolling my eyes at its cliches: Gus has an 'inky gaze', a 'crooked' smile, he is 'tall' and 'dark'. January's backstory with her father was rather superficial: she feels betrayed, that much she states early on. Other than that I found that she would often merely rehash her story (her mother had cancer, twice, her father wasn't the man she thought he was, their marriage was far from perfect). Her relationship with people other than Gus were very feeble: she has a best friend who lives in another city so the two of them keep in touch through texts...which were often very silly and seemed to be included only to add humour. Her mother was mentioned now and again but her personality remained undisclosed. We know she had cancer and that she doesn't want to speak about her husband's 'secrets'. It would have been a lot more compelling and challenging if January had actually loved her ex-boyfriend but she admits early on that she loved the idea of them rather than him...which seemed to go against the book's proclaimed self-awareness. Given that January writes romcoms it would have been more refreshing if we were presented with a story in which there isn't such a thing as 'you can only have one true love'...Gus...he was very much the epitome of the angsty love interest. At one point he says: “I am angry and messed up, and every time I try to get closer to you, it's like all these warning bells go off”....which yeah, who says stuff like this? And how is this romantic? Not only does Gus have an appropriately Troubled Backstory™ but he is just sooooo angsty. Just because his eyes are 'flashing' or he smirks a lot doesn't negate how annoying his 'you can't possibly understand me/I am a walking tragedy' thing he has going is. Most of his lines sounded unbelievable. At one point he tells January that she is “so fucking beautiful” and “like the sun”. Like, wtf man. Another thing that I was hoping would receive more focus was their books. January once says that if she were to swap her 'Janes' for 'Johns', her books would no longer be labelled as 'women's fiction' but as 'fiction'...which is a statement I don't entirely agree on. There are lots of female authors who write books with female protagonists that do not fall under the 'women's fiction' category. Perhaps January should have been asking herself why certain genres are seen as inferior to others, or why the 'chick-lit' is seen as 'rubbishy' whereas the popular books by male authors (such as James Patterson) are not similarly dismissed.There a few paragraphs of January's own writing which were really cringe-y. I could not take her 'serious' story seriously, it was ridiculous. Also, why perpetuate this stereotype of the writer only being able to write about their own lives?January is immediately attracted to Gus, so there is never a slow build up from friends to lovers. During their first few scenes together her stomach is already 'flip flopping'.Their make out/sex scenes were...okay I guess (?). Although I've read far worse there was one scenes which was just yuck-y: one moment January compares herself to a 'toddler' sitting on Gus' lap, the next they are making out. Most of their flirting revolves around 'junk food' which yeah, I am not a huge fan of this 'bonding over our mutual love of donuts'. It just strikes me as juvenile. For the most part I didn't particularly hate or love this book. I do enjoy reading 'feel good' books (some of my faves are by Sophie Kinsella and Mhairi McFarlane) but Beach Read didn't really work for me. I guess I was excepting a more 'subversive' take on the romance genre...but here there are tropes upon tropes.
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