Beach Read Beach Read

Beach Read

    • 4.3 • 5K Ratings
    • $12.99
    • $12.99

Publisher Description


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.

May 19
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

georgestanleyjr ,

A romcom that changed the game.

Beach Read comes across as a fun summer read, but in reality it’s a raw story about grief, heartbreak, and falling back in love with yourself as much as it is a romance. Emily Henry has such a talent for weaving together humor and depth that each took my breath away. I had tears from laughter and sadness at each page and each took me off guard and kept me on my toes. January’s life taking a 180 and her whole world view being challenged set the tone for the story and the way it was tied up in the end broke my heart and put it back together all in one sitting. And then there was Gus. I fell so hard for him at every detail revealed just as January did. His character seemed at first to be a dark, mysterious type but his soft side came through in such a thoughtful way. Both characters give to each other what the other was missing and in turn they learn to begin to heal themselves in the process. Overall, Beach Read both tugs at the heartstrings and shares near-revolutionary and profound truths about grief and love.

Snoopanniedoo ,

Emily Henry’s weird foray into not quite Goth

My mind’s eye is filled with the picture of Pee Wee Herman falling off his gothically comic bicycle and shouting defensively: “I meant to do that!” This image to me captures the essence of this book, in wonderful and not so wonderful ways.

She was warning the reader all along she had changed, or her “main character” had changed, and she wasn’t necessarily going to give them/us what they/us wanted. But not to worry, it would be close enough, bc that’s “who she really is” and she wouldn’t really be able to deliver anything too far off the mark because of her core, just not quite what was expected because of her “growth” or pain or depression...

In all honesty I’m not sure if that’s what she achieved, and if explaining it so much made the final result poetic, or anticlimactic (by ruining the suspense and meddling with the pacing) I’m also not quite sure.

I think she was trying to mimic real life, which is not perfectly paced, and can have false stops and starts and slam you into shock and then awe and then acceptance and then contentment and all the way back again or all of those things at the same time…but I dont think she quite achieved that either. The pacing felt more manipulated, rather than honest, and therefore so did I. I was willing to suspend my disbelief and go along for the ride, but I was highly aware of the loaded language and the emotional manipulation, which removes the illusion of a good, realistic, relatable, even if fantastical, story.

She explains the methodology for achieving that last thing too, making it seem believable even if the story is unbelievable by adding in mundane human details, but you know what they say:
If you have to explain a joke how funny is it?
Perhaps more appropriate to say:
If the magician has to reveal the trick just to impress you with the trick, just how magical is it? Not very. Maybe it is to the magician…

I’d like to stress: because most of these elements of the style, pacing, character, and plot were unexpected from an Emily Henry novel:
Upon further reflection this might be a 4 star book for me, but as of this moment in time, I feel more like she didn’t know exactly what she wanted the book to be, *but she knew how she wanted you the reader to feel* about her experiment…and so her readers are left with not knowing exactly what the book is, and perhaps guilted into liking it or at least accepting it. You know, emotionally manipulative. Maybe this story was ghost written by “The Goldberg’s” Mom, I’m not sure…

And that’s okay too. Not knowing what it is. Not naming it. Not putting it into a neat little box or category. I respect that for sure. But in this case, especially execution wise, it’s just that — okay. Not great. You may like it. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but I know I didn’t love it. The reasons for which may be better explained below, and they might not apply to you…so this is why I’m adding it to the review so you can judge before you buy or at least brace yourself before you read.

I do not go to my Rom Com escapes to be confronted by political jibes and classist intellectual judgments. So when I encounter this on my “off” time I have a few rules:
1. If you’re going to make irreverent political or religious jokes BE FUNNY
2. It should seem inherent and integral to the character’s personality, or the situation, that the “loving” jibes and not so loving jabs get sprinkled throughout, bc this tends to constantly pull people out of the story if it doesn’t seem organic (it didn’t)
3. I am never one to tell people to “stay in their lane” bc everyone has a right to explore their thoughts feelings and philosophies on everything and introduce it into their art. It’s what makes art interesting and always new and surprising. But honestly I have a rule about stereotyping and parroting catchphrases and plot points that have been around since at least the 80s if not the 60s. Sadly she lifted the entire survivalist religious cult plot line from an early episode of Scarecrow & Mrs King — that’s how long this trope has been around. I wonder if she even realized that was lodged into her subconscious, probably not, even though she must have done a little “research” — enough to mock all those who enjoy the romantic spy or patriotic spy genres, and salt of the earth non urban types, very “of the moment” 2020 to mock, which really dates the book too.

And so she really broke this parroting rule of mine a lot, in very hypocritical ways, which made the characters seem immature and almost unlovable (they actually reminded me of two of my least favorite people growing up but *only* in these instances) rather than very lovable relatable people going through something difficult.

I felt as if I was reading two different books train-wrecking into each other. On the one hand, her expertise is making ppl who are going through trials lovable relatable and human, and so I’d see her doing this, but then on the other hand I’d watch in horror as she would unceremoniously snatch it away, possibly so you could feel the frustration of the characters…but what it mostly leaves you feeling is beyond frustrated…just…over it. I mean if I wanted to hear snarky catchphrases and depressing criticisms that everyone else uses I could spend my day reading YouTube comments. At least those are free.

jadecatherine24 ,

Beach read

It was so cute and perfect to read in summer

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