Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A cute but heart-wrenching story of two adults finally learning what it means to love someone.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, representation, and tropes in this book, check out its page on!

Premise (from Goodreads)

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.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

I honestly thought I posted a review of this book back when I read it but apparently I didn’t. My memory isn’t great so forgive me if this review doesn’t go into as much detail as I normally would!

I first ordered Beach Read from Book of the Month because I’m a huge sucker for romance novels but my excitement for this book grew very quickly once it came in the mail. It felt like I was seeing a raving 5 star review for it every day on Twitter!

While the story is marketed as a hate-to-love plot based in competition, it is so much more than that. Both of the main characters have tragic pasts and neither of them truly know what love is. Watching as they slowly began to open up and share their experiences was absolutely amazing. Stories about people learning from their past mistakes and growing to become better will always be one of my favorite things to read.

Something I will mention though is that this book is not a “light read”. Don’t get me wrong, it has super cute moments and a bunch of laughs but it also deals with some heavy topics (see the content warnings above). I spent a good portion of my reading experience crying and hoping that things would end up being fake because a part of me always hopes for romance novels to be what real life isn’t: happy and perfect.

If you’re interested in adult romance with complex and emotional plots, I’d definitely recommend giving Beach Read a try!

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