Beach Read is a book written by Emily Henry. This new “romance” is coming out May 19th. I actually don’t know if romance is the best way to categorize this novel, it’s more than that. It’s a horror, it’s a fiction, it’s many other things all at the same time.
Thank you to the editor Penguin Random House International for the free ebook. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Trigger warnings: violence, cult, death, cheating
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.
The premise sounds like the perfect summer romance novel, but that’s not actually true. The book is an interesting and odd read. Is it romance? Yes, it is. But it’s a sad and unexpected story. I think that the romance part of the story is just a nice frame in which you insert a beautiful painting. The story itself is way bigger than just a love story.
January is a writer, she is well-known in the romance community and loves to write happy endings. But right now she can’t find happiness in her own life and so she can’t write it down on the pages. Everything felt apart around her and the only thing left is a lake house that her father kept secret from her and her mom. She moves there for the summer and soon find out that her new neighbour is none other than her nemesis: Augustus Everett. The two seems not to get along at first, but soon they discover they have something in common: they both suffer from writers-block. One thing led to another and they end up making a bet: Augustus will write a story with a happy ending, while January will write something sad. This brings them to experience a series of dates, where January shows him how to be book-romantic and Augustus shows her how cruel the world really is.
This story takes an unexpected turn. It gets very intense very fast and you need to prepare yourself for it.
I loved how it talked about writing, as an aspiring writer myself I saw how realistic everything was.
I liked the relationship between January and Gus. If this book was just a romance, I would have complained about how I wished there was more hate to love or just a deeper connection between the two. But that’s not the focus of the story so I’m okay with how things went.
The main reasons why I gave this book four out to five stars are two. The first being the fact that I don’t think title and cover are right for the story. I love this new style of covers for romance books, but I would have preferred something more old style. The second reason is that I wished there where Gus’ POV. We see everything just through Januarys’s eyes, but sometimes I wanted to know what Gus was thinking, I wanted to feel what he was feeling and to know his deepest desires.
But don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story, I laughed, I got emotional and I really loved some parts. So I recommend it to you. This is the first book that I read by this author, but it won’t be the last.