Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 384 Pages
Published May 2020

Summary: 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.

This book first popped up on my radar via Book Twitter, when it seemed like everyone and their mother's Waiting on Wednesday post was featuring this book. So of course I was curious and had to check it out. And let me tell you, I'm SO very glad that I did, because I think I found one of my favorite reads of the year so far! So without further ado, let's get into my review:

As the summary explains, January finds herself at her dad's empty beachfront summer home on the lake, and next door is her college rival, Gus. She's there with a plan -- to finish (and, well, start) her next book before the deadline that the publisher is pushing on her. The only problem is that her life has been a whirlwind recently and she has the worst writer's block that she's ever had in her life. And then there's Gus -- the literary fiction writer and former enemy that looks down at January's romance novels. Both stuck and itching to get ANYTHING down on paper, they challenge each other to write each other's genres for the summer -- January will write the next Great American Novel while Gus finally writers a Happily Ever After. But what unfolds is a surprising summer that neither of them are expecting.

Okay, so anyone that's been around The Book Bratz for even a short amount of time knows that I am a COMPLETE rom-com junkie. So when I found out there was a new summer romance hitting the shelves, AND they were both writers, AND it was set on a beach in a cute little beach town, AND she was a romance writer...I was hooked. I knew I needed this book. I preordered it (from my local indie!) as soon as I got the chance because I had a hunch that this was going to be the type of summer book that absolutely overjoyed me. And I'm pleased to say that my suspicions were correct! I tore through this book because I was just so addicted to the story and couldn't put it down. January and Gus's banter kept me laughing, their shared history made my heart pang, and watching them try to learn to appreciate each other's genres was SUCH a fascinating experience. This book is the perfect summer romance to bring with you to the beach (lol @ the title), on a picnic, or just sitting by the pool. This is the kind of captivating summer read that's meant to be devoured outside. And I absolutely, truly loved it.

Another great part of this book, from the perspective of someone who is really into writing, is how relatable it is. Writer's block happens to everyone, and while we may not all be lucky enough to pack up and move to a beachfront house for the summer to work it out, living through January's struggle to get her book done just felt really relatable. And seeing her working hard to accomplish that goal after her bet was made with Gus actually inspired me to go out and do my own writing. I think I got more work done on my manuscript during the week that I read this book than I have all the months before that combined, because there's just something about seeing other writers hard and work and attempting to accomplish their goals that makes me want to jump in and accomplish mine, too!

As for the ending...none of you are getting spoilers from me! Pick up a copy of the book and find it out for yourselves!

Overall, I absolutely ADORED reading BEACH READ. If you're looking for a summer read to sweep you off of your feet and keep you hooked until the very last page, then look no further, because you've found the one. Emily Henry crafted such a sweet, hilarious, gripping story, and it's safe to say that I'm signing myself up to be a reader of her work for a very, very long time. I seriously cannot say enough great things about this book and I just want to shout about it from every rooftop (and internet-based screen) that I can find. So if you're reading this, definitely go pick up a copy of this book ASAP!


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