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Beach Read Paperback – May 19 2020
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“Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling.”—Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game
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.
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“Reader, I swooned! Beach Read is a breath of fresh air. My heart ached for January, and Gus is to die for—a steamy, smart and perceptive romance. I was engrossed!”—Josie Silver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December
“This is a touching and heartfelt book about love, betrayal, grief, failure, and learning how to love again. I adored going along on Gus and January’s journey, and I closed this book with a satisfied sigh.”—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Proposal
“Beach Read is original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling. Has trying to see the world through your long time crush/rival’s eyes ever been this potent and poignant? If whipcrack banter and foggy sexual tension is your catnip, you’ll adore this book.”—Sally Thorne, USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine
“Beach Read is exactly the witty, charming, and swoony novel we always want; it also happens to be the unexpected wallop of emotional wisdom and sly social commentary we need right now. I adored it.”—Julia Whelan, author of My Oxford Year
“[It] has everything the title promises—a romping plot, family secrets, and the thrill of falling in love, all set on the sweeping shores of eastern Lake Michigan. I cannot wait to read what Henry writes next.”—Amy E. Reichert, author The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
“Delightfully romantic and slyly poignant, Beach Read is brimming with crackling banter and engrossing prose. It has every flavor of booklover catnip: rivalry, creative struggle, family secrets, and the sweet head-over-heels tumble into love. Emily Henry's Beach Read is 2020's perfect anywhere read.”—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners
“If you liked Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game and Linda Holmes’s Evvie Drake Starts Over, you will definitely be into this, which feels like their spawn. (No one asked me to say this, by the way. I’m just high on that happy-sad feeling of finishing a book I enjoyed, that I wish wasn’t over.) Well played.”—Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, bestselling authors of The Royal We
“Readers are sure to fall hard for this meta, heartfelt take on the romance genre.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This will still sweep readers off their feet. January’s first-person narration is suitably poetic and effervescent, the small-town beach setting is charming, and the romance is achingly swoony.”—Booklist
“That Henry can manage to both pack a fierce emotional wallop and spear literary posturing in one go is a testament to her immense skill.”—Entertainment Weekly
About the Author
- Publisher : Berkley (May 19 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1984806734
- ISBN-13 : 978-1984806734
- Item weight : 345 g
- Dimensions : 13.89 x 2.49 x 21.03 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from Canada
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I love it when writers write about writing, even if it's through their characters. Beach Read gave us two very different writers, but both with their own love and appreciation of the art. And paralyzing writers block. Henry weaves some really great comments and descriptions of writing and reading into these character's personalities, whether they are her own thoughts or not, and I loved being able to bond with them over my own love of writing.
This book felt like a hipster beach read, which I suppose is what it was supposed to be, at least on the surface. There are trendy pop cultural references and Juno-like conversations. But somewhere in the middle, the feel starts to shift and the puffy pink romance gets a bit deeper and a bit darker, asking a lot of the characters as they self examine and try to sort out their messy lives and a boatload of complicated feelings that stem beyond the romance in front of them. Or more specifically, next door.
I'm not one to read books that can be described as steamy, but I'm lacking for any other word that could sum up the romantic part of this. I was expecting the romance, thought it would be more of the rom-com type, but boy does Henry know how to write a brooding, sultry love story and it seeped past my cold exterior, filling me with some kind of warmth. This was the kind of book that I didn’t want to end, the kind of book where I’m rooting for a happy ending.
I have read all of Henry's books and there is a noticeable progression in her work; she seems to always write about love and family, usually in an uplifting and light air, but with every new book, she is stretching those themes in different directions, exploring different approaches. Sure, that means that maybe not every book will hit me quite like her first did, but it also makes me feel like I am discovering a new talented storyteller every time I see her name and I love that.
Top reviews from other countries
Both January and Gus were interesting characters and it's only as we scratch beneath the surface do we discover that both have been holding onto their fair share of emotional baggage that is preventing them from moving forward. Will they be able to open up and to one another and help each other heal? I have to confess that personally I much preferred January as a character to Gus, there was just that little something about him that prevented me from warming to him wholly.
What I loved most about this book was the exploration of genres, the concept of questioning why a book written by a male is typically classified as fiction and can be read by both men and women whereas a book written by a female is typically classified as women's fiction and deemed to appeal to women only. One night after a few drinks a bet is made for them both to try and write something outside of their normal style, Gus to write a Happily Ever After story and January to explore something a little darker.
The whole bet storyline was hilarious and I really enjoyed the intellectual sparring between the two of them when talking about their books and current writing progress. As for their research days, these certainly provided some interesting topics for discussion as well as some hilarious comedic moments and compromising situations. I loved their witty banter and the interactions between them although I was a little concerned that it might have been vering towards the corny at times but the author managed to cleverly avoid it going down that road.
My only minor gripe about this book was the title itself as it didn't really work for me, yes they both live in beachfront houses but other than that it didn't really fit with the whole concept/theme of the story that unfolds.
Overall I found Beach Read to be a heartwarming read that dealt with some emotional and sensitive topics such as relationship breakdowns, grief and infidelity.
Our main character, January, has always felt like someone who believes in love and its power to transform us. She writes romance and has always looked for her happy ending. But when we see her things aren’t going quite to plan. She is struggling to write, she is grieving her father and yet trying to reconcile herself to the discovery that her father had a secret second life.
Upon arriving at his second hideaway home, January is nervous about what she’ll find. Nothing could prepare her for the discovery that her new neighbour is an old college acquaintance, Gus.
Like January Gus is a writer. But we quickly see that, like January, things in his life aren’t quite going to plan.
What follows is quite obvious - they slowly form a new bond, breaking down the barriers each had in place and eventually starting a relationship each has secretly harboured dreams of since they first met.
The interaction between these two was great fun. Seeing two such different outlooks and the little bet to each write a book in the style of the other gave it an interesting twist. Not everything runs smoothly, but it always feels like we’ll end up where we hope.
A huge thank you to NetGalley for granting me access to this prior to publication. I loved it!
I instantly warmed to this book and loved the two main characters. It has angst, love, insight and keeps things ticking along at a cracking pace! Will definitely re-read this!
Admittedly, my expectations of this being fun probably made the reading experience worse than it would have been. However, the characters were just annoying with their dramas that seemed exaggerated to me. January's dad died an year ago and she still can't get over the fact that he wasn't the mean she thought he'd be and that's fair game, some things shock you and you don't get over them. But do you think about it constantly every other day and how hard it is for you to live everyday life? If you say yes, you might enjoy this book, but it's a hard no for me.
Then, there's Augustus, who is so mysterious, so bad boy, so "can't tie me down" that it's such a cliche from a 90s teenager show (and he's in his 30s, not his teens). I just couldn't empathise or like him based on this.
There's also how she sees his smile, talks to him, looks at his hair and is turned into jelly that I can't stomach. Plus, their stories that came out of the exchange seem like total crap - I wouldn't want to read those books or I'd be tricked by a title such as "Beach Read" and I'd then leave a bad review on Amazon to prevent others from being tricked by it.