Top positive review
Exactly what I wanted for a summer read.
Reviewed in Canada on July 30, 2020
Well, it doesn't look like there's going to be many beaches in our near future, so I was happy to let Emily Henry bring the beach to me. I have read all of Henry's books, The Love That Split The World is still one of my favourites and I think about it often. I feel almost like she's a childhood friend and I am so happy and excited every time she writes a new book.
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.