Friday, May 29, 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry: Is it Too Early to Call 2020 Favourites?

Beach Read by Emily Henry
Published: May 19th, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
# of pages: 384
Tropes: A mix of enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers
Heat level: Hot and steamy slow-burn
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest consideration
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

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.

THIS BOOK. Wow. There’s a ton of hype surrounding Beach Read, which always makes me nervous, but honestly, this book not only lived up to the hype, it exceeded it for me. I fell completely in love with January and Gus, their story, and Emily Henry’s writing.

From things other readers said, I knew not to go into Beach Read expecting a light, fluffy read. It dealt with themes like grief, cancer, infidelity, and abuse, but those heavy topics were perfectly balanced with humour, wit, and an incredible romance. I ran the gamut of emotions with this book - I laughed a lot, got angry, teared up, and even full-on cried. January and Gus were such wonderful characters; they were complex, flawed, sometimes messy, and they became real people for me. I was fully invested in them, and I alternately wanted to zoom through the pages to see what happened, while prolonging it and savouring it because I didn’t want to say goodbye to them.

As a romance writer myself, I related to January and her desire to tell stories about love. I also related to feeling stuck and, at times, a bit disillusioned. This book felt like a love letter to writing in a lot of ways - romance in particular - and I loved watching January fight for fictional happily ever afters while unknowingly getting her own. She proved you can still believe in love and happy endings even when life knocks you down and circumstances dim your inner light.

Beach Read is not only a new personal favourite, it’s hands-down one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The writing was beautiful, and it completely captivated me from beginning to end. I loved that serious, difficult, painful subjects were dealt with head-on and were mixed in with hilarious banter, a swoony slow-burn romance, and great side characters. I fell head over heels in love with Beach Read, and I know it’s a book I’m going to recommend endlessly to fellow romance lovers.

Have you read Beach Read? What did you think? What's the best book you've read lately?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

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