Beach Read by Emily Henry
Publication Date: Mary 19, 2020
TW: Child abuse/neglect, death of parents (all off page, but discussed), discussion of suicide cult, mentions of parental cancer
Beach Read follows January Andrews, a contemporary fiction writer, who is struggling to write her latest book. Since she is broke, she has to move into her late father’s lake house where he would meet a mistress that January knew nothing about. January is struggling writing about love and happily ever after when both her and her parent’s love stories fell apart. Enter Augustus “Gus” Everett. A fellow author that she has been in competition with since college. He writes “dark” and “serious” books and has never taken January seriously based on her writing. At least that is what January thinks. After a drunken confession about her writer’s block, Gus suggests she tries writing something darker and she fires back that he should write a HEA. Thus, a bet is set.
Okay, If I’m being honest, I did not think I would like this one based on the synopsis. I thought the authors were going to be old people (nothing wrong with that just not what I wanted to read at the moment). However, people on bookstagram kept hyping it up and when Book of the Month announced it as one of their April picks, I suddenly got major FOMO and downloaded an eARC from Edelweiss. I then proceeded to read it in two days and ended up preordering it because I wanted the paperback and BOTM is all hardcovers.
WHAT I LOVED:
- There are so many tropes I like in this one: forced proximity (neighbors), two people who are lost finding each other, BEACH (okay lake) HOUSES, grump hero & sunshine heroine (although she isn’t super sunshiny anymore), the WE HAD A MOMENT YEARS AGO BUT DID NOT ACT ON IT THEN, & more
- There are so many tropes, but yet does not feel overdone
- The frank discussions of sexism in publishing and the term women’s fiction
- When January was like, “Well it’s more like Women’s Fiction” I was like JANUARY WE HATE THAT TERM HERE, and then she went on to explain how sexist is was and I was cheering her right on
- The cult stuff
- Okay that sounds bad, but Gus is researching cults & this leads to some more serious conversations between January & Gus
- This book is a great balance of serious and fun, just like the two authors in the book
- It might be called Beach Read, but it truly is deeper than the stereotypical beach read
- THE TAYLOR SWIFT REFERENCES
WHAT I DID NOT LOVE:
- This feels a bit like YA at times, which Henry has written mostly YA (I think) so it makes sense. Honestly, I did not have a problem with it because I always kind of hate when ADULTS talk like PROPER ADULTS who have never heard of slang
- But, some people might have issue with it
- Gus was a bit wishy washy which annoyed me a bit
Overall, this book was so much fun and I was smiling for most of the time I was reading this. I am go glad I got jealous and downloaded an ARC of this one.
*Many thanks to Edelweiss for an eARC of this one; all thoughts are my own*