There’s something both fun and lovely about BEACH READ. Gus and January, two kind-of rivals, kind-of ‘might-have-beens’ from college—who’ve both gone on to have successful writing careers but are working through some complicated baggage which has basically caused bouts of writers’ block—wind up spending a summer as neighbors in a small town beach community.
As their competitive natures kick in, they enter into a spirited campaign to prove their ability to write the kind of book the other is known for—Gus for literary fiction, and January for romance. Yet as they take research field trips and become more entwined in each other’s lives, they begin to sift through their own doubts and the unexpected blows life has served them, and come to understand who they want to be, and how becoming a team might just make them stronger.
This is not a completely light read, but it’s a good one, and manages to be uplifting even as Gus and January tackle some complex issues, both in their own lives and in their writing.
(I haven’t read anything else by Emily Henry – this definitely seems to be her breakout book, though she has a few other titles available.)
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 review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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