My Review: 5/5 — Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult Fiction — N. of Pages: 361
“…when the world felt dark and scary, love could whisk you off to go dancing; laughter could take some of the pain away; beauty could punch holes in your fear. I decided then that my life would be full of all three.” (Henry, 3)
I want to start by saying I do not like the title of this book; it does not do this book justice AT ALL. I’m not sure why the author chose this title because it also doesn’t seem to connect to either character. That being said, the title is literally the only negative thing I can say about this book. Beach Read by Emily Henry was simply amazing.
I came across this book at a local bookstore in Switzerland. They had a small English section near the back. I saw Beach Read perked up on display broadcasted as a new read. I almost ignored it because of the title. However, once I looked into the reviews, they were all fantastic! I was on a hunt for a funny, easy read, and this seemed to match perfectly. I am so glad I picked up this book, it was exhilarating from beginning to end.
What is the book about?
This book centers around two characters, Augustus Everett (nicknamed Gus) and January Andrews. The book is narrated by January. It is set in the summertime in a small lake town called North Bear Shores. Gus and January are both staying in cabins next door to one another. January is visiting this cabin for the first time and stumbles upon her neighbour, Gus Everett. January realizes that she recognizes her neighbour Gus from her college years, she remembers that he often was rude to her, but she always had a small crush on him. She always felt like they competed with each other, even after college, when they became published authors. When Gus and January first stumble upon each other outside of their cabins, their interaction does not go well. Gus is visibly angry about something, and January is mad with the way he is speaking to her.
As time progresses, Gus and January find themselves continually running into each other; they realize later on that the town people may have had something to do with that. They eventually form a friendship with one another, becoming more and more fond of each other. Their relationship challenges both of them to come outside of themselves in different ways. This book is a story of grief, love, laughter and acceptance. It is so much more than just a ‘rom-com’.
I think you can already tell how much I love this book. The book made me cry, made me laugh and made me yearn for the characters to fall in love. Henry’s writing is so detailed that although I knew these characters were not real, I found myself genuinely caring about them. She shows how different these two characters are, but she also makes you feel like they belong together. The smart, sarcastic way the characters communicate is so entertaining. The heartwarming story she forms around January and Gus is tantalizing. As well, the father-daughter relationship that January is trying to figure out is heartbreaking. Simultaneously, the reader is trying to understand Gus’s tortured past with his father. I did not want this book to end; I was incredibly sad when it was over. Emily Henry knows precisely how to captivate her audience. I had never read anything by Emily Henry before but, I have already ordered another one of her books!
More books by Emily Henry:
The Love that Split the World
When the Sky Fell on Splendor
A Million Junes
People we Meet on Vacation (will be released May 2021)