Thursday, July 9, 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Pages: 361 pages
Published: May 2020

A solid 4 stars for Beach Read by Emily Henry. I learned about this book from Book of the Month but snagged a paperback copy during Target's "Buy 2; Get 1" sale this summer.

The story is about two writers, January, who writes romance novels that are happily ever afters and Augustus, who is committed to dark literary fiction. The two genres and writers are as different as their seasonal names suggest (i.e., summer/winter). They have a history with one another dating back to their college days and consider each other literary rivals. Both writers are also at difficult points in their personal lives, suffering from writer's block in their professional ones, and just happen to be living in adjacent beach houses. Their professional troubles lead them to make a bet of sorts, January will write a literary fiction as her next novel and Augustus will write a romantic one for his. This agreement takes them on several adventures togethers, and as you might suspect, a friendship develops.

By the cover, you might think this book is chick lit or a rom-com, and that would be true, there are some steamy scenes. However, the plot much deeper than romance. The personal issues the protagonists are struggling with are very real and somewhat dark. I picked up this book thinking I would get a light read, but I got more than I bargained for and I think it made for a successful story. A reader might be looking for a light, thoughtless read to push through the hot summer days, and there are plenty available. Beach Read is a little heavier, and as a more mature reader I appreciated the mix of light and dark.

The reason for the lacking star is the slow start. It takes awhile for the author to build the story and early on the construction of her sentences made some parts difficult to understand causing me to have to re-read several sentences. I feel like about a third of the way into the book she found her rhythm and the pace picked up for me.

Recommendation: It was a slow start but well worth the finish. A great beach read for my summer quarantine sans the beach.

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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