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Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Title: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Year Published: 2020

Category: Adult fiction (romance)
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map)USA (MI)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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.

Review: I am in the midst of reading 14 YA novels as a judge for the CYBILS awards and I needed a break from speculative fiction so thought I'd throw in a few days of reading an adult romance. What a great decision! I flew through this book, staying in bed on this holiday Monday morning for an extra two hours to finish it.

What I love about these books is that you know the man characters will end up together so the whole novel is a slow build with stops and starts. I love it. I also really liked the storyline of the books Gus and January were writing; we got to follow their process as writers as well as the process of their relationship. 

January's texts with her best friend were a good way to get her story out there without a third wheel in the picture and Gus' aunt was a fun addition (it's always good to have a book shop owner as a character). At first I didn't think I would care about January's parents' story and their relationship with her, but by the end I was fully invested and emotional about it all.

This was the perfect pandemic/break from YA speculative fiction!

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Alphabet Soup--"H"
  • Literary Escapes--Michigan

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