Thursday, December 24, 2020

Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

by Emily Henry
Release Date: May 19th 2020
2020 Berkley
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-1984806734
Genre: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

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.
My Thoughts
Beach Read was a fun, easy read, but it was simply that.  After reading the description, I thought there would be more, maybe much more of an electric enemy to friendship to lover scenario, but while the friendship developed nicely, I didn't really feel that zing or zap I would have expected.  This is not a genre I read a lot of although I did go through a huge phase as a teenager (I mean, who doesn't?), but I would think there would still be that sexual tension that should exist between two people. I was a little sad about not liking it as much as other people did as the scenario seemed right up my alley; I mean who doesn't love a book about books and authors?
I will admit that I am not really all that into romance stories so maybe I am biased in that regard.  I enjoyed the earlier and the later parts of the the book as they were much more interesting, but I will admit I thought the middle section lagged a little bit.  It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, but you can only read so much about them looking at each other through their windows and writing cute notes to each other before you want to actually read about something happening, or see some dialogue, you know? I did like seeing how they each approached their own writing though as that kind of thing fascinates me as a writer myself. It would have been nice to see exactly what the two characters wrote though, as not a lot of detail was mentioned about their own books.  That was disappointing. 
I do feel like the author didn't really know where she wanted to take this novel in terms of plot though as it seemed like it was all over the place.  Was it supposed to be light and fluffy or dark and serious? Hard to say as both themes kind of ran contradictory to themselves.  You've got the two main characters sharing banter and spending time together writing their novels, but then you have January discovering this dark secret about her dad and Gus doing research on another dark and disturbing topic. There is nothing wrong with having all of these themes running through a romance novel, the problem lies when the author doesn't know what to do with those themes, and this is exactly what happened here.  All of a sudden, everything starts resolving itself, with little explanation, writer's blocks are fixed, books are finished within the time lines, and are sold with little problem. Whoa, wait! What happened?  Maybe that's why I don't read a lot of romance?
I also really liked January as a character (second book this year with a main character named January, love it!!!) as she was funny, witty, and vulnerable.  Gus though, was a bit pretentious and annoying, a bit too stereotypical a man for my liking.  He doesn't believe in romance or romance novels and thinks those types of novels are not great writing.  

Beach Read is definitely the book for you if you want something that is light and summery.  January was far more appealing a character than Gus who was aloof and then took chivalry to annoying levels towards the end. I do feel like the author had too many threads going in this story and didn't quite know what to do with all of them so the story felt disjointed and definitely rushed towards the end.  I do feel like this book was over-hyped in its marketing, but I'll leave you to judge for yourself. 




Post a Comment