Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 13 minutes
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Read Start Date: May 15, 2022
Read Finish Date: May 19, 2022
Brief Summary of the Plot from Goodreads: 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.anted. Unable to trust the police, he begins to suspect a cover-up. It’s only when he meets a young Inuit woman, Tupaarnaq, convicted of killing her parents and two small sisters, that Matt starts to realise how deep this story goes—and how much danger he is in.
My Review: This book was a fun and easy read. I listened to the audiobook version mostly while doing chores around the apartment, which made such mundane tasks seem almost delightful.
January Andrews (was it just me or was anyone else reminded of the poem from It by Stephen King “January embers, my heart burns there too”?) is a romance writer with writers block. In her personal life, she is dealing with the death of her father (who she finds out was cheating on her mom) and the break up of a long term relationship. These two failed relationships have her questioning whether romance exists in the world.
Enter Gus Elliot, her rival / arch nemesis / secret crush from college. He is also a writer, but his books are much darker.
They enter into a bet, where each has to write a book in the others’ normal genre. Each weekend they go on outings to learn about the others’ genre for research. E.g., January takes him out on “romantic” outings. And, duh, they fall in love. Who could have seen that coming??
Despite the obvious ending, the journey was fun. The only thing I didn’t like, however, was the bit about the father. It just got really sappy toward the end and made me want to barf. January finally reads the letters her father left for her (at the beginning of the book we find out he died suddenly) and we the readers have to endure the barftastic sap that are the contents of these letters.
Plus, did anyone else feel NOT sympathetic to the mistress or the father like, at all?? I felt that they were VERY selfish!
Mistress: Oh January, you must let me tell you / listen to the explanation of why your father and I were together. I feel so bad and you have to make me feel better.
Father: Please understand why I cheated and forgive me.
But anyway, despite this little part of the book coming mostly at the end, this was a delightful read that I think readers of the genre will like.