After reading and loving PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry earlier this year, I was determined to get to her backlist title BEACH READ before summer was over! Technically this was the book I got for losing my TBR game for #Bookoplathon, but I wasn’t at all mad about it!
Rating: 4 / 5
BEACH READ finds bestselling romance author January Andrews facing writer’s block and personal trauma in the wake of her father’s death. As if the loss wasn’t enough, January learns that her parents were not the ideal perfect couple because her father had an affair. She’s now at the house where he met with the other woman because she has few other options. She’s under pressure to get her next book written, but she’s not feeling very inspired since she’s not sure she even believes in love anymore.
Enter Augustus Everett, a literary fiction author that January knew in her writing program. He was her rival and possibly a bit of her crush and now he’s her grumpy neighbor. As the two keep getting pushed together in this small town, they begin to develop a friendship while maintaining a bit of a friendly rivalry. They make a bet, switching genres for their next book to see who can produce a book first that will be picked up by a publisher.
I had high expectations for this book after reading Emily Henry’s work previously and all the positive reviews of this one in particular. I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. I loved the interactions between January and Gus! They are each dealing with personal struggles and slowly open up to each other to explore their feelings. I loved how they developed a solid relationship as neighbors, fellow authors, and friends, before moving on to exploring the potential for more from their relationship.
This book was full of fun characters and romcom moments, but it handled some difficult topics as well. I thought that January’s struggle with her father’s secrets and her grief were really well developed. This is one that will pull at your heart in different ways throughout.
If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I would highly recommend it!