eARC Review: Beach Read, by Emily Henry

beach read emily henryRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Romance, Contemporary Fiction


I received an advance copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Beach Read tells the story of January, a romance writer who recently moved into her father’s secret house near the beach, where he lived with his lover, which January knew nothing about until That Woman showed up in his funeral with a letter and a key to the house for her. Now January’s life is in shambles, as her long-term boyfriend broke up with her, her father was a cheater and a liar, her mom refuses to talk about it and she can’t write her next book, which she absolutely needs to write. When she meets an old nemesis from University, Augustus Everett, and finds out he’s her new neighbor, it gets initially even worse. Except – he’s not all that terrible. As they cautiously become friends, they place a bet: he will write a romance book, and January will write a sad literary book, the kind that Gus writes.

This was such a nice read – yes there is romance, and cuteness, and steamy scenes, and men that are probably too good to be true, but there is also writer’s block, grief, trauma, suicide cults (really), messy divorces, friendships, family, and learning that even after all the pain and loss, you’re still standing. You’re still alive, there’s still hope. Despite all the positive reviews I’ve read so far preparing me for this, I was not ready for how great this book would be. It has so many layers, so many things going on, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it’s too much, or too rushed at all. With 384 pages, this is a story to spend a few days with, to fall in love with the characters and their stories. I loved the banter between January and Gus, and how soft and sweet they were, how scared to fall in love (which they do, obviously).

Despite all the heavy topics, this didn’t feel like a heavy read at all. It’s not a book that will get you down, but one that makes you feel hope, even if things are really getting messy. I didn’t give it a full 5 stars because the writing style didn’t agree with me – it was a little bit too stilted. Perhaps I read too much literary fiction and I’m used to more flowery sentences. It’s the only reason why I couldn’t get 100% into the book, but it’s a matter of personal taste. If you love stories about writers, and romances that pack lots of character growth into a story, this is a great choice!

21 thoughts on “eARC Review: Beach Read, by Emily Henry

    • Yes! I feel that romances nowadays are far more layered and complex than the ones I read when I was a teen or so… maybe I just read trash back then, but I feel that this is such a trend now to have books discussing topics that aren’t all light and easy, while still being such a pleasant read. I kinda love it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s a pity! I haven’t actually read any negative reviews yet – if you wrote one, I’d love to read it! It’s always so interesting to see someone’s experience with a book when they differ from my own!


  1. Great review! I’m so glad you mostly enjoyed this one, I’ve been looking forward to picking it up! I’ve liked Emily Henry’s writing in the past, so hopefully I will again. I could use some cuteness after the WP longlist!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh what else from her did you like? And yes, my brain in the mood lately for consuming all kinds of “fast” fiction (romance, thrillers) that I’d normally read for fun instead of… whatever reason why we read lit fic???

      Liked by 1 person

      • I liked A Million Junes! It’s not without its flaws but the story is a particular brand of bizarre that I enjoy. It’s definitely in the “fast” fiction category, but it’s been a couple of years since I read it so I’m not sure how strongly to recommend it! Especially since I haven’t read Beach Read yet to compare the writing. It might be a little different since I think Beach Read is Emily Henry’s first adult book; A Million Junes was definitely YA/NA.

        Lol, I feel the same after reading a bunch of lit fic! It may be rewarding in the moment but also SO exhausting!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ohh I didn’t realize A Million Junes was by the same author? It was super hyped for a short while, but I never got around to reading it. I’ll be curious to see what you think of Beach Read, if you pick it up!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaah I am so looking forward to this one now! I’m glad it turned out to be more than just fluffy chick lit—I find those are the kinds of romances I gravitate to more lately. So glad you liked this! (I’m now very curious about the writing style though.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay!! After all our suffering because of the WP I think we deserve some romance thank you very much. Hmm there was nothing WRONG with the writing, it was just very chick lit-ey and I guess my snob ass reads too much lit fic and expects everything to be lit fic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. im so used to reading literary fiction these days that when i read this it was so refreshing! heartfelt, wholesome, and just a really optimistic read. im so glad you enjoyed this too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I felt the same! After so much lit fic it’s nice to change it up and lighten up, too. Your description is so perfect – so many sad things happen in the book but you still leave it feeling optimist and happy, which is so great.

      Liked by 1 person

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