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!