I recently read Beach Read by Emily Henry and loved it.
The novel follows January Andrews, a writer who writes love stories with happy endings. Inspired by the love she witnessed between her parents as she grew up, she always felt like love would conquer all. Even when her parents went through hard times or her mom was sick, she’d see them holding hands or dancing and know that love was the most powerful thing on earth. Then, her dad passes away and she is confronted with a shocking bombshell that makes her question her whole life and whether true love and happy endings really exist.
Feeling the pressure to write a new book by her publisher, she goes to her dad’s lakeside cottage to clean it out to sell and try to write a new book for the summer. Feeling uninspired is bad enough, but then she finds out her new neighbor is none other than Augustus Everett, her college rival. Where January writes happy love stories, Augustus writes grittier novels that critics call “Great American Novels”. January remembers Augustus or Gus from all their college classes when he would criticize her happy princess stories. Now he is a famous writer too and while they haven’t seen each other since college, in her mind they’re still rivals.
Being neighbors in a small town means they are always crossing paths and finally decide to challenge each other. Gus has to write a love story with a happy ending and January has to write something darker. They go on weekly field trips to help each other out – January takes him on outings worthy of romcoms and Gus takes her to interview real people like former members of a cult.
Over time, these enemies become closer, learn more about each other and truly begin to understand each other, and of course fall in love.
I loved the book and January and Gus! I do have to warn you though – if you go into this thinking it’s going to be a lighthearted beach read as the title suggests, it is not as light as you’d think! I was not expecting to get so emotional reading the novel and for things to be a little less romcom-y and more real and emotional.
The book was fantastic and perfect for my first Emily Henry read!
Read this if you are looking for a summer read and/or an enemies to friends to lovers trope!
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