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Beach Read Paperback – May 19, 2020
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“Reader, I swooned! Beach Read is a breath of fresh air. My heart ached for January, and Gus is to die for - a steamy, smart and perceptive romance. I was engrossed!”—Josie Silver, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December
“This is a touching and heartfelt book about love, betrayal, grief, failure, and learning how to love again. I adored going along on Gus and January’s journey, and I closed this book with a satisfied sigh.”—Jasmine Guillory, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Proposal
"Beach Read is original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling. Has trying to see the world through your long time crush/rival’s eyes ever been this potent and poignant? If whipcrack banter and foggy sexual tension is your catnip, you’ll adore this book."—Sally Thorne, USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine
"Beach Read is exactly the witty, charming, and swoony novel we always want; it also happens to be the unexpected wallop of emotional wisdom and sly social commentary we need right now. I adored it." —Julia Whelan, author of My Oxford Year
"Beach Read by Emily Henry has everything the title promises--a romping plot, family secrets, and the thrill of falling in love, all set on the sweeping shores of eastern Lake Michigan. I cannot wait to read what Henry writes next.” —Amy E. Reichert, author The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
“Delightfully romantic and slyly poignant, Beach Read is brimming with crackling banter and engrossing prose. It has every flavor of booklover catnip: rivalry, creative struggle, family secrets, and the sweet head-over-heels tumble into love. Emily Henry's Beach Read is 2020's perfect anywhere read.”—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners
“If you liked Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game and Linda Holmes’s Evvie Drake Starts Over, you will definitely be into this, which feels like their spawn. (No one asked me to say this, by the way. I’m just high on that happy-sad feeling of finishing a book I enjoyed, that I wish wasn’t over.) Well played.”—Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, best-selling authors of The Royal We
"Readers are sure to fall hard for this meta, heartfelt take on the romance genre."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love."—Kirkus Reviews
“This will still sweep readers off their feet. January’s first-person narration is suitably poetic and effervescent, the small-town beach setting is charming, and the romance is achingly swoony.”—Booklist
"That Henry can manage to both pack a fierce emotional wallop and spear literary posturing in one go is a testament to her immense skill."—Entertainment Weekly
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-- The writing process thread was interesting but frankly I quickly lost interest in the whole cult thing and as for the clown story: yikes! Definitely not my thing at all.
-- The grief thread was also something I should have been able to empathize with but the heroine was a spoilt brat and was creepily obsessed with her father's infidelity: so much so that she acted like SHE was the wife.
-- The romance thread got lost in the other two but showed signs of promise. There was definitely good chemistry between H/h and it was the promise of this thread that kept me reading.
The writing was good but there was lots of repetition (so many references to crooked almost smiles and to the heroines hips) and a good editor should have caught that.
In all, this book was a bit of a mess and I recommend giving it a miss. That said, I will look for Ms Henry's next book cause this one showed promise -- hence 2 stars.
I won’t go into plot details, but there are a few things I’d like to point out. One, the story’s small cast of secondary characters is fleshed out enough to make them expansive additions to the story rather than just filler. Two, the “other woman” in the story delivers an interesting surprise element in the story line. Three, the author writes a good enough story making it easy for the reader to hang in there as the relationship “percolates” between January and Gus. It would have been so easy to make a quick trip to the bedroom early on as the attraction was certainly there but the author waited, knowing that the ultimate union would have much more impact. I thank her for that.
So, why the half star deduction? The romance novel tropes began to fly fast and furious in the last 50 pages or so and I found them distracting. However, that is a fairly minor complaint from a reader who normally can’t finish a contemporary romance without gagging.
Bottom line: this is a wonderful Beach Read.
Now she left with nothing but an old house on the lake and a rapidly approaching deadline to deliver her next book, she packs up her entire life and heads to wilds of Michigan. She mistakenly thought she was buying herself time to come to terms with who her father truly was. The very last thing she needs is to discover that she’s now living right next door to her infuriatingly handsome college nemesis.
January remembered Augustus Everett as Gus or Sexy, Evil Gus depending on her mood. Even back then, his writing was lauded by staff and students alike. Their artistic clash fueled both her imagination and her passion. Until the night when she almost (but not quite) surrendered to his charms. Saved from diving headlong into a sea of humiliation by her best friend, she could never forget the chemistry that sizzled between them.
When their old rivalry sparks a bet that will have both stepping out of their comfort zones, the result will either culminate in the salvation of her writing career or the breaking of her heart. And the odds aren’t in her favor.
Beach Read isn’t the light summer romance that it appears to be at first glance. It’s a story that’s far deeper and more profound. With characters that light up the page, Emily Henry fashions each one with a rare combination of sharp wit and vulnerability. They made me laugh out loud, fight back tears and revealed a strength that was inspiring beyond words.
With everything from purse-wine to farting Labradors and one of the best arguments against the term “Women’s Fiction” that I’ve ever encountered - Beach Read is that special kind of perfection that the world could use a lot more of.