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  • Writer's pictureThe Literary Vault

Beach Read - Emily Henry

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Speaking of beach reads, “Beach Read” by Emily Henry is an absolute pleasure to read. I got this book in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Canada back in the summer of 2022 and finished the book in the half-day car ride. It is an adorable and poignant book that captivates you from the beginning.

The story is about January, a best-selling author of romance novels (ironic isn’t it) who has been struggling with writer’s block and a recent breakup. She goes to a small beach town where she finds herself living next door to her college rival, Gus. They both realize that they are both in the middle of a writing block alongside a lack of inspiration. To fix this problem, they both decide to make a bet to try writing each other’s genre and see who can finish their book first. They both go to various places to pique their curiosity, and as they spend more time, they start developing something more serious.


Beach Read


Emily Henry


Penguin Publishing Group


Romance, Rom-Com, Contemporary Romance



What makes the book so difficult to put down is how January and Gus’s chemistry is so palpable and their clever conversations. They go through ups and downs, finding reasons for their animosity toward each other, as well as the growing tension and attraction. The setting of the beach town is illustrated as serene and idyllic, and the depiction is beautifully composed. January’s eccentric dad and Gus’s sweet dog add tons of humor to the story as well.

“People were complicated. They weren't math problems; they were collections of feelings and decisions and dumb luck.” ~ Emily Henry, Beach Read

I and many other readers criticize this book for its slow pace and lack of action and plot twists. Without these, the book feels dull and uneventful. I also feel as though yet again, the plotline is very predictable and clichéd, mainly because of the enemies-to-lovers trope. Lastly, I found the characters to be somewhat one-dimensional and lacking in depth, making it hard to fully connect with them.







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Finally, “Beach Read” is a savvy, funny, and swoony novel. It’s a perfect read for someone looking for a laughable and heartwarming story about second chances.


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