This was such a fun, touching book to read on my summer vacation. I’ve often said that contemporary romance isn’t usually what I choose to read but Beach Read by Emily Henry was just the perfect summer read. Heatwave, lazy days and funny yet thought-provoking book: perfection. ❤
Happy. Not giddy or overjoyed, but that low, steady level of happiness that, in the best periods of life, rides underneath everything else, a buffer between you and the world you are walking over.
I really enjoyed this romcom setting combined with some very thought-provoking themes that resonated with my own experiences from my teenage years.
When I saw that this recently published contemporary romance had two struggling authors as the main characters, I knew I had to read this despite not having planned for it. Yes I love to plan for the Reading Challenges, and yes I try to be more flexible with the plans. 😀
January and Augustus are writers who are struggling to get those words on pages. These old university rivals happen to become neighbours for one summer, and they make a deal where they agree to swap genres and race each other to finishing those books. January will try to write literary fiction without her usual happy endings and Augustus will try to write a happy romance. They will teach each other about writing their genres, and of course they will reveal much more of themselves than they intended. It’s a very sweet, funny story of two people with writer’s blocks and also pasts they can’t seem to fully escape. Things happen and they get closer and well you can guess what almost kinda maybe happens. 🙂 It’s a romance book so a certain type of an ending is to be expected, but how the characters get there makes the book shine.
Obviously I enjoyed the developing relationship of the characters and all the funny moments, but what really impressed me was how much I could recognise some of the very familiar feelings and situations from my own troublesome childhood and how well those were explained through January and Augustus. Made me feel comforted, even though it’s been a very long time since those bad things happened. For example there was this moment where January remembers her parents fighting and learning that long stares out the window were a sign that something had changed in the family dynamics. I literally remember thinking some time before my parents got divorced (I was about 8 years old) that it’s a bad sign when the adults just stare out the window without really watching anything in particular. I learned to be quiet in those moments since I sensed something was wrong somehow. Yeah, kids notice something’s off. When I read that moment on the page of this book, I had to stop and just be amazed of remembering it so vividly and how similarly it was described by someone else. The magic of books: you are not alone with what ever you are or have been experiencing. ❤
Beach Read is so far one of the nicest books I’ve read this year, even though contemporary romance isn’t my usual pick. I laughed a lot, sympathised a lot with the characters and felt happy at the end. What else could I want from a story? If I ever become a writer, I will remember this book and the tricks for writer’s blocks it showed. 😀
Beach Read fills this prompt from the two Reading Challenges I’m doing this year:
A book published in 2021 (both Popsugar and Helmet Reading Challenges have this prompt and I’m cheating a little since the Finnish edition of this book came out this year, original publishing year was in 2020 🙂 )