Beach Read has been on my radar since it released last year, but I just hadn’t gotten around to reading it. This month I finally did while hosting the Swoonalong read in the TBR and Beyond Facebook group. I’m so glad I finally picked this one up! Keep on reading to find out more about this book and what I thought!
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
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.
“I thought – think it’s brave to believe in love. I mean, the lasting kind. To try for that, even knowing it can hurt you.”
When I started reading Beach Read I was expecting a light and fluffy rom-com. That is not the only thing I got. Beach Read really hit me in all the feels and even had me in tears at times. I read this book in just about one sitting and just couldn’t put it down.
Our main character January is going through a lot. There were definitely some family secrets and she’s dealing with the aftermath while also trying to write again. I don’t want to share too much, because this story is just one you need to have revealed to you as you read. I will say that January is an extraordinary character who is so much stronger than she thinks and who would like to see everyone get their happily ever after.
Augustus/Gus wasn’t a character I completely understood in the beginning. He seemed rather distant and maybe a grump at times, but that was only on the surface. Just like January he has his own baggage to deal with and that’s not always easy. Gus never really had someone choose all of him and that can make a happily ever after seem impossible. There’s so much more to him than meets the eye!
“People were complicated. They weren’t math problems; they were collections of feelings and decisions and dumb luck. The world was complicated too, not a beautifully hazy French film, but a disastrous, horrible mess, speckled with brilliance and love and meaning.”
Their story is a long slow-burn romance and I loved every minute of them growing closer. The fact that they wrote notes to each other while reading and held them up was just so cute. January and Gus didn’t expect each other, but I think that’s just what they needed. Besides the romance it was fun to see them challenge each other to write something different. It definitely got them to look at the world in a different way.
Add some amazing side characters and Beach Read was really complete. Pete and Shadi were so much fun and I felt they fit into this story perfectly. All in all, this was so much more than I expected and I can’t wait to read more by this author!
Beach Read is definitely more than just a romance and really hit me in all the feels. I really need to read People We Meet on Vacation really soon. Have you read Beach Read? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.