A Literary Love Affair: A Review of Beach Read by Emily Henry

by Liz Keating '24 on May 29, 2023
A&E Staff

Arts & Entertainment

As the weather warms up and the days turn longer, there is no better time to pick up a nice book. If you are looking for a heartwarming contemporary romance to enjoy at the beach, look no further. True to its name, Beach Read by Emily Henry is a novel that perfectly captures the essence of summer with its poignant exploration of love, loss, and the power of storytelling. 

The novel tells the story of January Andrews, a romance writer who is struggling to come to terms with her father’s death and her own failing career. When January moves into her late father’s beach house, she discovers that her next-door neighbor is none other than her former college rival, literary fiction writer Augustus “Gus” Everett. As January and Gus begin to spend time together, they make a bet to switch genres and write a book in each other’s style. In the process, they begin to open up to each other about their pasts and form a deep connection. However, their budding romance is complicated by their past history and the secrets they both carry. 

One of the strengths of the novel is the examination of one’s creative process and the power of storytelling. January and Gus are both writers, but they approach their craft in very different ways. January is a romance writer who believes in happy endings, while Gus is a literary fiction writer who favors a more pessimistic view of the world. Through their collaboration on the book project, they learn to appreciate each other’s styles and gain a new understanding of the power of storytelling to connect and heal. 

The relationship between January and Gus is a highlight of the novel. While they start off as rivals, their initial animosity slowly gives way to a deep connection and mutual respect. They challenge each other intellectually and emotionally, and their conversations are some of the most memorable moments in the book. Their romance is complicated by their past history and the secrets they both carry, but ultimately, they find a way to overcome their differences and find happiness together. 

In terms of pacing, the novel strikes a perfect balance between introspection and action. While there are plenty of quiet moments when the characters reflect on their lives and relationships, there are also enough plot twists and surprises to keep the reader engaged and invested in the story. 

Overall, Beach Read is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page. It is a celebration of love, loss, and the power of storytelling. It’s a perfect book to read on the beach, but it’s also a book that can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story and a great romance.