Posted in Reviews

Book Review: Beach Read (Non-Spoiler)

The book cover and the title was misleading. The story was underwhelming.


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.



The book cover screams the color of summer and the title gave us the idea of a cute and fluffy story set on a beach. However, I was disappointed. While reading the book, I was bored most of the time. The plot is so slow and the writing didn’t work for me. I was on the verge to DNF the book, especially on the first parts. It felt as if I was dragging myself into the abyss of reading slump.

“I always like that thought, the way two people really did seem to grow into one. Or at least two overlapping parts, trees with tangled roots.”
― Emily Henry, Beach Read

As for the plot, this was where I suffered the most. I opened this book with full expectation that my heart will jump in happiness but it did not. The themes were heavy as it tackled loss of someone, neglect, divorce, and cancer, which was far from what the book cover and the title looked like. One thing I appreciate in this book though is how it delved in the topic of writing and being published. Both characters, January and Augustus, were authors. The entire story centered on the process of writing their individual books. January usually wrote books that with happy endings, while Augustus was completely the opposite, until they had a bet. That is all.


I have to admit, the writing was one of the reasons why I wanted to DNF this book. It wasn’t for me. The first few chapters felt forever. I think I read ten chapter in three slow days (I finished reading in 7 days. Unusual, considering I was in the mood to read). The book setting was not vivid for me, AT ALL. I almost forgot that the book was set in a beach if not because of the occasional mention of docks or the sound of the waves. There was not much scenes where the characters would go to the beach either, even though it was literally only few walks away from their houses.

“I always like that thought, the way two people really did seem to grow into one. Or at least two overlapping parts, trees with tangled roots.”
― Emily Henry, Beach Read


I gave this book 2 stars. I read this book as part of our book club’s readathon over at Bibliophile Guild PH. There were readers that liked this novel and I’m happy that they did. I’ll try other adult romance novels to see if it’s the genre that didn’t work out for me, but I don’t think it’s any time soon.


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About The Author


Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies.
Twitter: @EmilyHenryWrite
Instagram: @EmilyHenryWrites


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