All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Beach Read (Audiobook) by Emily Henry

on October 23, 2020

Beach Read
Emily Henry
Narrated by Julia Whelan
Penguin Audio
2020, 10hrs 13m
Purchased via

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

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.

loved this.

I had some audible credits and I had an email that one was going to expire so I went and had a bit of a browse. My original intention was to purchase a non-fiction title or two for a challenge I’m participating in but I ended up choosing three romance/women’s fiction type of reads. I’d heard excellent things about this and I’ve actually had it requested through my local library for months but because of covid no one is actually returning library books so I’m not making any progress in the queue. So I decided to grab it because I just felt like listening to something sweet and funny and this would hopefully fit the bill. Normally I have mixed results with audiobooks – I zone out a bit, get frustrated because I can read them myself in a fraction of the time and normally I have my best results listening to books I’ve already read and loved. But this? I couldn’t get enough of it. I listened to it in a day and a half and the narration was excellent.

January Andrews is a romance author currently experiencing writer’s block. A year ago her father died and at his funeral, she discovered something about him that blew her whole relationship with him apart. He also left her a cabin she never new existed and so she’s spending the summer there because she’s behind on her deadline, her relationship ended and she’s broke. She needs to finish and sell a book. And while she’s there she’ll clean up the cabin and sell that too. Once she’s there she discovers that her next door neighbour is Augustus Everett, literary fiction writer and January’s former college nemesis. They could not be more different – January adores romance and happy ever after and Augustus writes about the bleak misery and impotence of life. However they’re both struggling at the moment and so a swap is proposed: Gus will write a happy ever after and January will turn her hand to a more literary type of novel. They’ll also take each other along on research trips for their respective genres.

This was just….so fun. I loved the banter between Gus and January, who both write very different types of novels. January has always felt that Gus looked down on her sort of writing, like he wasn’t respectful of it and she’s very quick to bristle when she feels he may be mocking her. Her takedown of literary fiction and the sort of books Gus writes was amazing and “coldly horny” is now my new favourite description. They have a great chemistry but it wasn’t just about the challenge for them to write each other’s type of novel. Both of them also have a lot going on in their personal lives (and have always had a lot going on in their personal lives) so this book also does get quite deep and dark when it dives into each of their issues and their opening up to each other about secrets and painful emotions and in Gus’ case, learning to trust. The latter part of this book in particular dug quite deep into a lot of emotional issues, grief and fear and rejection and pain. January is grieving her father – not just him being gone but also grieving the idea of the loss of the man she thought she knew. What she found out about him has made her question everything and it’s causing her a huge amount of hurt. She’s putting off things as well, such as reading the letter from him that she was given after his death. The bet with Gus gives her a way to “write through her pain”, changing the situation but working into a book, as it wouldn’t really fit with a book she would normally write. I think it’s quite therapeutic for her.

This was 100% my type of book. It was exactly the sort of read I was looking for and the narration was just so good as well. I also just saw a post about Emily Henry’s next book which is coming out in January I think – and it also sounds exactly like my type of read. I cannot wait for it!


Book #207 of 2020


2 responses to “Review: Beach Read (Audiobook) by Emily Henry

  1. I’m so glad to read this review. I have this one but just haven’t read it yet. Might be ideal after all of those dystopians I’ve been reading of late!

  2. […] 3 audiobooks from audible when I had a credit or 2 about to expire. I picked up Beach Read (which I loved), The Tourist Attraction (which I did not) and this book, first in a trilogy about three sisters. […]

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