Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Pages: 284
Publisher: Berkley
Published date: 19 May 2020
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

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. (Source: Goodreads)

This book is about two college rivals—January & Augustus—always competing each other for the best writer's spot. Their genre as established authors are completely opposite. January wrote romance and Gus wrote literary fiction. But one day, when they were both on writer's block, and January's publisher kept urging her to turn in a new manuscript she had not written yet, they decided to swap genres.

Beach Read was one of the most hyped books this year. I was excited to read this. I wanted to love this book. I think the first half is really amazing. The concept is new, the book research is cute, the writing progress is moving and their 'dates' are adorable. Overall, I just love reading about authors. I love reading about Gus and January enjoying each other's company even before their brain could process it. 

However, the second half was a bit disappointing. The romance feels forced and mediocre. I couldn't see the chemistry between Gus and January. I don't think someone like Gus should be with someone like January. Gus is depressed. He always pushed people away whenever somebody got closed. Someone like Gus needs constant reassurance that people are there for them. They won't say exactly what's on their mind because they're embarrassed to be turned down. 

But January is the kind of person who wants people to read her mind without her spelling it out. Yet Gus never asked anything to her. I think the communication between January and Gus is poor. When they fight, they never discussed the matter at hands properly. They just screamed at each other. The problems were never solved. And they always assume what the other wants instead of asking. I'm tired of that kind of relationship. Reading about the back and forth argument is frustrating. 

For the characters' personality, I couldn't click with January or Gus. I think they're both okay, but don't feel any connection.

If you judge a book by its cover, then you're probably thinking this is gonna be all cute and fluffy. But there's a reason why there is a saying to not judge a book by its cover. Because this book was not all fun and games, it dealt about suicide cult. And I think Gus always insinuates his liking to suicide. So, make sure you are aware of that.

I'd say if you're in a reading slump, grab this one because it's a fast read. Even though the second half is a downhill, don't give up on this book! It's just my personal review, a lot of people do love this one.

Rate: ★★★☆☆

(If you're interested to buy the book, you can get it from Kinokuniya or Book Depository by clicking on the link above. I will not get any commission from it, but I just want to share)


  1. Sis, I really like how you love to read and talented in writing as well.

    1. aww thank you! 😭 nobody ever said that to me. so, thank you so much you made me so happy 😭😭

  2. omg, so this book is kinda a bit disturbing is it ? huaaaa

  3. sometimes buku fast read ni memang kena ada, sebab nak hiburan singkat hehe

  4. I alwayss give up halfway while reading a novel haha... :)

    1. ahaha xD if you dont like the book, there's nothing wrong with giving up! listen to your heart ;)

  5. wow its about rival . omg january sucks i hate it when people always thought i can read their minds too without them put in a sentence , pity with depressed gus

    1. trueee. january is supposed to be AN ADULT but hm