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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Pillai

i read beach read by emily henry


Oh my goodness, this was so good. I went into this book not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, mainly because I had already read People We Meet on Vacation, two months ago, and had been incredibly underwhelmed. I had also read some reviews that mentioned that this book was incredibly heavy, what with its depictions of grief and whatnot, thus not making it a romcom. Whilst I don’t think this book is light, by any means, I also think that People We Meet on Vacation, was much heavier.


This book follows January, a romance writer, who, for the past fifteen months, has been suffering from a spout of writer's block. January is someone who used to heavily believe in happily-ever-afters, however after finding out that her father had a mistress, at his funeral, she is struggling to deal with her grief. The book starts with her moving to his old lake house, that he shared with his mistress. When January arrives, she finds out that her new next-door neighbor is none other than her college rival, Augustus Everett. 


Gus and January could not be more different––whereas she writes happily-ever-afters, and romance novels, he writes literary fiction, with not-so-happy endings. Due to January's writer's block, the two decide to strike up a deal and write the other's respective genre.


I cannot fathom, how people could find this book boring or slow. In my opinion, the pacing was perfect––there was not a moment where I found this book boring or hard to get through. I thought the way that Emily Henry handled January’s grief of her fathers death, and the way she came to terms with who he was as a person, was so real, and poignant, and just lovely to read about. Both January, and Gus were just such gripping and real characters, and I was really rooting for them as a couple.


This book can definitely be considered a slow-burn to some people, but in my opinion it was just an example of excellent character and relationship building. Each scene had a purpose––there wasn’t any filler chapters, or scenes that were just unnecessary. I think Emily Henry did an excellent job at developing the relationship between January and Gus.


I will say, I did not love the final conflict and the OW drama, for a few reasons. Due to this novel being told from the sole perspective of January, we don’t really get to see Gus’s thoughts, and when the OW is introduced, it is seemingly wrapped up off the page. I didn’t love this, because it almost made the final conflict seem unnecessary. That being said, in terms of final conflict, I liked how it wasn’t too drama-filled.


All in all, I thought that this book was just absolute perfection, and I highly recommend that everyone reads it.


Rating ➳ 5/5 stars

(tw: death/grief, mentions of abuse)

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