PLOT: 4.5/5
STEAM: 3.5/5

“He fit so perfectly in the love story I’d imagined for myself that I mistook him for the love of my life.”

–       Emily Henry, Beach Read

This book has been in my TBR (to be read) pile for almost two years, especially after having seen so many good reviews all over bookstagram,

I knew I had to read it but it was never the right time. So, for my birthday month in June, I decided to read romance, my favourite genre, and my most anticipated books. Needless to say, Beach Read was at the top of my list.

The plot as it goes

January Andrews is a romance writer who is broke and on a deadline. In the middle of writer’s block, she decides to come to a beach home that has been left to her without past knowledge about the same. So, to save some rent money she comes to this house hoping to write something to give to her agent.

Augustus Everett is a successful literary fiction author who went to the same college as January and who also now happens to be January’s next-door neighbour at the beach house.

They both are dealing with writer’s block and are fighting their own internal demons when they find themselves with a writing bet! A swap of genres with each other to see who gets published first. As fate would have it, this might just be what they both need.

But what happens when they both share their troubled pasts?

As they keep spending time together under the pretext of research for their new genre, there is a newfound love and respect for their art.

But will they be able to pull off the bet?

Who will get to the book first?

Can their past attractions be rekindled?

My thoughts

January & Gus both write opposite genres and they both have opposing views, so they kind of give an ‘enemies to lovers’ vibe with some cute note/message exchanges between them, while they each write their own story.

The whole going out of their comfort zone and writing/doing something different is so well done, and each in return helping the other with various research activities is adorably cute.

I love Emily’s writing style. The focus is on the characters and their relationships and communications with each other which makes it entertaining to read.

January’s character was so well etched but I didn’t enjoy Gus’s character as much. He is supposed to be the grumpy kind, who communicates only on a need-to-know basis which is frustrating in many instances. The romance too, I found a bit lacking.

Do not be fooled by the title as there is not much chilling out, and easy-breezy acts in this one. The comic vibe is also a tad underdone. There are some serious underlying issues like grief, childhood trauma, and discussions about cults in the context to research for a book.

In all, this is one book that you shouldn’t miss out on, especially if you love reading contemporary romantic fiction.

My favourite part undoubtedly has to be the acknowledgments that they both give in their respective books.

One of which was “For January, I don’t care how the story ends as long as I spend it with you.”

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Beach Read using the link below.

This review is contributed by Dr. Nitisha Shah. Nitisha is a 37yr consulting homeopathic physician based in Mumbai. She started reading when she was 7, after getting hooked on the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. Romance is and will always be her favourite genre. She also likes to read thrillers, mysteries, and children’s fiction. You can connect with her on her Instagram page @our_readingjourney, which she started in January 2021 to talk about her and her 7yr old daughter’s reading journey.