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A Mandatory Summer Read

*This is a book review of Beach Read by Emily Henry.

Quick Facts

Author: Emily Henry
Release Date: May 18, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Main Characters: January Andrews & Augustus Everett
Number of Pages: 386
SJ Rating: 92%

The Synopsis

After a year of nothing but built up anger and sorrow, January Andrews decided to face a truth that’s been haunting her by going to North Beach Shores. Upon her arrival, she meets her very familiar neighbor August Everett. With one thing in common—being published authors—the two decide to place a bet and write in the other’s genre. As they spend the summer completing their works, sparks fly and healing begins.

The Good

First and foremost, I completely understand the hype; Emily Henry deserves all of it. I have a ton of praise for this book, and I hope it all makes sense.

Emily Henry starts each chapter with “The…”, and I appreciate the consistency it provides throughout the book. Also, the font for the titles felt beachy and matched the setting of the book very well.

There is a perfect amount of detail at the right times. January quoted A Walk to Remember and my heart leapt with joy; I’m sure I’ve said this before, but that movie is in my top five of fave all-time movies. Another reference that made me squeal is the use of “factoid” on page 137, and I was instantly taken back to ANT Farm, a Disney Channel classic.

Like a true romcom, there was actually comedy. The comedic timing is so spot on and low key reminds me of myself (when I’m accidentally blunt & sarcastic; In the beginning, it felt like I was witnessing a different version of my own chaotic life.). Like, January talking about Shadi screaming whenever she turned left while driving or January redacting the most embarrassing albums and concerts she’s experienced “for the sake of dignity.” It’s been a minute since a book’s made me laugh in public.

The steam of the first kiss!! My heart couldn’t take it! January and Gus’ moments of passion left me wanting and flustered, to say the least. Their love absolutely melts my heart.

Another relationship I found beautiful is January and Shadi’s. Their relationship is a beautiful example of a healthy adult friendship. They lived their lives in separate states but showed up for each other when necessary. There is no drama or arguing, just pure honesty. It’s the best example of an adult friendship in a book, especially between people in their late 20s, which I personally needed to see.

Random: January Andrews driving a Kia Soul at twenty-nine while being single gave me hope that I’ll find someone.

The Bad

Though I have a lot of praise for this book, I am going to be annoyingly picky.

I would have preferred a different font during the text message moments. The chosen font is almost too similar to the font the rest of the book is written in and was a little trippy for my half-blind eyes.

In chapter nine, it felt like there was a lot of contradiction to previous chapters. January doesn’t have a lot of money but consistently buys ubers and drinks a lot of alcohol. She isn’t a big coffee drinker but buys coffee in a cafe not long before making it at home. She says she doesn’t have the courage to go upstairs but talks about conquering the second upstairs bedroom…how does she know there’s a second one?

The Overall

This is a book that made me prefer reading over watching television or scrolling on my phone before bed, which isn’t something a fictional book has made me want to do in a while.

Beach Read felt like a young adult book. It didn’t take place in high school, but it also didn’t take place with people in their 40s. This book felt like it was made for almost-24 year-olds like me, which made it the best young adult romance book I’ve read in the past few years (FROM FUTURE JAMILAH: It gets better! ;))

It’s rare for me to want to keep a book after the initial read, but this book is certainly staying with me. TikTok was not wrong about this one. You must read it.

Next book to be read and reviewed: Uphill by Jemele Hill

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