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Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read

Repeat author
Emily Henry is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include A Million Junes and When the Sky Fell on Splendor and People We Meet on Vacation.
Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Emily Henry

Quick take

Nothing like a "friendly" writing competition to set the scene for some quirky, cute, inter-author love.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Writerlife

    Writer's life

Why I love it

Jasmine Guillory
Author, The Proposal

In this hard and stressful time, I’m all the more appreciative of books that fill me with joy. Right now, I want to read books that make me forget what’s going on in the world, books that take me to another place, books that make me smile, and books that make me believe in the goodness of other people. If you’re also looking for books like this, Beach Read is your exact book for this moment.

January and Augustus are next-door neighbors in beach houses in a tiny vacation town. They’re both writers, and both dealing with writer’s block, so they decide to swap genres—January will teach Gus how to write a fun, swoony rom-com, and Gus will teach her how to write bleak literary fiction. Sounds easy, right?

Beach Read is about two people who are both going through hardship and struggle, who don’t believe in themselves or other people, who are scared and anxious and heartbroken. As they gradually learn to trust one another, they fall in love in such a tender, believable, real way that it’ll make you believe in people and love and happiness and the power of books to heal us. If there’s ever a time to read a book like this, it’s now.

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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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Beach Read.

Member thoughts

All (34856)
All (34856)
Love (24831)
Like (8987)
Dislike (1038)
35059 ratings
  • 71% Love
  • 26% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Warsaw, IN

    ????????????????????????????????????????: I need some more January & Gus in my life ????????????????????: I flew through this. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ????????????????????????: You will see most of the twists coming, but they’re still fun! ⠀⠀

  • Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

    The perfect ‘beach read!’ The competition and conversation between Gus and January keeps the pages turning. Great reminder to focus on the “Happy Now,” rather than pining away for the “Ever After.” ❤️

  • Tinley Park, IL

    An entertaining blend of authors, the stories they write and the journey the writing process takes them on. I couldn’t put it down. As the title suggests, a great beach/summer read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

  • Agawam, MA

    Tear jerker • witty humor • relatable characters • expertly woven plot themes • emotional mixed bag • book about books • truth & its follies • LOL humor • relationship heavy (parent, friend, romance)

  • Raleigh , NC

    I really enjoyed this “Beach Read,” though, sadly, I didn’t get to read it at the beach. Good for the reader, though, it’s a great story that makes you feel like you’re at the beach! Great distraction

  • Mc Kee, KY

    Loved it!! January & Gus’s writing style was opposite. I loved their story & found this to be somewhat of a mystery. I kept thinking, “Will it end sad like Gus’s novels or happy like January’s? 5star

  • Evansville, IN

    What a much needed book..I don't know that I've read romance since I was a teenager but I lived for this book. I even left work early some days to go home and read it. A beautiful story right when I neededit

  • Oakland, NJ

    The banter between January and Gus was funny and quirky so seeing their romance evolve was heartwarming & exciting. Loved the emphasis on being “happy now” and not waiting for a “happily ever after”.

  • Columbus, OH

    Loved this book! By some miracle, characters weren’t at all cliche or annoying. Amazing. Only qualm: Jan consumed nothing but mac’n cheese, donuts & alcohol & somehow had a bangin’ bod. All the feels.

  • Jackson, MI

    10 stars! I have never finished a book in a day until I picked up ‘Beach Read’. The words resinated on every inch of every page. Highly recommend this read if you’re into witty, rom-coms. Loved. LOVED

  • Overland Park, KS

    As a man who reads thrillers (and didn’t even read books for enjoyment for 15 years) I’m almost embarrassed to say how great this book was. It’s a little spicy too. I need to be more romantic for sure

  • Manalapan, NJ

    I just love Emily Henry’s rom-coms. I devoured this book in a day. I’ve collected tons of quotes from this novel that made me think, “that’s how I feel!” It’s perfectly romantic, and such a HEA!

  • Kernersville, NC

    I absolutely loved this book Beach Read!! I became attached to all of the characters and loved how it gave me all the feels! This will be a book that i will read again! Its a must read! ????????????????????

  • tivoli, NY

    I absolutely tore through this book! I loved Gus’ character and January’s story and personal evolution. I loved all the side stories as well, that were a result of their “bet”. Really good story!

  • San Jose, CA

    This isn’t a book I would normally pick. However, because this year has sucked I wanted something fun! So glad I did! Great Rom-com! Like watching a movie! I was actually “awww” -ing at the end! ????

  • Pflugerville , TX

    I laughed out loud and smiled from ear to ear. It’s a fast read with characters you love almost immediately. This is your “escape coronavirus” read. Your feel-good, laugh out loud, heartwarming read.

  • Albuquerque, NM

    This book shocked me with how much I fell in love with it. It’s not a fluffy romance. Yes, it’s steamy, but the author managed to tie in big themes—death, infidelity, mental illness, and forgiveness.

  • Portland , OR

    This book is so much more than you anticipate. For me, it was about people healing from what’s broken them and a glimpse into that journey. Showed that love isn’t perfect but what’s perfect for you.

  • Palm Harbor, FL

    This is a new ‘I will forever recommend this one to all my friends!’ I loved this sweet, funny love story that unfolds differently than I thought it would!! Really enjoyed the character development!

  • Washington , DC

    I wanted to read something light and didn’t think I’d like this all that much, but boy was I wrong! Truly enjoyed the characters and the writing about the writing process. Romance about people&writing

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