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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 People We Meet on Vacation and When the Sky Fell on Splendor.

Early Release

This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Emily Henry

Excellent choice

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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


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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Free sample

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


The House

I have a fatal flaw.

I like to think we all do. Or at least that makes it easier for me when I’m writing—building my heroines and heroes up around this one self-sabotaging trait, hinging everything that happens to them on a specific characteristic: the thing they learned to do to protect themselves and can’t let go of, even when it stops serving them.

Maybe, for example, you didn’t have much control over your life as a kid. So, to avoid disappointment, you learned never to ask yourself what you truly wanted. And it worked for a long time. Only now, upon realizing you didn’t get what you didn’t know you wanted, you’re barreling down the highway in a midlife-crisis- mobile with a suitcase full of cash and a man named Stan in your trunk.

Maybe your fatal flaw is that you don’t use turn signals.

Or maybe, like me, you’re a hopeless romantic. You just can’t stop telling yourself the story. The one about your own life, complete with melodramatic soundtrack and golden light lancing through car windows.

It started when I was twelve. My parents sat me down to tell me the news. Mom had gotten her first diagnosis—suspicious cells in her left breast—and she told me not to worry so many times I suspected I’d be grounded if she caught me at it. My mom was a do-er, a laugher, an optimist, not a worrier, but I could tell she was terrified, and so I was too, frozen on the couch, unsure how to say anything without making things worse.

But then my bookish homebody of a father did something un- expected. He stood and grabbed our hands—one of Mom’s, one of mine—and said, You know what we need to get these bad feelings out? We need to dance!

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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (54,463)

  • Sarah H.

    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! ⠀⠀

  • Della R.

    Wellpinit , WA

    I lost my Dad after having this book on my shelf, I put off reading it. Picking it up now I had moments of sadness but that just shows you how well the author is at pulling a reader in. ♥️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Kristin M.

    Crawfordsville, IN

    Im not usually into romance but I loved this book! I loved People We Meet on Vaction too, but this one was so much better. It evokes so much emotion & you can feel what the characters feel! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Tera S.

    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.” ❤️

  • Julianne O.

    Mokena, 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! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

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