Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Thoughts: Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, boy and girl start talking, boy and girl fall in love. A tale as old as time. You know exactly what’s going to happen at the end the entire time but it’s so fun to watch it all come together. These characters are masterfully written in a way that it feels as though you’re on the sidelines cheering for them to get together. By practically the second chapter you want to scream “YOU BOTH LIKE EACH OTHER! PLEASE ADMIT IT!” While the book focuses on the two main characters, January and Gus, the cast of side characters are altogether witty, quirky, and lovable too. This is first and foremost a love story, but it’s as realistic as two writers ending up living next door to each other in a quaint beach town can be, which makes it all the more wonderful and real—there’s complicated relationships with parents, messy past relationships that never quite seem to be resolved, and self-doubt and second-guessing about decisions big and small. This book made me laugh, it made me cry (literally any mention of love or happily-ever-afters will make me do this, though), and it made me believe that even in a world that is so often cruel and scary and overwhelming and messy, love and joy still exist, and we all still deserve those things. What more could you ask for, really?
“And that was the moment I realized: when the world felt dark and scary, love could whisk you off to go dancing; laughter could take some of the pain away; beauty could punch holes in your fear. I decided then that my life would be full of all three.” (p. 3)
“‘Her laugh,’ she said finally. ‘She snorted when she laughed.’ The corner of my mouth inched up but a new heaviness settled across my chest. ‘I love when people do that,’ I admitted. ‘My best friend does it. I always feel like she’s drowning in life. In a good way. Like it’s rushing up her nose, you know?” (p. 103)
“‘I thought—think it’s brave to believe in love. I mean, the lasting kind. To try for that, even knowing it can hurt you.'” (p. 197)
“I felt a little empty, a little light. Happy. Not giddy or overjoyed, but that low, steady level of happiness that, in the best periods of life, rides underneath everything else, a buffer between you and the world you are walking over.” (p. 226)
“Shadi was always the very best, but Shadi in love—there was nothing like it. Somehow, she became even more herself. Even wilder, funnier, sillier, wiser, softer. Love lit my best friend up from within, and even if every one of her heartbreaks was utterly devastating, she still never closed herself off. Every time she fell in love again, her joy seemed to overflow, into me and the world at large.” (p. 229)
“The world was complicated too, not a beautifully hazy French film, but a disastrous, horrible mess, speckled with brilliance and love and meaning.” (p. 321)
Beach Read was (one of) the books I chose for my April Book of the Month box, and releases on May 19th!
Click here to get your first Book of the Month box for just $5!
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