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Beach Read

Written by: Emily Henry
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The instant New York Times best seller! 

"Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling...." (Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game)

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes best-selling 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.

©2020 Emily Henry (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"[Narrator Julia] Whelan perfectly captures January's defensiveness, which soon gives way to laughter and yearning. She portrays Gus in a deep, gruff voice suited to his brooding personality. When the authors make a bet to write and sell a book in the other's genre, both break through writer's block and give in to an intense attraction that sparkles on audio." (AudioFile Magazine)

"Reader, I swooned! Beach Read is a breath of fresh air. My heart ached for January, and Gus is to die for - a steamy, smart and perceptive romance. I was engrossed!" (Josie Silver, number one New York Times best-selling author of One Day in December)

 "Once I started Beach Read I legit did not put it down." (Betches

One of...

Oprah Magazine's most anticipated romance novels of 2020
Betches' 20 Books to read in 2020
Shereads' Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020  

What listeners say about Beach Read

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What a surprise !

I wasn’t expecting too much based on the title but what a laugh out loud, fun , life lessons story . Worth the credit for sure!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

Such an enjoyable read! Perfect for reading in the sun. Loved the characters and felt drawn into the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect mix of 'romance' and 'real life'

I loved this book! I am a devourer of literary fiction with a secret penchant for 'contemporary women's fiction', which helps me to take a break break from the heavy topics I write about for my work. What I loved about this book was that, while refusing to fit neatly into any genre, it showcased the best of these two very different literary styles, and how they can each show us different facets of the same complex character . The characters were real, their struggles relatable and their love story poignant. Plus, I laughed out loud multiple times. Highly recommend.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MC
  • 2020-07-13

Book marketing is misleading

I expected this book to be lighter based on the description, cover, name, etc. The beginning is what I expected, but then the book took a turn and became a more serious exploration of the relationship (and cults - what?) which was anything but light. Honestly, the two main characters and their dramas wore me down. Quality writing but not what I expected based on marketing. I lost interest in the story and did not listen to the last 2 hours.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S.R.V.
  • 2020-05-22

Phenomenal Storytelling... with a caveat

The story was beautiful, heart wrenching, and fully identifiable. It was funny, sharp, and poignant. Narration, well done. The only reason I gave the “overall” category 4 stars was due to the sex scenes I wish would have been fade-to-black/closed-door. I assumed the earlier “interruptions” to passionate moments meant the story WOULD fade out when sex was nigh, and when it didn’t—well... just not my thing. That being said... the first sex scene—the only one I listened to entirely—while too graphic for my personal reading/listening preferences was... (relatively) tasteful-ish. *cringe* In my opinion, the on-scene sex scenes were... unnecessary—at least in the breadth and scope in which they were written. This author is amazing, and I have no doubt she could have portrayed the same tender passion without that vivid content. In my opinion (take it or leave it, because everyone has their own threshold) the admittedly excellent story would have been, if not STRONGER, of equal strength and beauty without that level of descriptive physical intimacy on the page. I was grateful for the 30 second jump-ahead feature when the subsequent rounds began, and used it. But dang... I had to push that button a lot to get to the other side! Please note: This is a phenomenally well-told story, with fully realized characters that made me laugh and made me ache. I *will* likely read or listen to it again, skimming over or skipping through the things I do not wish to read/hear... now that I know where they are. I hate having to selectively withhold my recommendation of such an otherwise brilliant book like this, or having to mention a content warning to certain people/audiences who would otherwise love the story but for the scope of the portrayal of physical intimacy. But... I will. Reading preferences are subjective, and some content can shock those not ready for it.

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily
  • 2020-05-20

LOVE this book, and my favorite narrator!!

Julia Whelan is my favorite audiobook narrator, and I have been anticipating this book eagerly, so I was thrilled to see that she was cast as narrator! Flawless as usual. As for the story and prose, I LOVED it all. I am admittedly a sucker for a love story, but the rawness and sly complexity in this one truly took it to another level for me. And all of the clever, witty banter a girl could hope for. I will absolutely read and listen to this book again and again over the course of my life, and I rarely say that about a book. Only a few select stories and series hold that kind of place in my heart. It feels like a cup of really great hot cocoa in a house by a lake on a rainy day; the rom com you watch over and over and over. Highly recommend.

10 people found this helpful

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  • DianeReads
  • 2020-06-07

Formulaic

If you like books with obvious, self-centered first-person narrator's, this one is for you. If you want a lesson on how NOT to follow the "Save the Cat" storytelling formula, this one is for you.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Justin Randolph
  • 2020-05-25

amazing

I laughed, I cried, I was excited, I got nervous, I got angry and also protective. Great book, you won't regret reading this one.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Trosado
  • 2020-06-08

4 Stars

Beach Read fit nicely within my favorite reading genre - women's fic with romance, drama, wit, and swoon. Was it perfect? No. Was it perfect for me? For the most part. Gus was my favorite type of hero and he was deliciously battered and jaded. I struggled a little more with January and I honestly couldn’t tell if it was the audio narrator’s interpretation or my own pickiness. She did seem to improve after I quit the audio, but that could be coincidental to where I was in the character’s story arc. There were some predictable elements to the romance, but it didn't negate the swoon factor that built to a crescendo in the middle of the second half. Major swoon. The author nailed the tender and sweet dialogue, descriptions, and sensuality between the two as they ventured from friends to more. The overall story weaved in and out of light and melodramatic, but with nicely written transitions that created a believable second chance romance.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Becky
  • 2020-06-08

Neighbors?

This is a fun read about possibilities. Who knows what can happen at the beach? Great story and characters.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R Zeiser
  • 2020-06-05

Great Getaway

enjoyable listen, not too light, characters developed enough to get to know them. I'd like Emily Henry to write more books for adults.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rebekah Carter
  • 2020-05-24

Love the book

I devoured this book. I think the character growth, romance, and backstory really made the book come to life. This is my first time with one of Allie Henry’s books but it will not be my last.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa Walsh
  • 2020-07-10

So disappointing

I kept waiting....and waiting...for this to get better. I just couldn't embrace the angst and negativity the main character clung to. Not what I expected.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Gruntled
  • 2020-08-17

Ridiculous

The story was absurd and tedious. It was unnecessarily drawn out and became flat out boring. I would have given it zero stars if possible. Gave 2 for performance because reader was stuck with a loser.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sarita
  • 2020-08-04

Romantic

If you're looking for a well-written, romantic, entertaining story, this is the one. Smooth, easy listening, witty, positive, and uplifting. Be ready for a couple of hot sex scenes. Whelan is an excellent narrator, I'm a big fan (she's one of the reasons I came across this book).