Happy-ever-afters is a myth, it doesn’t exist. Why wait for after, when now is all we have? Because we only have right now to live, to love, to be happy, we can only bask in the happy-for-now, as tomorrow is too far a time to postpone something as fleeting as happiness.



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.


It hurts when you realize that someone’s life is not so perfect as you had always envisioned it to be. But what makes the realization hurt harder is when you’ve built a life around the lie you’ve always believed to be the truth, when you’ve made a mental picture that that lie was what perfection meant. And when you finally realize you’d been living a lie, you don’t know if you’ll be able to believe anything again. You start doubting everything you’ve ever believed, who you are, what’s real and what’s unreal.

I wanted to know whether you could ever fully know someone. If knowing how they were – how they moved and spoke and the faces they made and the things they tried not to look at – amounted to knowing them…

Emily Henry, Beach Read.

This is so for January Andrews, the protagonist of this book. She is a hopeless romantic author who believes so much in love because why not? Her parents are evidently drunk in love and after so many years of marriage, they’re still as madly in love as they were when their beautiful love story began. She is an ardent believer of happy-ever-afters, I mean what else do you expect from the only child of a happily married, lovey-doveyed couple?

Happy endings don’t happen to everyone. There’s nothing you can do to make someone keep loving you.

Emily Henry, Beach Read.

But you cannot truly know anybody perfectly, to the fullest. You only know the aspects the person shows you, and that is what makes us human, our ability to have some parts of our lives tucked under our armpits, exclusive to us, unless we decide to bring them out and let other people in. January would never believe her loving and best-daddy-in-the-world father cheats on her mum, till his death. And that discovery will break her, will make her question everything she has ever believed.
She goes to her father’s beach house in Michigan to fight off Writer’s block, and to mourn and to wallow in her misery, and that is where she coincidentally reunites with Augustus (Gus) Everett, her college crush turned nemesis. Both are writers with lots of baggage, saddled with the huge task of shoving Writer’s block off their backs. Gus, a serious literary fiction writer, and January, a romance writer.

I’d thought missing my dad would be the hardest thing I’d ever do. But the worst thing, the hardest thing, had turned out to be being angry with someone you couldn’t fight it out with.

Emily Henry, Beach Read.

When they reconnect, they try to help each other defeat their Writer’s block, by making a bet. Gus daring January to write a literary fiction story, and January daring Gus to write a romance fiction book. Yes, as you can rightfully guess, a romantic connection springs up between them afterwards. But how about their baggage, their secrets, their childhood trauma? How would they cope with unraveling each other’s secrets? How would January especially cope with the revelation of his father’s extra-marital affair?

It’s one thing to be mad at someone, and it’s another to be mad at someone who is no longer alive. How can she hear her father’s side of the story? What really happened? What made him abandon her and her cancer-battling mother to snuggle in another woman’s arms?

Mom’s first diagnosis taught me that love was an escape rope, but it was her second diagnosis that taught me love could be a life vest when you were drowning.

Emily Henry, Beach Read.

I love Beach Read, because it made me realize that everyone, no matter how much we love them and they love us, has a secret life, a flaw. For some, it might be having an affair with a mistress in a beach house, for some it might be having commitment issues. Whatever it is, humans are flawed, little creatures who do things they know they would regret definitely. Sometimes for the mere fun of it, sometimes because it is what seems right at the time.

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And this books reaffirms the fact that ‘Happy ever afters’ is a myth, it doesn’t exist. We can only have the ‘Happy-for-now,’ because we only have ‘now’ to live, not after, not forever. How can we be guaranteed of an after that’s filled with happiness when humans are so fickle and can change at any point in time?

It was just another good day. A perfect day. A happy-for-now, so vast and deep that I knew – or rather believed — I didn’t have to worry about tomorrow.

Emily Henry, Beach Read.

However, I’d already pictured what would happen before I started reading it, and I guessed right. But I read it anyway. I didn’t really feel drawn to the story from the onset, but I enjoyed reading some parts of it. It’s a beautifully written story, but I wasn’t all enamored while reading it.
I didn’t understand the part where Gus and January have to write on paper and show each other just to pass a message across. And I didn’t really feel the chemistry between them. This is not a romance book that would make me cry and want to live vicariously through the main characters. I tried so hard to connect with the love story, but I couldn’t. So I dwelled on the other parts of the story, like the secrets and lies and traumas.

I understood January and felt for her too. It’s not easy realizing that your perfect father, your superhero, isn’t so much of a day saver like you’ve known him all your life to be. It’s not easy realizing that your entire life is a lie. But I just didn’t feel her love story with Gus. I will rate the book as 3.8/5.

Have you read the book? What do you feel about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on all social media platforms and share with your friends.
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