With a bestseller called Beach Read, Emily Henry writes cute romance stories — perfect for the summer! If you haven’t read her yet, I hope I can persuade you to pick up one of her beach reads… It may even be Beach Read! Here are some of her books and why you should plan on adding them to your summer TBR.
January Andrews, a romance writer, is spending her summer at a beach house in total isolation… Except she can’t seem to get away from Augustus Everett, a literary fiction writer. Despite being literary enemies, the two end up in beach houses right next door, both unable to write anything. After mocking each other’s writing styles, they decide to switch and write something that the other person would write. So, January attempts to write the next greatest American novel while Augustus goes for something sappy and sweet for once. Wanting to be the best at their little contest, they rely on each other to help expose them to each other’s worlds. After learning so much about each other, maybe they aren’t enemies after all.
This book came out during summer of 2020, and I remember reading it at the beach just soaking it up! As a typical anti-romance-novel reader, I was pleasantly surprised at how Emily Henry’s writing captivated me. I never enjoy romance novels that are too cheesy, so having two rival writers was a book lover’s dream — you’ll understand the pun in that later… Beach Read exemplifies the enemies-to-lovers trope that many people love. So, if you love literary fiction and romance, this is the one for you!
Alex and Poppy are your typical introvert and extrovert. And somehow, like many polar opposites, they become inseparable friends. While during most of the year Poppy lives in New York City and Alex is still in their tiny hometown, the two always spend a week vacationing together during the summer… until a few years ago when everything was ruined and they both went silent on each other. After reflecting on her happiness (or lack thereof), Poppy realizes that spending time with Alex was the last time she was really content. So, she gives their friendship another shot by asking him if they want to try again and go on vacation again. During their one week that Alex agreed to spend on vacation, Poppy has the opportunity to fix their entire relationship and maybe turn it into something more.
After how big of a success Beach Read was, it makes sense to follow it up with a book that everyone would also want to read poolside. The writing, again, emphasizes Alex’s and Poppy’s friendship and evolving relationship so masterfully. What really keeps the reader’s attention is flashing back to past vacations and then the present one. That really helps the reader understand more about the two characters and what rests between them so silently. People We Meet on Vacation has received countless reviews, praising how Emily Henry writes the chemistry between her characters and the complexity of human relationships.
Nora Stephens, a very intense literary agent, goes on vacation to a tiny town in North Carolina with her sister Libby. Their goal? To check off as many experiences on their to-do list as possible before they have to go back to the city. Of course, in Sunshine Falls, Nora runs into Charlie Lastra, a book editor from back in the city. They both love books, but they can’t stand each other. After too many coincidences and not enough space in the small town, they start to wonder if they’re supposed to be in each other’s presence. Will they learn to at least tolerate each other for the sake of their work? The goal of Nora and Libby’s trip was to liberate themselves and really discover what they want in life… Nora may realize what she’s been missing out on was right back in the city all along.
Because of how much I loved Beach Read and found the title Book Lovers to be absolutely adorable, I read this book as soon as it came out. What shocked me most was how much I enjoyed the relationship between Nora and Libby as sisters. I thought that, even though this is a romance novel, the sisterly bond was written so beautifully to show how complicated family can sometimes be. However, back to the romance, I love that both of these characters were so invested into their literary work and then each other. Set in a small North Carolina town also made this really easy to imagine, as someone who is currently attending school in a similar location. There are many comedic moments throughout the novel, which make it even lighter and happier to read a good romance.
Now, in case you’ve read all of Emily Henry’s novels thus far, you may be looking for something new. Happy Place will be released at the end of April, making it a perfect addition to your summer TBR. Emily Henry’s newest novel follows the complicated lives of Harriet and Wyn, who used to be #couplegoals but have since broken up. Unfortunately, they never told their closest friends the news and now have to spend vacation with everyone, acting like everything is fine. Harriet and Wyn continue to lie to their friends and each other about their feelings for one another. Are they just acting like they’re together to please their friends or each other?
The attention that this book has already received without even being released is astounding! Emily Henry appears to have done it again, and if you want to pre-order your copy of Happy Place, click the title in this sentence. You will definitely not want to miss out on her latest novel! And if I haven’t convinced you through my words all about her books, just look at how beautiful her covers are!
At Discover Books, we hope to show you authors and genres you may not even know. So, I hope you’ve learned more about Emily Henry and the genre of romance through these recommendations. If you want to learn more about the romance genre, check out this blog about the history of romance novels! And, in the meantime, happy reading as you prepare for summer to begin!