Book club questions for Beach Read by Emily Henry takes a closer look at this bright read that is full of depth. There will be spoilers so for more context about the book, check out my spoiler-free review.
I so enjoyed this book! I read it in one sitting on a lazy Saturday afternoon. It serves as an ideal distraction read.
Here’s the synopsis:
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.
Book Club Questions for Beach Read
- We first meet January when she’s arrived at her father’s beach house. She seems pretty broken: she’s lost her dad and she’s suffering from writer’s block. What was your first impression of January?
- She talks about not having much money, why do you think she decided to live in the house first before selling it?
- In addition to losing her dad, she finds out he cheated on her mom for years with a woman in the same town as this beach house. Let’s talk about how finding out that truth about her father caused her writer’s block and limited her ability to write any more romance novels.
- It turns out her next door neighbor is none other than her college rival, Gus Everett. She’s horrified and also annoyed. What did you think about their banter and initial dynamics? Could you tell then that they had feelings for each other?
- There’s lots of discussions of the merits of women’s fiction. January feels annoyed she must always defend it and remarks that if women’s fiction were written by a man and featured a male protagonist, it would be considered the Great American Novel. Why do you think some readers seem to look down upon women’s fiction and romance?
- Both January and Gus are suffering from writer’s block and eventually decide to switch genres with both giving lessons on their respective genres to the others. Why do you think they decided to make this change? What did they both learn from each other on this journey?
- We follow the stories they’re writing in great detail. Would you read either of those stories?
- What did you think about the slow-burn romance between the two of them?
- Every time they get too close, Gus runs away (literally). We eventually learn that Gus is separated and his wife cheated on him with his best friend. Why do you think Gus ran when he got too close to January?
- While feeling such anger and disappointment with her father’s decision, she finally reads the notes to her toward the end and forgives him. Let’s talk about this.
- The story ends with Gus and January getting engaged. Do you think they’re in it for the long haul?
What to Read Next
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for Beach Read! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver is such an impactful read about coming to terms with grief.
Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.
So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.
Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle is a moving story that will stick with you long after you finish the last page.
Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.
She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.
But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.