By Emily Henry
Happy endings used to come easily to January Andrews. She saw happiness everywhere and it was validated in the withstanding love she saw in her parents’ marriage. She even makes a living selling happy endings in the best selling romance novels she writes. Until she finds out upon his death that her father had many secrets, including a beach house on a lake in Michigan. Now her worldview is challenged and she has a serious case of writer’s block.
January decides to spend the summer clearing out her father’s beach house and writing the novel that she has promised her agent. She comes to find out that living in the adjacent beach house, with a balcony a mere ten feet apart, is her old college rival and acclaimed author of literary fiction, Augustus Everett.
Like the months January and August, January and Augustus Everett are very much opposites. January is usually all sunshine and optimism and Augustus writes gut wrenching novels that often leave his protagonist dead. But during this summer, when perspectives are being challenged, they challenge each other to write a novel in the other’s genre.
I thought this book was very well written. The title suited this book because it was a breezy and easy read but still brought out strong emotions and at its heart was a romance. I loved the first person perspective, I thought that January’s voice was very natural and introspective.
She did seem a little naive and immature sometimes but I recognize that this book was a journey of growth for her. Gus was cute and moody. I loved that he held feelings for January since college, but did not like the secrets he kept from her (though January did reference googling him so I was surprised she didn’t figure some things out).
There were lots of sweet make out sessions, knees touching, hands entwined. This couple really loved to drink – which was fun! But sometimes I wondered if it was too much; it was to a point where I thought the excessive drinking might be a plot point that they would come back around to.
Review by Michele W.