When Emily Henry’s novel Beach Read was published in 2020, it took the world by storm.
This heartwarming romance novel about a romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut really lived up to its name, as it made the perfect beach read for so many people.
If you loved Beach Read, then it’s understandable that you may be looking for other heartwarming romance novels to sink your teeth into. If that’s the case then you’re in the right place.
In this guide, I’m telling you all about 10 of the most moving romance books like Beach Read that you need to check out. Read on to find out more.
If you loved Beach Read by Emily Henry, then I’m sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy books like Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, 99 Percent Mine, People We Meet on Vacation and It Happened One Summer. Check out our guide for 10 books like Beach Read.
Themes In Beach Read
There are a number of different themes explored in Beach Read by Emily Henry. They include the following.
Love As An Escape
Love as an escape is perhaps the most integral theme in Beach Read. In this novel, both of the main characters are stuck in a rut and run down with writer’s block. Progressing with their novels is proving impossible, so they are looking for an escape.
Ultimately, the escape that is explored in this novel is love. Writer’s block isn’t the only thing that the writers in this novel are trying to escape.
January – the lead character – is trying to escape the grief of her mother’s second cancer diagnosis, and Augustus – the love interest – is trying to escape his own problems. For both characters, love is an escape and that is what draws them to one another.
Another key theme in Beach Read is rediscovery. Both January and Augustus are stuck in their ways – she writes romance novels, and he writes dark novels about real-life crimes.
They are somewhat type-cast in their genres but through Beach Read they both attempt new things and in the process re-discover themselves.
As January challenges Augustus to write a romance novel, and he challenges her to write the next great American novel, they both have to explore new things.
As they do this, they learn new things about themselves, and that is why re-discovery is such a big theme in this book.
10 Moving Romance Books Like Beach Read
Josh And Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating – Christina Lauren
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is perfect for fans of Beach Read. This novel focuses on Josh and Hazel who are total opposites of one another, but also best friends.
Ever since college, Josh has been fascinated by Hazel, and when he splits up with his long-term girlfriend, he starts to see Hazel in a different light, and going out with her is a breath of fresh air.
Except they’re not dating, because setting each other up on progressively worse double-blind dates, doesn’t count as dating, right? Go on an emotional rollercoaster with Josh and Hazel in this excellent novel.
- Takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.
- Realistic main characters.
- An easy-to-read romance novel.
- Leaves you wanting more.
Themes: Falling in love, friends to lovers
People We Meet On Vacation – Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation is written by the same author who wrote Beach Read – Emily Henry -, and that alone should convince you to pick it up.
This novel tells the story of two best friends – Poppy and Alex – who have nothing in common but have been friends forever. Every year they go on a summer vacation together, and they have done so for the past 10 years.
Until two years ago, when something happened between them. After two years of zero contact, Poppy asks Alex on one last summer vacation. Can it repair their relationship, or ruin it forever? Find out in this book.
- Interesting storyline.
- Classic opposites attract trope.
- The book has you rooting for a happy ending.
- Very slow plot.
Themes: Opposites attract, friends to lovers, forgiveness
99 Percent Mine – Sally Thorne
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne is perfect for anybody who enjoyed Beach Read because of its classic rom-com storyline. Darcy has been in love with Tom for as long as she can remember, and despite searching high and low, nobody compares to Tom.
But she’s never acted on her feelings for Tom as he is her twin brother’s best friend. However, when Tom helps her and her twin out when renovating a cottage they inherited, she finally decides to act on her feelings.
Will she be able to win Tom’s heart? Find out in this adorable novel.
- Classic rom-com plot.
- The character development throughout the novel.
- Characters you will love.
- Leaves you wanting a sequel.
Themes: Taking chances, chasing love, courage
Beth O’Leary has a very similar writing style to Emily Henry, which is why you should check out The Flatshare if you loved Beach Read. It has also recently been made into a TV show.
The premise of this novel is super simple – Tiffy and Leon share a flat, but Tiffy and Leon have never met. She works 9-5, and he works nights. So by day, he’s in the flat while she works, and by night, he’s at work while she’s at home.
Through a series of notes, these two get to know each other without meeting. But falling in love with your roommate is always a bad idea. Especially if you have never met.
- A really interesting plot.
- Very well-written.
- Characters you’ll root for.
- A slow-burn novel.
Themes: Opposites attract, forced proximity, trauma
Normal People – Sally Rooney
Just like The Flatshare, Normal People by Sally Rooney has also been made into a TV show. But the novel is just as good, if not better.
Focusing on two Irish high school students, Normal People follows Connell and Marianne who grew up in the same town as each other, but that is the only similarity between them.
Despite this, the two are drawn to each other and they form a bond that follows them through life.
The pair circle each other in this slice-of-life novel that tackles the romance genre in an incredibly realistic way. It might not have the happy ending you expect, but this novel is still worth the read!
- Characters you connect with instantly.
- The novel takes you on a journey.
- Incredibly well written.
- A more realistic romance novel.
Themes: Young love, social classes, mental health, growth
November 9 – Colleen Hoover
If you are looking for a romance novel, then you’ll likely have at least one person recommend Colleen Hoover to you. If you’re going to check out one of her novels, I’d recommend November 9.
Focusing on a teenage girl – Fallon – whose dreams of being an actress were damaged by a house fire, November 9 tells the story of a chance encounter that changed her life.
Every year, she meets up with this boy – Ben – on November 9th and for the rest of the year, they do not have any contact. Through these small interactions, Fallon and Ben quickly fall in love. But both of them are keeping secrets.
Will they be able to work past these secrets? Or is their relationship doomed before it even begins? Find out in this touching novel.
- Unique format.
- Interesting plot.
- A lead character you connect with.
- The ending seems a little rushed.
Themes: Love, forgiveness, chance encounters, vulnerability
The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
Another great novel by Christina Lauren to check out is The Unhoneymooners. This novel and Beach Read are often compared to each other, and they are both amazing books. Olive has always been the unlucky twin.
But when the entire wedding party is struck down with a sickness bug at her twin sister’s wedding, her luck seems to be changed. With an all-expense paid honeymoon up for grabs, Olive grabs it with both hands.
The only issue is that she has to share it with the best man, and her arch-nemesis, Ethan. Can they put their differences aside for the holiday of a lifetime?
Or has their shared hatred been hiding much deeper feelings between the two? The only way to find out is to read this novel.
- A super cute plot.
- A storyline straight out of a rom-com.
- Perfect location for a vacation read.
- Predictable ending.
Themes: Luck, enemies to lovers, fake dating
The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood
Another moving romance novel where the main character is called Olive is The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. Olive is a scientist. She believes in facts, figures, and research. She does not believe in lasting romantic relationships.
But the only way to prove her beliefs is through an experiment. So, like any sensible scientist, Olive kisses the first man she sees to test her hypothesis.
With a strong female lead, the fake dating trope, and all sorts of interesting background themes, The Love Hypothesis is perfect for fans of Beach Read while being nothing like the original novel!
- Fake dating trope.
- Unique female lead.
- Important background themes.
- Leaves you wanting a sequel.
Themes: Falling in love, grief, intimacy challenges
It Happened One Summer – Tessa Bailey
One of the best things about Beach Read is that it is the perfect balance of romance and humor, and this is executed very well in It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey.
Piper is a rich, wild child whose life is turned upside down when her father has enough of her bad behavior and sends her away to rural Washington to manage her Grandfather’s dive bar.
In a new and uncomfortable environment, Piper is cutting down the days until she can return home. Until a local sea captain – Brendan – bets she won’t last a week in this new town.
Determined to prove him wrong, Piper throws her all into her new life, and she starts to enjoy it more than she ever could have imagined. It doesn’t hurt that Brendan is easy on the eye, either. This plot really is a romance waiting to happen.
- Perfect summer read.
- Funny novel.
- Happy ending.
- Somewhat unrealistic storyline.
Themes: Growing up, self-discovery, facing reality
Meet Cute – Helena Hunting
Finally, you should check out Meet Cute by Helena Hunting if you were a big fan of Beach Read. This novel takes a look at the classic rom-com trope of the “meet cute”, and spins it into a romance novel.
With past trauma and growing chemistry between the two key characters – Kailyn and Dax – this really is a classic romance novel. So, if you are looking for a book that is just as easy to read as Beach Read, you really should check out Meet Cute.
- A cute romance novel.
- Award-winning novel.
- Perfect ending.
- Nearly 400 pages in length.
Themes: Chance encounters, humor, falling in love
In short, if you loved Beach Read by Emily Henry, there are plenty of other moving romance novels out there for you to check out. From Emily Henry’s other novels – such as People We Meet on Vacation – to The Unhoneymooners and The Flatshare.
There are plenty of moving romance novels out there that will make the perfect beach read for your next vacation!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Beach Read A Standalone Novel?
Yes, Beach Read is a standalone novel. So, you can easily pick up this book at any time without having to read any other books previously. Likewise, quite a lot of the books recommended in this guide are also standalone novels.
Has Emily Henry Written Any Other Books?
Emily has written other books, and a couple of these have been released in the last few years. Some of her most popular novels include People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers, which people tend to read soon after reading Beach Read.