Abbreviations #107: Beach Read, Eighty Days to Elsewhere + The Roommate

July 24, 2020


Beach Read has an excellent premise: romance author January Andrews and literary fiction author Augustus Everett are beach house neighbors for the summer and, upon discovering that they are both in writing ruts, they make a deal to write in each other's genres and see who gets published first. Sounds right out of a rom-com, right? The novel certainly delivers on the promise of a lovely romance, providing readers with many a scene that will make you laugh, swoon and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But that's not all Beach Read has to offer, as the author effectively manages to make her portrayal of January and Gus feel so real and honest. Emily Henry certainly didn't shy away from peeling back all the layers of these characters, showing us all the beautiful and broken parts of themselves. All these elements - the characters, their relationship, the story - came together so beautifully, and I flew through the pages of this novel. Beach Read is, without a doubt, one of my favorite 2020 reads and I can highly recommend adding it to your TBR!

Beach Read | Pub Info: May 19, 2020 by Berkley. Buy the book!
I downloaded an e-galley for review from the publisher via NetGalley.


When I heard the full premise of Eighty Days to Elsewhere (Ramona "Romy" Keene needs a job to save her family's bookstore, and embarks on an audition journey for Ex Libris Expeditions mirroring the one Phineas Fogg takes in Around the World in Eighty Days as best she can), I was even more excited to get my hands on it. Unfortunately, the concept of this story ended up being stronger than the actual execution. There was too much going on in this story, and it felt underdeveloped. I was particularly bothered by the parts that invited the main character to check her privilege because, though it was a good thing to see her challenged, the way it was done cheapened the included situations. I also didn't feel comfortable with how many of the travel challenges were handled (and yes, I know this is fiction, but having known people who have experienced similar difficulties, I just wasn't into it). To top it all off, I never really clicked with the main character either. While I did find some of the travel adventure bits interesting, overall, Eighty Days to Elsewhere was really a disappointing read.

Eighty Days to Elsewhere | Pub Info: August 11, 2020 by Berkley. Buy the book!
I downloaded an e-galley for review from the publisher via NetGalley.


In search of a contemporary romance read to escape into for a while? Allow me to tell you about the book that provided one of the most delightful reading experiences I've had in 2020: The Roommate. (Obviously, if you happen to be into the "and then they were roommates" romance trope, it is very much a given that this will tickle your particular fancy.) Clara Wheaton moves cross-country at the invitation of her childhood crush, only for him to leave her sharing a lease with a charming, handsome stranger named Josh who has made a name for himself as a porn star. Insert likable characters, witty banter, comedic shenanigans, heartfelt emotions, thoughtful commentary and the typical rom-com miscommunications, and the end result is this joy of a book! It had me laughing so hard I cried, text yelling at my friend DJ at just about every scene and deeply invested in this romance. Rosie Danan did such a great job bringing Clara, Josh and their love story to life in a way that entertained me from start to end. The Roommate was so much fun, dang it, and that's definitely something I know a lot of other readers will appreciate too. It's one of my favorite romance reads for 2020 and I'd recommend adding it to your TBR!

The Roommate | Pub Info: September 15, 2020 by Berkley. Buy the book!
I downloaded an e-galley for review from the publisher via NetGalley.

5 comments

  1. Ah, the second one was on my TBR, as are the other two. I have a copy of Beach Read, got it from the Book of the Month club, but haven't read it yet, loaned it to my sister first. Great reviews!

    Lisa Loves Literature

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  2. Beach Read was one of my favorites so far this year as well. So charming!

    - Heather | Nerdy By Nature Blog

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  3. I read and enjoyed Beach Read earlier this year, and am really looking forward to reading The Roommate!

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