Member Reviews

This book was a modern take on Jane Austen's Emma, but it honestly reminded me SO MUCH of the Alicia Silverstone 90s movie Clueless (one of my all time favorites) and actually improved upon the Clueless storyline in some ways (Nadine!). I really, really enjoyed this book - once I was able to get into the first couple chapters I couldn't put it down. I loved how Emma grew as a person and how she and Knightley finally figured out they were it for each other. Knightley was the perfect hero for Emma. I also really loved the 83rd street community as a family, especially the Sunday Dinners. The nods to Jane Austen's Emma are subtle but there, but it really was a retelling of the Clueless story in a New York setting with an even better ending.

For me, one of the stars of this book was New York City - the character of the City really shone in this book and I felt like I was there myself, walking the streets around Central Park. Overall, a really fun and witty rom-com that will have you wanting to visit NYC ASAP.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Emma of 83rd Street by Audrey Bellezza & Emily Harding is a fresh take on Jane Austin's Emma, set on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The premise alone had me hooked! And the book didn't disappoint. The authors have a fantastic style that drew me into the story from the very first page. An absolutely delightful romance!! Highly recommend!

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Absolutely fantastic plot! Could not put the book down once I began reading it. Cannot wait for it to be released. Will recommend it to everyone.

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This was great. There characters were enjoyable, felt like real life modern people, but also still very much resembled their Regency Era counterparts. Jane Austen fans will enjoy. I can't wait for the others. You know the authors are setting it up to do Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion in the future.

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I devoured this and loved every minute of this. This is a fun, modern retelling of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma.’ The reveal at the end better mean there’s another book, because I’m anxiously waiting for it!

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I’ll admit it. I’m a judgemental jerk who initially passed this book up because it had two authors. These two could never be disjointed. They know how to work together to create little moments that feel like magic and I will never judge two authors again. I am, as previously stated in other reviews, an idiot. This book was magic. The retelling of Emma with all the sweetness and so much spice. I mean you know how it ends and I was still on the edge of my seat for every damn minute of it. I can’t not wait for the next book. Read if you loved the Shonda’s take on the Bridgertons. It’s all the lust and longing with a contemporary backdrop. I was given an advanced reader's copy via NetGalley, thank you to them. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This was such an entertaining read! I loved it so much, I didn’t want to put it down. The perfect mixture of Emma & Clueless IMO & a definite must-read!!

Thank you so much for the ARC NetGalley & Gallery Books!

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📚 Emma of 83rd Street
✍ Audrey Bellezza
📖 Contemporary Romance/twist on a classic
⭐ 3.75/5
🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️
Pub. Date: 5.23.23

🙏 Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a complementary e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

💭 A new-aged, New York retelling of an Austen classic, Emma of 83rd Street is a fun twist on an OG original childhood friends-to-lovers trope.

Emma Woodhouse is well-bred, well-educated and well, bored. Currently getting her Masters in Art History from NYU in hopes of obtaining an uber competitive internship at the Met, Emma's world feels small; most of her friends have relocated abroad or across the country, her recently married sister has moved out of their family home on the Upper East Side and her weeks consist of little more than classes, shopping and weekly neighborhood Sunday dinners.

When an Ohio transplant classmate bumbles into her Photography class early in the semester in clear need of some New York magic, Emma takes it upon herself to introduce her to the best parts of her world. In her quest to find Nadine a perfect match, Emma endeavors into her own dating escapades- that always seem to lead back to her childhood best friend and neighbor, George Knightley. In the ultimate, will they or won't they, angsty pining, it's-always-been-you story, Emma and Knightly bicker and banter their way to the realization that love may be as close as your backyard.

🎯 What I loved: The 83rd street community/found neighborhood family was an adorable adaptation of Austen's version. It truly did feel like a modern version of a romance classic with all the same emotional turmoil and loving monologues. It took me a while to get into the book but by about 60%, I couldn't put it down. The steamy scenes were well written (not something I usually note or comment on) and it didn't leave me feeling like anything from the original was missing.

🙅‍♀️ What I didn't: True to form, Emma spends a lot of the book party planning and engaging in high society social events. While I know this is a huge part of Austen's Emma, reading about the couture ensembles and the Woodhouse's immense privilege was tedious and obnoxious at times and I didn't find this Emma as endearing as the original. Toward the end of the book, I really loved the back and forth and conversation between Kingsley and Emma but I felt like we didn't get a lot of their deep friendship until then as they spent most of the book giving each other the silent treatment or arguing.

Read if you love:
* Modern twists on classic novels
* Jane Austen
* childhood friends to lovers

See also: Two Wrongs Make a Right, By Any Other Name, Roomies

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A retelling of Jane's Austen classic, this book checked a lot of boxes for me! I really enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters, and I appreciated how nicely the ending tied up. While Emma herself wasn't necessarily my favorite, I was happy with her character arc and she did have a lot of redeeming qualities. Definitely recommend picking this up if you're looking for a fun twist on a classic, or just a quick, easy read!

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EMMA OF 83RD STREET-Audrey Bellezza and Emily Harding

Galley Books


ISBN EBOOK: 978-1-6680-0840-9

May 23, 2023

Contemporary Romance

New York City- Present Day

Emma Woodhouse is beautiful, smart, and rich. She also believes that, after making one match with her sister, Margo, and Ben Knightley, she is an expert matchmaker. Emma is in graduate school for art history and when she encounters Nadine, a transplant from Ohio, she is determined to help her get her life in order no matter what Nadine wants. When her best friend, George Knightley, warns her about interfering in other people's lives, she ignores it, as Nadine needs her help, and George does not know what he is talking about.

George is the quintessential man next door-gorgeous, smart and caring. He is seven years older than Emma but his memories of her dogging his footsteps, and always being there as well to visits to the Woodhouse house are his happiest memories. When he starts noticing that Emma is a woman now and not the child he remembers he is thrown into a tailspin. Does he want Emma? If so, how will he deal with it?

EMMA OF 83rd STREET is a funny and well written retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma. Although you do not need to have read Austen’s Emma to enjoy this book, but I for one thinks everyone should read Austen at some point in their lives. Nadine delivers some laugh out loud one- liners, George is hot in his judgments of Emma which the reader will agree with and Emma is confident no matter what is thrown at her. Readers will want her to grow up a bit more so that she deserves George. Readers will be frustrated, entertained and be rooting to see if George and Emma will get together.

A book I highly recommend, EMMA OF 83rd STREET is well worth reading.

Avis Yarbrough

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When I first started this book Emma was so unlikeable. She was so self centered and everything was handed to her. It made me want to stop reading. But I am happy I kept reading. Because I ended up really liking Emma in the end. This book had a sweet friends to lovers vibe. It also had strong female friendships. Overall I liked this book. And I would suggest it.

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Delightful, engaging, and fun novel filled with messy situations formed from undiscovered love and feelings. The character of Emma is a whirlwind of action and adorable. A definite winning novel.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is such a fun and lovely read. If you love Jane Austen's, "Emma" and the movie "Clueless", then this book is for you. It is a modern retelling of the classic Emma as she takes Manhattan. Emma is in her final year in grad school and wants to prove that she doesn't need her family name to make it out on her own. After her sister gets married, she is bored and decides to make her friend Nadine who she ran into her new "project" with a new makeover and her match making skills. Meanwhile, her childhood friend and neighbor is realizing that Emma is no longer "the spoiled rich girl" and is growing up. I loved Emma's and Knightly's romance! The friends to lovers tension! I hope this book becomes a series with other Austen's retellings because I loved it so much. It is my favorite Emma retelling.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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4.5/5 stars! Full disclosure: I love Jane Austen and her novel Emma, so when I found this modern re-telling I was extremely excited to read it. This book was faithful to the original and kept me smiling page after page. I loved Emma and Knightly; they were the ultimate grumpy sunshine pairing. The ending was utterly lovely. I need a million more books like this by this author duo.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

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3.5 Stars Emma of 83rd Street was a delightful modern take on Jane Austen’s classic romance novel, Emma. 23-year-old Emma Woodhouse loves her life in her tight-knit Upper East Side neighborhood and fancies herself a matchmaker after she sets up her sister Margo with one of their next-door-neighbors, Ben Knightley. Emma and Margo have been close friends with Ben and his older brother, George, since they were children, playing in their shared backyard. Although somewhat busy with her MFA in art history program, Emma feels bored after her sister marries and moves out, so she sets her sights on a new project—her new friend and classmate Nadine. Emma’s determined to make over Nadine and set her up with her “forever” romance. George Knightley is frustrated with Emma’s plans for Nadine and is happy to lecture Emma on how she’s failing at the finer points of adulthood. Suddenly, Knightley isn’t able to get Emma out of his head; she’s no longer the little girl from next door, but a vivacious and independent woman.

The plot of this story mostly followed the same structure as the original Austen story, but with some modern updates, plus scene and name changes. Overall, it was a really sweet story. Emma is adorable and Knightley is frustrating, but ultimately they make a great couple. I loved that this had a dual POV so we saw how Knightley’s feelings towards Emma changed and how he realized he was in love with her. A fun and sweet read!

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This book was such a wonderful surprise. The story is familiar, of course, A modern Manhattan take on Emma. The chemistry with Knightley was fantastic and Emma's growth throughout the book was well done. She can be immature, and her privilege in terms of her wealth can be a bit off putting, but her relationships and caring, endearing qualities still came through. I loved everything about Knightley; he is such a good book hero. He was easy to love and I was happy to get a slow burn book that included some steam. I would definitely read this book again and am looking forward to follow-up books with Will Darcy and other characters. Great, fun book that gave me a much needed escape and took me out of a reading slump. I loved it.

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I loved this book! I have to admit I have not read "Emma" by Jane Austen (I know go ahead and heckle me) which this novel is a modern take on. I worried because I didn't have this knowledge and love of the inspiration behind this story it wouldn't resonate. Wrong. It was so good. This is the first book I have read by Audrey Bellezza and Emily Harding and I have to say I can't wait to read more. Knightley and Emma are adorable and so likeable. This is a slow burn romance with some spice. It's full of heart and well written. I would reccomend this book to all romance lovers out there.

Slow burn
Friends to Lovers
Jane Austen meets the Upper Eastside

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Gallery Book Publishing House for allowing to to receive an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. Romance readers add this to your "Must read for 2023 lists!"

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A delightful retelling of everyone’s favorite heroine Emma. I loved the modern setting and how each character felt fresh and new while still remaining true to the roots,

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Retellings of books I love can be really challenging for me to fully appreciate because I get too caught up in what that author(s) decided to change vs. keep the same. I think Emma in particular is a really hard story to modernize and not feel like everyone kind of sucks. Still, this book pulled off the chemistry between Emma and Knightley and I was rooting for them.

Near the end of the book, I was bummed when Nadine mentioned that as time went on she found a certain situation that resulted in someone trying to force themselves on another person)was becoming more hilarious. I get that people who face horrible experiences sometimes prefer to make light of them and Nadine may have been referring to the situation more globally, but this felt icky to me.

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This book is super cute. It's a fun, young, fresh Austen retelling. The pacing is fast and the writing is adorable. Emma is my favorite Austen novel and this took the spirit of the book and translated it really well while adding a few fresh twists to make it contemporary, for new audiences. It's a happy good read that I'd definitely recommend for an easy beach-type read.

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