Member Reviews

I loved this Emma retelling! The New York City setting, the townhouse neighbors, the grumpy/sunshine dynamic. It captured the spirit of the original but with a fresh modern taken.

Sweet, spicy and full of biting banter!

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This one is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma in modern day Manhattan. The classic age gap between the lead and her love interest (he remembers her being born, etc.) is a weird trope for me but at least the characters in this book directly address it (“suddenly she’s a woman and not a little girl, when did that happen” type of energy) so I'll allow it. They grew up together and he is a total ass to her. I’m grateful she does humble him! A lot of times once love is confessed it just goes unaddressed so I’m glad the author makes sure to show that Emma is infinitely smarter than Knightley no matter how much older he is or how much more mature he thinks he is. He’s kind of a tool. He holds her to a higher standard than anyone else and is so mean about her humanness. He better spend his life trying to earn her attention haha  I know he is like weird protective big brother energy until he realizes he loves her but also that’s sort of toxic and he’s a mean big brother who bullies her several times because he’s immature and has zero emotional regulation apparently. Overall I love this retelling! It does get spicy (heyo!)! This is great for Austen fans, romance genre readers, and anyone looking for a story of a young woman finally seeing she is everything she needs to be and has accomplished great things and only needs to keep doing what she knows is best for her.

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What a delightful modern retelling of Emma! I loved the cast of the characters and the world created. I so love a retelling and this one was done so right!
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Thank you #gallery and #NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

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Book Review:
Title: Emma Of 83rd Street
Author: Audrey Bellezza;
Emily Harding
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/4 stars

Emma Woodhouse
George Knightly
Childhood best friends
Upper East Side
Matchmaker
Sister's wedding
Grad school
Friends to lovers
Manhattan
Nadine gets a makeover
Romance
Jane Austen remake

Intrigued? Read it! It's worth it!

Published: May 23rd, 2023

Thank you, @netgalley and @gallerybooks, for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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Jane Austen's Emma comes to modern day Manhattan is this sweet, sultry book. I really loved this interpretation of the classic and found that it had just enough unique material to keep me interested, but mainly stuck to the original storyline. Emma is so often presented as the original "unlikeable" woman but I have always found her to be one of my favorite characters. She is spoiled and a bit naïve but so well-intentioned and really is able to see other people in ways that others don't. Just like in Austen's version, Emma's character grows on you over this books and you get to see her change in the eyes of those around her too. I think Bellezza and Harding did a great job of adapting this story for the 21st century- possibly the best Emma retelling since Clueless!

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This book is super cute! I worry that the cover could interest some teens when this isn't a YA book, but the characters are adults.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy of Emma of 83rd Street by Audrey Bellezza; Emily Harding in exchange for my honest review and opinion. I absolutely LOVED this book! It is absolutely adorable and such a cute read. This book absolutely made my day and I ended up smiling throughout the entire book. Do yourself a big favor and read this sooner than later - I promise you will be glad you did.

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This was a cute book. It was fun and light. I highly enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a enjoyable, easy read this book would be for you
Thanks

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Didn't really have any "hook" to keep my attention. This novel was too slow-paced for me and I didn't really connect well with the characters; they felt flat for me.

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DNF'd at 22%. I really wanted to like this one as I adore the Emma story, however it didn't feel like there were enough differences for me compared to the real story, just mostly modern & set in New York. Gave me lots of Clueless vibes, so if you like an entitled character & a pretty close retelling of Emma (at least to the part I read) pick this one up! I didn't work for me, but I'm sure it will work for a lot of people.

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This was such a cute story. I thought Emma was very relatable and her long-time friendship turned relationship with George Knightly, while predictable, was also enjoyable. The evolving friendship between Emma and Nadine is laced with lessons, consequences, and happy outcomes.

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Emma of 83rd Street is absolutely adorable! I am a huge Austen fan, and all the spin-offs. This was an enjoyable read, and very fast to read! I am not a huge contemporary romance fan, but this is refreshing, light and fun.

Emma of 83rd Street is a great combination of Jane Austen's Emma and the frothy "chick lit" of the early 2000s. It is very trend/cult-specific, in a great way! The humor was great, I could imagine NYC and the conversation between Knightley and Emma was great. In true Emma way, I did get a little annoyed with Emma and liked Knightley more!

Fun book, I would recommend to anyone liking a light, bubble to the champagne book!

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Emma of 83rd Street by Audrey Bellazza and Emily Harding was a lovely modern retelling of Emma. If you’re an Austen fan and love New York City you are in for quite the treat!

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This is a perfect modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen's EMMA. We need more adaptations that focus on the rest of Jane Austen's work! It would be great to see this author-duo take on some of Austen's other novels...

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The audiobook for this book was PERFECTION. I love Emma's, the homage to Clueless, what it's like to be in NYC in your 20s. I can't wait to read more from this author duo.

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EMMA is my favorite Jane Austen story, so I had high hopes going into this modern-day retelling.

Overall, it's cute. The retelling is set in present-day Manhattan—the Upper East Side, to be exact—and I loved how Emma's family home butted up to Knightly's. The opening prologue is fantastic, but after that, everything else felt ... fine. Nothing really sparkled, especially the romance, which lacked page time with Emma and Knightly together. Their relationship felt *told* rather than *seen*, and it made it difficult to believe.

The highlight for me was Nadine. She was a delight and written so well!

If you're looking for a quick, easy read, this one works. But I think there's far better childhood friends-to-lovers romance out there, so you don't need to feel bad if you decide to give this one a pass.

RATING: C+ (3½ stars)

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Emma of 83rd street is a modern day Jane Austen love story. Having never read Emma by Austen I couldn’t draw along the parallels between the two works but can imagine the twist of a modern dating scene in New York City can breathe an entertaining new life into an infamous love story. A cute story but one I personally didn’t feel invested in. I enjoyed Emma’s growth in certain areas but never felt attached to the characters. The work itself was well down and the adaptation felt relevant to the world we live in now.

I received this work as an advanced review copy and offer my honest opinion voluntarily.

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3.5 stars for this one because I had the same issue with this Emma as I had with the Emma that inspired it, she's insufferably spoiled and mostly oblivious to all her privilege.
Emma grew up the spoiled princess of her upper East side brownstone, with her sister and the two boys next door all the family she needed when her doting father kind of disconnected after the loss of her mother. All grown up, childhood relationships are changing and it's going to take a lot of introspection to help her see that the banter-heavy relationship she has with next-door George Knightley is more than just sisterly feelings.
It does get a lot better as the book progresses and you do get to see that she's not as oblivious as she first appears, but it takes a while for the selfishness to melt away and her real emotions to emerge. It's maybe a third of the way in that Emma feels like a real character and not just a caricature of a privileged New Yorker, making it possible to actually care about everything that's happening to her.
I'm pretty sure this would be a fully fun read for most people who don't have an issue with Austen's Emma to begin with, but I just couldn't seem to get over it and just enjoy Bellezza's good writing. Which it is good writing, so I'm not over the moon about this one, but I will be picking up whatever she follows this one with.

Very happy thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the fun read!

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A modern re-telling of Jane Austen’a classic - Emma. Emma is a sweet (if somewhat spoiled) NYU student ready to graduate and take on the world, and figure out what she really wants without family connections. The boy next door, Knightley, pushes her outside her comfort zone and make she question what she knows. A dual-POV slow burn of friends to lovers that in a dreamy NYC setting, you won’t be able to but this down!

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Cute! I really liked the story and the characters! The audio was entertaining and I appreciated the steamy slow burn, haha.

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