Member Reviews

Emma of 83rd Street is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, which I never read but immediately looked up summaries after to see the similarities. It follows 23-year-old Emma Woodhouse as she searches to find friendship, love, a career and ultimately, her place in life. Emma was a likable character who I immediately connected with, probably due to all the NYC activities/ references (which were spot on). She truly wanted what was best for everyone, even if it meant inserting herself right into the lives of those closet to her. I really liked how this book was not strictly a romance, but explored Emma’s many relationships, like with her sister Margo, her new friend Nadine, her father and her next door neighbor Knightly. Her growth from the start to the end gave off coming-of-age vibes. I will say there were a few times I got frustrated with Emma and wished she would just talk to Knightly, but then I had to remember that she was only 23 and had a lot of growing up to do. Overall, a very strong debut!

Read if you like:
-Best friends to lovers
-Coming of age vibes
-All things NYC
-The Met/ art history
-Slow burn romance
-Jane Austen retelling

Thank you Gallery for the ARC! Pub date 5/23

Was this review helpful?

Alright, so this is a fresh retelling of Emma by Jane Austen, and the new conflicts are both cheeky and modern. Most of the characters are likable, with two opposing outliers. Nadine shows much more growth than anyone else, and following her love story would be a great sequel. On the other hand, Margo could easily be placed back in the regency era with her overbearing and meddlesome attitude- your sister is 23/24, stop pushing men on her and let her speak!

Big respect to Emma's character development though, as she pushes aside her privilege, apologizes for her mistakes, and genuinely supports everyone she loves while pursuing her dream career.

Did not love Knightley's 'fatherly' vibes

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher

Was this review helpful?

Thid was a dnf might pick it up later but i found this book lacking in character. I wanted more from the main character than what we saw in the story

Was this review helpful?

I really anticipated this book. I love most things Austen. I however did not love this book. It’s not bad, just not my cup of tea.

Was this review helpful?

A tale as old as time…..Jane Austen’s Emma meets modern day Emma in Manhattan.

Emma Woodhouse is known for living life to the fullest with her friends and family. But her sister just got married and moved out and her friends are traveling abroad and she’s feeling lonely.

Sure, she’s known her good friend and neighbor George Knightly all her life but he drives her crazy at times and she needs more, right? Then, she just happens to find a new friend in her grad school art history program. Nadine is clearly a fixer-upper and just what Emma needs to get out of her doldrums. And then they all embark on fun and adventures for better and worse. And through it all, Emma and Knightly realize that what they’ve both needed was right there all along.

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

Was this review helpful?

I LOVE Jane Austen, and I love when authors do spins of her work. Emma of 83rd Street was such a cute read, I loved it.

This rendition of the beloved, Emma, was close to the original story except Emma of 83rd Street was written in the 21st century. Emma has always been a character that I just couldn't help but to love, so I was going into this reading some pretty high expectations. I was not disappointed at all, this was actually refreshing and just fun! Something I wasn't expecting but loved was we got Knightley's POV every now and then. I thought that was perfect, I love dual POV's and getting inside his brain was perfect.

Emma of 83rd Street 4/5 ⭐️
💘 Jane Austen Retelling
💘 Friends to Lovers
💘 Dual POV (just a few)

Thank you NetGalley for sending me this ARC for an exchange of an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 stars for this contemporary version of Austen's Emma! Really enjoyed it as a bit of a "Janeite", myself. Appreciated that it still retained the structure and basic narrative of the source material & yet was contemporary, but without having too many glaring call-backs to our current times. Hope this duo does more - totally down for their P&P next! My thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for the complimentary DRC - rating & opinion are my own

Was this review helpful?

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.

Twenty three year old Emma Woodhouse has lived a privileged life on the Upper East Side. About to start her final year of grad school everything seems to be changing. Her friends are studying abroad, and her sister has moved downtown with her new husband, and former neighbour. The only constant is her father's strange ideas about health, and her love-hate friendship with Knightley. But the dynamic has changed between the pair, and it's soon apparent that their feelings for each other go way past friendship and family, and into lust and perhaps even love. Emma's plans for her final year of school are about to go haywire.

When I heard there was a new Emma adaptation being released, I had to request it immediately! I adore the original, and can't get enough of any and all retellings, so a modern day one set in New York was bound to be good. I was hooked from the first moments, where we see Emma and Knightley bantering about their siblings, and whether they will get together. Flash forward to their wedding, and it's clear that the affection between the pair has grown, and though Knightley regularly is exasperated with Emma's actions, he's also amused and won't let others tell him otherwise. I wondered how Emma of 83rd Street would deal with some of the issues of the original book, such as Frank Churchill, and Mrs Bates, or the falling out that Emma and Knightley had. Well, Audrey and Emily handled them all perfectly, but also in keeping with the situation of a modern book. The way that Emma and Knightley's relationship built up to a culmination in the feelings and the tension, was beautifully done. I read the last 40% or so in one sitting, because I couldn't bear to put my kindle down until I saw them together, and knew all was well. An utterly fantastic debut, and one I can't recommend enough!

Was this review helpful?

Emma of 83rd Street' is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. I loved this story so much. I found Emma to be so delightful, and she is someone that I would love to be friends with. I was swept up in the love story and romance of the book. I would definitely recommend this book.

**Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an arc in exchange for an honest review**

Was this review helpful?

Emma of 83rd Street by Audrey Bellezza & Emily Harding is stunning romantic debut novel!

Woah! One of the best slow-burn romance reads I've read all month!
A quick and easy read recommended for anyone who is looking for a lighthearted book.
A brilliant modern retelling of Jane Austen. And this duo did an outstanding job.
To me everything was perfect!
The storytelling, the genius plot, the engaging characters, the phenomenal writing to the greatest ending!
I honestly ADORED & LOVED every moment of this novel.
It is so much fun, & just so damn adorable, but also SO REALLLL.
Emma of 83rd Street is a brilliantly written debut with a fully fleshed-out whirlwind new romance, and so much more.

I can't wait to see what is created next!

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

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

Was this review helpful?

Even though they live just a yard and a gate apart, the hearts of Emma Woodhouse & George Knightley take a meandering, swoon-worthy slow burn paced walk (with many stumbles) through Central Park to fall in love.

Emma & Knightley are frustratingly obstinate and charmingly considerate throughout. Its rather brilliant that truly no one is perfect no matter the privileged life they exist in.

Also, I'm certain its a form of sorcery when oblivious love interests insist on calling eachother by their last names. I. Am. Weak. For. It. I don't care if they do it for politeness or tradition or habit. Its the best.

Readers may want to be mindful of the age gap relationship, and the privileges of wealth on display here. While it didn't detract from the quality of the story, personally, I was rolling my eyes at every brand or fashion house name drop, and the 'lazy' schedule one can afford when family wealth pays the tuition and makes work unnecessary.

Was this review helpful?

Super cute! I thought this was a very fun adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. I read a lot of present-day Austen adaptations and this one was a quality addition to the many offerings.

Was this review helpful?

A special thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books for approving me to read an ARC of this debut book.

Emma of 83rd Street is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma . I must confess I have not read Jane Austen’s book, but I looked it up to see what it was about and could see what the similarities were.

I was immediately pulled into this debut romantic comedy set in modern times on the Upper East Side. Emma is 23 years old, beautiful, rich, and has a passion for matchmaking. Emma has lived for twenty three years in her tight-knit Upper East Side neighborhood with very little to distress her until her matchmaking results in her sisters marriage and move downtown. With her sister gone and her friends abroad, Emma finds herself bored. She starts her final year of grad school and meets Nadine, an Ohio transplant and she sees her not only as a new friend but as a project. Her overbearing best friend and neighbor George Knightly does not see it the same way.

Emma and her sister Margo grew up as neighbors to Ben and his brother George Knightly, mostly referred to by his last name. Knightly and Emma are quite different but are best friends who spend a lot of time together , including family dinners at Emma’s house. Knightly loves to tease Emma about her ever changing dreams and hobbies. Emma likes to tease Knightly about why he is still single. As the story progresses, they both begin to see each other in a different light. Could it be what they’ve both been looking for be right next door?

I found Emma to be quite likeable and adored the witty banter between her and Knightly and the slow burn. There were also some great side characters as well. Mrs. Pawloski was an absolute hoot.

A fabulous debut novel I highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Emma of 83rd street is a quick read full of light=hearted romance. Emma has grown up as a rich socialite in New York City and is now trying to forge her own path (while still maintaining the rich socialite status) and figuring out what comes next for her after grad school. She has grown up next door to George Knightley and their lives seem to intertwine whether they want them to or not. They're connected by family, proximity, friends, and status... but they both begin to wonder if there is something more under the surface.
While I thought this book was a fun retelling of a classic with a nice modern day twist, there were some parts that gave me pause....
I didn't love Emma (*coversface*) even though I really wanted to. There were times she seemed sweet and uncharacteristically naive, then other times she seemed snobby and entitled. She would waiver back and forth between awareness of her privilege and completely oblivion. George DID call her out on it at times, but it was never addressed on a deeper level.

To be honest, I had a difficult time championing the connection between George and Emma. Don't get me wrong, I love an age-difference, friends to lovers trope, but in my opinion, George just wasn't very kind to Emma and that bothered me. I feel like we got a very detailed look at the banter and sparring relationship between George and Emma, but it was all very surface-level until >boom< they were together declaring their love for each other. It makes me wonder if they can truly get along as friends and lovers beyond the verbal sparring and insults.

Overall, Emma of 83rd street is a fast read that is nice if you're looking for something without any heavy drama or issues. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this lovely retelling of Emma!

If you took the original novel, Clueless, and set it in the current day in New York City you would get Emma of 83rd Street.

Emma is one of my favorite Austen stories. Someone recently asked me why I enjoy it so much. I think it's because its about a girl who is trying to figure out herself in spite of what everyone knows about her and what she thinks she already knows about herself. It's also about friendships and how to people can love each other so perfectly that they are meant for one another.

This Emma sticks quite firmly to the original book in terms of plot, but as I said, brings it to the 21st century. Emma is now a rich socialite - 24 - in NY. She is going for her art history degree and meets Nadine, who is the object of her interest - to find a match for in this city. And then there is Knightley, George who absolutely humbles her and scolds her, but she bears his words well.

Okay. I will say this Emma is different for one reason: we have inner-thought chapters from Knightley's point of view. Not many, but just the right amount that allows us to get inside his head and watch as he grows into realization that he has always loved Emma.

I noticed that if this book is a hit they have a possible sequel lined up of another Austen classic. If these two ladies can make me love Emma as ardently as they did here, then I can't wait to see how they handle their next Austen adaptation. I'd happily follow them into this world they created! Or, in this case, adapted.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley and Gallery Books for allowing me to read this for an honest review!

This was a cute and fresh Emma retelling! Simple, sweet and a fun quick read! the characters felt fresh and brought a new modern perspective to a classic story! I can’t wait to pick up a physical copy!

Was this review helpful?

Wow! Emma of 83rd Street is such a fun read. I love Austen and was thrilled to seek all the references in the book. Sometimes modern retelling of classics can fall flat and lack the charm of the source material, but not this one. The authors did a fantastic job. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for more Austen inspired stories from these two.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced digital copy.

Was this review helpful?

I wish I could give half stars, because I think this is a 3.5/5 rating.

The story line and concept was good, and I connected with all the characters… except Emma. The first half of the book is spent describing her as pretty shallow, she only seems to care about looks, money, what people are wearing, and making a new friend because she is bored. Halfway through the book her depth of character begins to be shown, but by that point I was already pretty irritated with her. It took a while to warm up to her and believe she actually had substance. As a reader you knew that she did- because of the good grades, grad school etc, but it wasn’t demonstrated in actions, only told in words, which made it rather unbelievable.

By the end of the book I was rooting for her, but the first half of the book was a real struggle. Because of this, it took me a 9 days to get through the first half of the book and one evening to finish it once I became invested.

Would possibly recommend to others, so 3.5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you so much to Gallery Books for allowing me to read an ARC of this book!

JANE AUSTENHEADS WE WON!!! I want to preface all of this by saying that I love Jane Austen (along with everyone else) and have read or watched so many retellings at this point that it feels impossible that I should love a new one this much. The story is generally the same, the characters are pretty much the same, it SHOULD feel redundant, but this still managed to feel so fresh.

I'd imagine there are people who will have complaints about the characters, but I loved this Emma. I found her so likable, even in her rougher moments, and the way that Bellezza and Harding are able to maintain the inherent charm of Emma's character is what I think makes this retelling so successful. That said, the entire cast of characters is so well developed, you really feel a connection to everyone in the story, or at least I did! Yes, there's some miscommunication tropes, and yes, some of the characters, including Emma, will likely exasperate you in the way that Austen characters frequently do, but for me, it never reached a point of wearing me out or becoming frustrating.

Something that I found to be such a breath of fresh air here is the lack of OVER modernizing the story. With some retellings, it seems like people feel pressure to make it so starkly different from the original era that there's an over-inclusion of pop culture references or social media. If you've read other retellings, you definitely know what I'm talking about! This one was free of any of that, relying on the story to carry you through naturally without constant reminders of, "Hey, this is happening in the 21st century, don't forget!"

I'm going to be VERY candid: I'm one of those people who really tries to give five star reviews sparingly, since I chronically compare against OTHER five star reads from my library and feel pressure to only give five stars to books that are really "out there" or pushing boundaries in some respect. That said, when I felt the urge to give this four stars instead of five, I found myself wondering what I could possibly change to make it five and coming up completely dry. I really don't think there's anything in this book that I'd genuinely change, and for that, I think I'm forced to grant it the full five!

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the potential setup for a Pride & Prejudice retelling to follow, which quite literally made me gasp out loud at my kindle. Now I need a full series, so I fully plan to force everyone to read this book as soon as it's released. Thank you again to Gallery Books for the eARC!

Was this review helpful?

I love NYC! This book was able to capture my love of this city from when I remember it as a youngster. It was such a good read and I loved getting the chance to read about Emma and her adventures.

Was this review helpful?