Age Range
Release Date
November 07, 2023
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A modern-day gay Emma, with the spikey social critique of Austen plus the lush over-the-top romance of Bridgerton.

Emmett Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence and had lived nearly eighteen years in the world with very little to distress or vex him.

Emmett knows he’s blessed. And because of that, he tries to give back: from charity work to letting the often irritating Georgia sit at his table at lunch, he knows it’s important to be nice. And recently, he’s found a new way of giving back: matchmaking. He set up his best friend Taylor with her new boyfriend and it’s gone perfectly. So when his occasional friend-with-benefits Harrison starts saying he wants a boyfriend (something Emmett definitely does NOT want to be), he decides to try and find Harrison the perfect man at Highbury Academy, the candy-colored private school they attend just outside Los Angeles.

Emmett’s childhood friend, Miles, thinks finding a boyfriend for a guy you sleep with is a bad idea. But Miles is straight, and Emmett says this is gay life – your friends, your lovers, your boyfriends – they all come from the same very small pool. That’s why Emmett doesn’t date – to keep things clean. He knows the human brain isn’t done developing until twenty-five, so any relationship he enters into before then would inevitably end in a breakup, in loss. And he’s seen what loss can do. His mother died four years ago and his Dad hasn’t been the same since.

But the lines Emmett tries to draw are more porous than he thinks, and as he tries to find Harrison the perfect match, he learns that gifted as he may be, maybe he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to love.

Modern and very gay, with a charmingly conceited lead who is convinced he knows it all, and the occasional reference to the classic movie Clueless, Emmett brings you lush romance all while exploring the complexities of queer culture—where your lovers and friends are sometimes the same person, but the person you fall in love with might be a total surprise.

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1 review
charming YA contemporary
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EMMETT is an overall fun retelling of Emma in the modern day. Emmett has decided that he will not have any relationships until he is 25 and his prefrontal cortex is fully developed. However, he does still have friends with benefits, and his current friend with benefits, Harrison, is looking for a relationship. Being a great friend, Emmett decides that he will help to set him up, and he has his eyes on Clarke for Harrison. Even though his neighbor and childhood friend Miles thinks this is a bad idea, Emmett really has a gift for bringing people together. What could go wrong?

What I loved: This was an overall really charming read about relationships, missteps, and what makes people click. While the focus was definitely on Emmett and his efforts to find the perfect guy for Harrison, there were some heavier themes around his mother's death from cancer (past) and the way that his father is coping with her loss as well as the ways he has heightened his checking of Emmett's health. Emmett is planning for college and balancing his father's emotional weight at the same time.

There were definitely some funny moments and the book managed to feel light-hearted throughout, much like the inspiration. Emmett is a charming character that is easy to empathize with and understand, even if he seems willfully oblivious at times. He is learning to take risks and heal more from the loss of his mother, particularly in terms of relationships as deep down, it seems he is afraid of that deeper connection and potential heartbreak. The story brought everything together well and leaves the reader with a smile.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, parts of the story felt repetitive and seemed to slow down a bit in the middle. I prefer a quick pace that gets to the point a bit more quickly, but I think some people will enjoy the details around all the work of the setups and get-togethers that happen along the way.

Final verdict: Overall, EMMETT is a charming YA contemporary take on EMMA that is delightfully light-hearted and sweet.
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