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L. M. Montgomery’s classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, gets a romantic, charming, and hilarious modern adaptation, set in New York City. After an idyllic girlhood in Avonlea, Long Island, Anne has packed up her trunk, said goodbye to her foster parents, Marilla and Matthew, and moved to the isle of Manhattan for grad school. Together with her best friend, Diana Barry, she’s L. M. Montgomery’s classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, gets a romantic, charming, and hilarious modern adaptation, set in New York City. After an idyllic girlhood in Avonlea, Long Island, Anne has packed up her trunk, said goodbye to her foster parents, Marilla and Matthew, and moved to the isle of Manhattan for grad school. Together with her best friend, Diana Barry, she’s ready to take on the world and find her voice as a writer.When her long-time archrival Gilbert Blythe shows up at Redmond College for their final year, Anne gets the shock of her life. Gil has been in California for the last five years—since he kissed her during a beach bonfire, and she ghosted him. Now the handsome brunette is flashing his dimples at her like he hasn’t a care in the world and she isn’t buying it. Paired with the same professor for their thesis, the two former competitors come to a grudging peace that turns into something so much deeper…and sexier than either intended. But when Gil seemingly betrays her to get ahead, Anne realizes she was right all along—she should never have trusted Gilbert Blythe. While Gil must prove to Anne that they’re meant to be together, she must come to terms with her old fears if she wants a happily-ever-after with the boy she’s always (secretly) loved.


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L. M. Montgomery’s classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, gets a romantic, charming, and hilarious modern adaptation, set in New York City. After an idyllic girlhood in Avonlea, Long Island, Anne has packed up her trunk, said goodbye to her foster parents, Marilla and Matthew, and moved to the isle of Manhattan for grad school. Together with her best friend, Diana Barry, she’s L. M. Montgomery’s classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, gets a romantic, charming, and hilarious modern adaptation, set in New York City. After an idyllic girlhood in Avonlea, Long Island, Anne has packed up her trunk, said goodbye to her foster parents, Marilla and Matthew, and moved to the isle of Manhattan for grad school. Together with her best friend, Diana Barry, she’s ready to take on the world and find her voice as a writer.When her long-time archrival Gilbert Blythe shows up at Redmond College for their final year, Anne gets the shock of her life. Gil has been in California for the last five years—since he kissed her during a beach bonfire, and she ghosted him. Now the handsome brunette is flashing his dimples at her like he hasn’t a care in the world and she isn’t buying it. Paired with the same professor for their thesis, the two former competitors come to a grudging peace that turns into something so much deeper…and sexier than either intended. But when Gil seemingly betrays her to get ahead, Anne realizes she was right all along—she should never have trusted Gilbert Blythe. While Gil must prove to Anne that they’re meant to be together, she must come to terms with her old fears if she wants a happily-ever-after with the boy she’s always (secretly) loved.

30 review for Anne of Manhattan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    For whatever reason, this really hit the spot for me as a childhood enemies to lovers contemporary romance. This was exactly what it said on the tin: a contemporary romance retelling of Anne and Gilbert getting together. Here's the thing - if you don't want to read about Anne and Gilbert getting it on, this is not the book for you. However, I was 100% down for that, so this ended up having a real sweetness to me that the nostalgia vibes fueled. A perfect palette cleanser... this was super fun! CW For whatever reason, this really hit the spot for me as a childhood enemies to lovers contemporary romance. This was exactly what it said on the tin: a contemporary romance retelling of Anne and Gilbert getting together. Here's the thing - if you don't want to read about Anne and Gilbert getting it on, this is not the book for you. However, I was 100% down for that, so this ended up having a real sweetness to me that the nostalgia vibes fueled. A perfect palette cleanser... this was super fun! CW: sexual harassment

  2. 5 out of 5

    steph

    I tried friends. I really, really tried. But at 29%, I am calling it quits. I cannot take much more of this book. Look, I love Anne Shirley. I am not going to pretend that I don't. I've read all the books, seen (most) of the movies and tv series. I love her relationship with Gilbert, Diana, Marilla and Matthew and the rest of the Avonlea gang. Book 3, in which Anne is away at college is one of my favorite of the series. I love seeing her figure out who she is away from Avonlea and from everything I tried friends. I really, really tried. But at 29%, I am calling it quits. I cannot take much more of this book. Look, I love Anne Shirley. I am not going to pretend that I don't. I've read all the books, seen (most) of the movies and tv series. I love her relationship with Gilbert, Diana, Marilla and Matthew and the rest of the Avonlea gang. Book 3, in which Anne is away at college is one of my favorite of the series. I love seeing her figure out who she is away from Avonlea and from everything comfortable. So when I saw that someone had written a modern day adaptation in which Anne was away at grad school sparring heads with Gilbert, I was like a excited toddler stretching out my grubby hands out to get it. Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie. But this book fell flat. And I even listened to it on audiobook and it had a FANTASTIC narrator whose voice reminded me an awful lot of the actress who played Lydia on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which I adored. But I couldn't get into the writing, it was a lot of description and explanations. I just felt like the author just wanted to tell us what happened. But I don't want to be TOLD that Anne hated Gil, I want to SEE it. I want it revealed to me in tiny chunks and small pieces, layer by layer until I was utterly consumed by the two of them and their past/current relationship. Instead, every interaction between them was either over the top dramatic and or just a plain misunderstanding that could have been fixed with a simple, honest conversation but wasn't. Instead we continued on until the next misunderstanding and quite simply put, I did not want to spend the next five hours of my life listening to that. Plus Anne was bit too juvenile and boring. There were no hijinks, no flights of fancy, no lost in daydreams of the girl that we all know and love. Instead Anne just studies and works. Which I get it, she is in grad school studying for her masters degree but still. Even in her flashbacks to the past Anne was a bit quiet and inward unless she was yelling at Gil. I don't want to be rude because clearly the author is a massive AoGG fan if they are publishing a book about her set in contemporary times but the Anne-ness of Anne was missing from here. Instead I felt like Anne and Gilbert could have been substituted for any other names in this book and it would have been fine. It would have been your standard, generic romcom fic. Which is all good and well, I do love me a standard, generic romcom trope but that is not what I desire from one of my favorite literary couples. At all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    I love reading modern retellings of classics, so when I saw this debut of Brina Starler’s would be an Anne of Green Gables retelling, I knew I had to read it! I had just finished watching the first season of Anne with an E, so I was all about Anne, Gilbert, and their families. Anne of Manhattan turned out to be a charming, sweet romance that I adored! Anne and Gilbert are from Avonlea, Long Island, New York, and they have been rivals since they first met. Well, it was rivalry on Anne’s side and a I love reading modern retellings of classics, so when I saw this debut of Brina Starler’s would be an Anne of Green Gables retelling, I knew I had to read it! I had just finished watching the first season of Anne with an E, so I was all about Anne, Gilbert, and their families. Anne of Manhattan turned out to be a charming, sweet romance that I adored! Anne and Gilbert are from Avonlea, Long Island, New York, and they have been rivals since they first met. Well, it was rivalry on Anne’s side and an unrequited crush on Gil’s side. But Gil being Gil, his crush lead him to pull at her pigtails, so to speak, to get any kind of attention from Anne, even the negative kind. They end their senior year of high school with a kiss but she misinterprets something he says and thinks this is another prank of his. Anne ghosts Gil until he leaves for California for college, and they never speak to each other again… until they reunite for their final year of grad school and are forced to partner together for a thesis project. If you’ve read Anne of Green Gables or watched any of its adaptations, you’ll see some very familiar faces in Diana, Marilla, Matthew, Rachel, and more. Brina Starler brings all these characters to life in modern day New York. The romance between Gil and Anne is lovely – I especially loved that we get inside both their heads with dual POV. Gil is an absolute goner for Anne and has been since the beginning, but I appreciate that he realizes his teasing of Anne might not have been the best way to show his affection. Anne has her own issues to deal with when it comes to trust, after growing up in an orphanage and then being taken in by Marilla and Matthew. I was afraid the romance would be overshadowed in this book, but thankfully it is the highlight of this book! We get to see Gil pining and working his way into Anne’s heart, and it’s sooo adorable. If you love Anne of Green Gables and want a sweet, sexy, modern retelling, I highly recommend this one. It’s got a great enemies-to-lovers romance and I loved the setting of New York!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    Anne of Manhattan is a modern day retelling of Anne of Green Gables. It's no small task to take on beloved characters like Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and come up with your own spin but yet still keep true to the core of what made the original book so special. I think the author pulled it off and I had a blast reading this book centered around one of my favorite fictional couples of all time. While this book can be read as a standalone, you'll probably get more out of the reading experience i Anne of Manhattan is a modern day retelling of Anne of Green Gables. It's no small task to take on beloved characters like Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and come up with your own spin but yet still keep true to the core of what made the original book so special. I think the author pulled it off and I had a blast reading this book centered around one of my favorite fictional couples of all time. While this book can be read as a standalone, you'll probably get more out of the reading experience if you are at least somewhat familiar with L.M. Montgomery's classic book. If you need a brief refresher course, Anne Shirley is an orphan and has been bounced around different homes until she lands at Green Gables. Marilla and Matthew are siblings and together they help raise Anne. Diana is Anne's best friend and neighbor. Gilbert Blythe is the boy who teases Anne on the first day of school and let's just say Anne knows how to hold a grudge. But maybe, just maybe, Gilbert is actually a pretty decent guy and perhaps Anne will figure that out some day. I think it's best to go into this book with an open mind as there are some changes made with the story and characters. But again, the author managed to capture the essence of the original book but gave it an update to fit in better in today's times. And that includes cranking up the steam factor quite a few notches. I'll admit I had a big, cheesy grin on my face practically the entire time I was reading this book because I was given the opportunity to be a part of these characters' world again and totally ate it up. I say give this book a chance if you are a fan of the original. Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with a copy of this book as part of the #WMTastemakers program. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    sil ♡ the book voyagers

    Me being a huge fan of Anne and Gilbert, I loved loved this new modern romance adaptation. I highly recommend everyone who loves them to read it, because you'll get so many emotions, the good kind, and relive all the things you love about these two. " Anne, I've wanted you since before I knew what it was to want someone," Gil said, leaning forward to catch her gaze with his own. "Even when the only time you ever looked at me was when we were fighting, all I could see was you." Anne is doing her Ma Me being a huge fan of Anne and Gilbert, I loved loved this new modern romance adaptation. I highly recommend everyone who loves them to read it, because you'll get so many emotions, the good kind, and relive all the things you love about these two. " Anne, I've wanted you since before I knew what it was to want someone," Gil said, leaning forward to catch her gaze with his own. "Even when the only time you ever looked at me was when we were fighting, all I could see was you." Anne is doing her Master's in Manhattan when she suddenly sees Gilbert Blythe at a bar one night. He's back!!! As soon as they graduated from high school, Gilbert went to California to study and hasn't really returned a lot to Avonlea. After their epic, intense kiss when they were 18 years old, their relationship really became estranged. Childhood rivals since day one, Anne and Gilbert now have to work together on their thesis! I love Anne and Gilbert because of the tropes they have: childhood enemies, academic rivals, hero being in love with heroine for so many years. And you see all of that and more in Anne of Manhattan. I also really loved seeing Gilbert's POV because we don't really get one in the original and I love seeing and reading about Gilbert's constant Anne thoughts 24/7 lmao. That man is WHIPPED. And everyone knows it too. We see all our favorite characters from AOGG (Diana, Marilla, Matthew, Rachel, and more!) and it's so wonderful to get to enjoy them once again for the very first time but in a modern take. The essence of the original work is still there but Brina Starler puts a little bit of magic to make this book really incredible. So if anyone has more Anne of Green Gables romance adaptations, keep them coming, because I crave them so much now!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)

    I started out thinking this was outright charming, and then that it was charming-with-glaring-issues, and then that it was actively terrible. The terribleness arises from being both problematic and the poor job it makes of riffing off its origin material, Anne of Green Gables. In terms of the latter, while the best chapters are undoubtedly the flashback sections that replay episodes of the original novel in a contemporary setting, there is a serious lack of follow-through in the present day love I started out thinking this was outright charming, and then that it was charming-with-glaring-issues, and then that it was actively terrible. The terribleness arises from being both problematic and the poor job it makes of riffing off its origin material, Anne of Green Gables. In terms of the latter, while the best chapters are undoubtedly the flashback sections that replay episodes of the original novel in a contemporary setting, there is a serious lack of follow-through in the present day love story. Grad student Anne is nothing like *the* Anne Shirley, other than feeling faintly antagonistic towards Gilbert Blythe. She doesn’t have her energy or wild imagination, she doesn’t sound like her, she doesn’t have her delightful joy in life. She’s just a world-weary perfectionist with a very unrealistic career plan. And Gil isn’t his irrepressible self either - he’s a pretty likeable, ordinary guy, boyfriend material taken straight from a stock photo. In terms of the former, the book deals very poorly with sexual harassment and the threat of sexual assault by an authority figure. The way this is framed and plays out has subtext of victim-blaming, and it’s used as a catalyst for the ‘dark moment’ in a thoroughly toxic way. Anne’s experiences of the care system are also leveraged as a form of damage to explain why *she* is to blame for being hurt by circumstances or other people’s bad choices. And that comes with a toxic dose of gender essentialism too, a problem that echoes throughout the book. While it tries on the surface to be inclusive - Diana is Black and bi; Fred, Gil’s friend is Puerto Rican - the way the sex scenes and relationships play out scream cishet-normativity. All in all, perhaps my least favourite book of the year.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Author Brina Starler has the writing chops to put together a pretty compelling plot with some quite beautiful writing, placing Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and friends (yes, Anne of Green Gables) in 21st century New York. Avonlea is a community on Long Island, and Anne and Gilbert are graduate students in New York City, thrown together after several years apart when Gilbert enters the same program at the last minute. It’s promising, for sure, especially given that there is a current rage for r Author Brina Starler has the writing chops to put together a pretty compelling plot with some quite beautiful writing, placing Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and friends (yes, Anne of Green Gables) in 21st century New York. Avonlea is a community on Long Island, and Anne and Gilbert are graduate students in New York City, thrown together after several years apart when Gilbert enters the same program at the last minute. It’s promising, for sure, especially given that there is a current rage for re-imaginings of favorite books. Unfortunately, there are some issues, a few of which could have been addressed with tighter editing and others that needed a full-scale assessment of who the audience is for this new novel. On its composition, the first half of the book is filled with hyperbole and overuse of incomplete sentences, both of which can be effective for emphasis but which here turn into annoying distractions. This seems to smooth out in the second half. In setting the story in modern day, it often feels like 21st century sensibilities are thrown at the story without consideration for how they would work in the narrative. An example is assigning sexual orientations to characters for no seeming purpose, as they don’t advance the plot or develop the characters. In addition, the attraction of Gilbert for Anne and the push-pull dance that Anne tries to avoid is developed with strong chemistry. Unfortunately, it devolves into a sexually explicit relationship which is not even hinted at in the attractive and chaste cover art. There is room for new interpretations of Anne, seen for instance in the recent and grittier "Anne with an E" television series that includes modern day social issues, a diverse cast and storylines about the tragedy of Indian schools and struggles with sexual identity. After a jolt and remembrances of the lovely adaptation from 1985 that stayed close to L.M. Montgomery’s writing, it really works out fine, because much of the essence remains intact, and Anne is still a curious and determined and enthusiastic young woman who reaches out in friendship to the people around her. Likewise, there is a great deal of promise for a new literary version of Anne, and some of that carried through in "Anne of Manhattan" with things such as her mentorship of a young teen writer who’s facing personal challenges. Overall, this seems to be a missed opportunity. Anne of Green Gables has been in the canon of classic children’s literature for decades, as it has entertained and empowered girls in its story of overcoming difficulties through perseverance, love, creativity and imagination. Yes, Anne grows up, but adding a steamy romance with no details spared is problematic to me and may be to other long-time fans. To quote the original Anne, “Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?” This is coming out in May. Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for an advance copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorites as a kid and I was really excited to learn that there was a modern-day adaptation coming out. This retelling imagines Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe as modern-day twentysomethings in Manhattan (here, Avonlea is a small town upstate that comes across as a Stars Hollow kind of place). Starler did a nice job updating the story into a contemporary one, but the actual plot itself is ultimately just very generic rom-com that doesn't really capture what it Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorites as a kid and I was really excited to learn that there was a modern-day adaptation coming out. This retelling imagines Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe as modern-day twentysomethings in Manhattan (here, Avonlea is a small town upstate that comes across as a Stars Hollow kind of place). Starler did a nice job updating the story into a contemporary one, but the actual plot itself is ultimately just very generic rom-com that doesn't really capture what it was that I loved about the source material.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I love Anne Shirley, she has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Anne of Green Gables is my go to book for recommendations. Anne is the character that if I could have a picnic with I would. So please oh please let this be a good book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    bee ʚïɞ

    three point five stars! ❀ this book may or may not have inspired me to start watching ‘anne with an e’... anyways, i absolutely adored this book, even without having any prior knowledge to the original classic ‘anne of green gables’, and that’s something i was a bit worried about at first, tbh. but this was a very easy read; it was easy to fall into and understand, easy to love the characters and understand their dynamics and their histories, and i really appreciated that! i also really enjoyed three point five stars! ❀ this book may or may not have inspired me to start watching ‘anne with an e’... anyways, i absolutely adored this book, even without having any prior knowledge to the original classic ‘anne of green gables’, and that’s something i was a bit worried about at first, tbh. but this was a very easy read; it was easy to fall into and understand, easy to love the characters and understand their dynamics and their histories, and i really appreciated that! i also really enjoyed the modern day element and i’d be interested to see how it correlates to the classic setting. anne and gilbert were so freakin adorable to read about, i simply adored their relationship. we did get chapters in both perspectives and i loved all the pining that happened in gil’s chapters. he really is a simp for anne. all in all, this was a really quick and fun read and i’d definitely recommend!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    DNF at 35%. In this modern adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a foster child grows up and leaves the loving home she finally landed in to go off to college in New York City. In grad school, she finds herself pushed into a thesis project with her middle school nemesis, who is now a hunky 20-something. I gave this book far more pages than I normally do for a book that is just not grabbing me because it kept promising to get better. Ultimately, it never delivered on that promise. I found the protag DNF at 35%. In this modern adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a foster child grows up and leaves the loving home she finally landed in to go off to college in New York City. In grad school, she finds herself pushed into a thesis project with her middle school nemesis, who is now a hunky 20-something. I gave this book far more pages than I normally do for a book that is just not grabbing me because it kept promising to get better. Ultimately, it never delivered on that promise. I found the protagonist to be self-absorbed, juvenile, and unlikable and her love interest to be shallow and not well developed. Overall, the prose was pretty, but it just wasn't going anywhere and I could not connect with the characters.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ☆ sana ☆

    “we aren’t the same people we were when we met in eighth grade, or who we were when we last saw each other at the age of eighteen. i thought i knew who you were, because i spent so much time looking at you, and trying to figure out how to get you to look back at me. but it occurs to me that i missed a lot. i just want a chance to know you, anne.” 3.5 stars? 3.75 stars? i’m having trouble deciding how to rate this one. anyone who knows me knows that i’m a big shirbert fan. an adult modern anne of “we aren’t the same people we were when we met in eighth grade, or who we were when we last saw each other at the age of eighteen. i thought i knew who you were, because i spent so much time looking at you, and trying to figure out how to get you to look back at me. but it occurs to me that i missed a lot. i just want a chance to know you, anne.” 3.5 stars? 3.75 stars? i’m having trouble deciding how to rate this one. anyone who knows me knows that i’m a big shirbert fan. an adult modern anne of green gables retelling? second chance anne and gilbert romance? childhood flashbacks? all the side representation (dark skinned queer diana, queer marilla and rachel)? i was sold. i was really excited going into this book and i thought it was really sweet overall. my only problem is the lack of slowburn development between anne and gilbert and i would’ve loved to see more of their rivalry. i started losing interest in the book once they start dating. but, still, i enjoyed it quite a lot (made me miss anne and gilbert even more) and would recommend it to anyone who loves anne of green gables and is interested in reading its modern retellings.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    It gives me absolutely no satisfaction to write this. I wanted this book to work with every fiber of my being. I’m a card-carrying member of the L.M. Montgomery fan club (I have the Emily of New Moon tattoo to prove it), and I’m an avid romance reader. At first blush, I was fully on board with a modernized Anne and Gil doing the dirty. Bring it on!!! But, to be frank, this book lacked a plot. Nothing quite…happens. To ANNE! Who is practically a magnet for the dramatic and disastrous! The stakes It gives me absolutely no satisfaction to write this. I wanted this book to work with every fiber of my being. I’m a card-carrying member of the L.M. Montgomery fan club (I have the Emily of New Moon tattoo to prove it), and I’m an avid romance reader. At first blush, I was fully on board with a modernized Anne and Gil doing the dirty. Bring it on!!! But, to be frank, this book lacked a plot. Nothing quite…happens. To ANNE! Who is practically a magnet for the dramatic and disastrous! The stakes are despairingly low, the relationships wooden, our beloved Anne a shadow of her loquacious, passionate self. It’s as if cherished character names were substituted into a prefabricated story—this book could’ve been about literally anyone, so distant is the connection to Montgomery’s beautifully-wrought characters. I’m sad to say that this is an example of a sellable idea with fumbled execution. I so very much wanted to immerse myself in a fresh vision of Montgomery’s world. I suppose the bar was just too high. I remain thankful to NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    I think you can only go so far on someone else's book... Anne of Green Gables is a classic. I thought this was cute until it just fell apart and Starler couldn't carry the book on her own. Wish I hadn't read it, I can never undo it. 1 star Happy Reading! I think you can only go so far on someone else's book... Anne of Green Gables is a classic. I thought this was cute until it just fell apart and Starler couldn't carry the book on her own. Wish I hadn't read it, I can never undo it. 1 star Happy Reading!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kara Passey

    2.5!! w the acknowledgement that YES I basically just picked this up to be a hater. but seriously this book was fine! just not like.. particularly inspiring or moving to me in any way. the best thing I can say about it is that it makes me want to reread all of anne of green gables again. the worst thing I can say abt it is that I genuinely legitimately think it is offensive to take anne out of pei and put her in not only america but new york??? of all places??? don’t you nyc people have ENOUGH?? 2.5!! w the acknowledgement that YES I basically just picked this up to be a hater. but seriously this book was fine! just not like.. particularly inspiring or moving to me in any way. the best thing I can say about it is that it makes me want to reread all of anne of green gables again. the worst thing I can say abt it is that I genuinely legitimately think it is offensive to take anne out of pei and put her in not only america but new york??? of all places??? don’t you nyc people have ENOUGH?? go watch gossip girl or something god damn.. although the second reason (behind being a hater) that I picked this up was bc I know myself and I am not too good for anne/gilbert fanfiction I do feel like the story didn’t 100% work for me. I didn’t love the now/then format especially bc it’s like… isn’t the point of fanfiction that we all already know the characters so we don’t have get bogged down in the backstory like the reboot of a spiderman franchise? though if anyone picked this up without having read actual anne of green gables I would love to hear from you to find out what the hell your deal is. also I thought it was lame to do a road trip to pei in the book like first of all this does not excuse your crimes second of all actually no that is basically my only point it’s literally so rude of me to choose to read a book I knew I wouldn’t love and then leave a review like “I knew it!” like this is basically just a self own. but it’s my library card and my goodreads account and for better or worse I make the rules

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hanh

    Oh boy what a disappointment even though I was really gunning for this one and was willing to forgive a lot for effort. I'd love to hear how anyone not familiar with LM Montgomery's books thought about this novel. Set in contemporary times, this "Anne of Green Gables" series update squashes the first 3 books ("Green Gables," "Avonlea," & "Island") into one rom-com so Anne Shirley and childhood nemesis Gilbert Blythe can get together. She's studying at New York's Redmond College when Gilbert tran Oh boy what a disappointment even though I was really gunning for this one and was willing to forgive a lot for effort. I'd love to hear how anyone not familiar with LM Montgomery's books thought about this novel. Set in contemporary times, this "Anne of Green Gables" series update squashes the first 3 books ("Green Gables," "Avonlea," & "Island") into one rom-com so Anne Shirley and childhood nemesis Gilbert Blythe can get together. She's studying at New York's Redmond College when Gilbert transfers there after going to school on the West Coast. They happen to be in the same program and therefore share many classes together. They even start on a combined thesis project (!? that's a thing? oh well *shrug*), hang out with a group of friends and eventually get closer. Here's the problem: I am not a purist in the sense that I don't like updates. Even though the Meagan Follows "Anne" is my ultimate one, I really enjoy Netflix's "Anne with an 'E,'" which expands Anne's world - still set in Victorian times but updates many of the social issues & adds characters. I enjoy many Jane Austen updates, especially "Clueless." What I am a purist about when it comes to "Anne of Green Gables" is the spirit of the character Anne Shirley, who lives in a technicolor imaginary world, loves & hates hard, and is just a little bit of an extra drama queen in the most adorable way. So if you're going to give me a contemporary update of Anne, then more power to her teaching middle schoolers to write, working in a bookstore, visiting adoptive parents Matthew and Marilla. Make Diana Barry a WOC and a budding fashion designer. Make Fred Wright a tattoo artist. Hell, I don't even mind if things get a bit risqué. Those things don't matter to me. What was missing, however, was that essential Anne-ness. The book shuttles back and forth in time to fill in gaps from the past – childhood when she was in foster care, going to Avonlea, getting adopted, her first conflict with Gilbert Blythe, them circling each other at school – to the present when Gilbert has transferred to her college. And every time we visit Avonlea whether it's in the past or present, everything just feels disconnected as if it's still all happening in the late 19th century. There are references to events that LM Montgomery's book readers will find familiar, and even a diary that young Anne writes in that allows us to get some of that voice of breathless wonder and affection. It was incredibly disorienting contrasted with the New York, New York scenes. Yes, partly because these felt contemporary, but also because they lacked that Anne spark. There were no hijinks or flights of fancy or any of the adventures I'd expect Anne Shirley to get into. While she goes into raptures about the trees and such in Green Gables, I'd expect her to find some romance about her environs in New York. Nada. Instead, Anne is shy and rather flat. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU DO WITH ANNE? Instead of showing how funny Anne is, we're told. Ditto for her weirdness. She doesn't show any efforts of dealing with her vanity or red hair or even trying out new fashions now that she's away from home. She is just devoid of any personhood except for schoolwork. And I get that she's very studious, but that doesn't make her a robot. As for the romance, the few times I feel real chemistry were actually in the flashbacks when Gilbert is clearly pining for her to just look at him. But in the present it's just accepted as read. They like each other and I really couldn't care less. I don't want to rip this author who clearly has a love for the original text, but frankly I kind of blame the editor for not pushing for more of what I was saying is missing. We as readers should not hold our love for the original Anne in our hearts to like this one. We should be able to come in fresh and be charmed by her. Instead I found her incredibly generic and forgettable. This review is courtesy of an ARC from NetGalley & William Morrow

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jen (mrs-machino)

    This was fine, I enjoyed reading it - but it was just Anne of Green Gables fanfiction and I was hoping for something more, I guess. Not much character development or growth.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Brown

    I love Anne of Green Gables and all of the characters that come alive in the books and become a part of the readers own "kindred spirit" friend group. This portrayal, Anne of Manhattan, I did not like one bit. In the modern re-telling, Anne lives with her best friend, Diana Barry in New York City, and is tackling her senior year of grad school when Gilbert Blythe transfers to Redmond College where their professor pairs them together for the final thesis project. Will these two life-long competit I love Anne of Green Gables and all of the characters that come alive in the books and become a part of the readers own "kindred spirit" friend group. This portrayal, Anne of Manhattan, I did not like one bit. In the modern re-telling, Anne lives with her best friend, Diana Barry in New York City, and is tackling her senior year of grad school when Gilbert Blythe transfers to Redmond College where their professor pairs them together for the final thesis project. Will these two life-long competitors finally reach a truce? Or more? The naivety and innocence of the Anne of Green Gables characters, a large part of what endeared them to me in the first place, is gone. Do not recommend. Thank you to NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy in return for my review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Val

    This book is a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables. This story follows Anne as she is pursuing her Master’s degree in New York. She is still the spunky, fact-loving, smart and vivacious Anne I remember from my youth. This story had more of a Romance vibe as she and her high school nemesis Gilbert reunite. There is angst, doubt, suspicion, heartbreak, tension and love. “It felt like they were on the precipice of something important. Something they couldn’t come back from. That moment before a This book is a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables. This story follows Anne as she is pursuing her Master’s degree in New York. She is still the spunky, fact-loving, smart and vivacious Anne I remember from my youth. This story had more of a Romance vibe as she and her high school nemesis Gilbert reunite. There is angst, doubt, suspicion, heartbreak, tension and love. “It felt like they were on the precipice of something important. Something they couldn’t come back from. That moment before a trust fall, the point of suspended time spooling out as they teetered on the edge of the plunge into the unexplored territory." I loved hearing from both Anne and Gilbert’s voices. The story is ultimately about vulnerability, trust, support and acceptance. It was a fun and entertaining story that had my eyes leaking more than once. I really enjoyed it. Thank you to @bookclubgirl and @williammorrowbooks for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy. Pub Date: June 1, 2021

  20. 4 out of 5

    Moon Love

    I absolutely adore L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables , the book series and the movies too. There's something about Anne's spirit and vivacity that just warms my heart. It's the joy she brings to those around her, brightening their lives, all unbeknownst to her. You'd think I would be apprehensive about a favorite bring retold in modern times, but I wasn't, not at all. Brina Starler has done a phenomenal job at taking the classic and making it anew for a new generation of readers. I feel i I absolutely adore L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables , the book series and the movies too. There's something about Anne's spirit and vivacity that just warms my heart. It's the joy she brings to those around her, brightening their lives, all unbeknownst to her. You'd think I would be apprehensive about a favorite bring retold in modern times, but I wasn't, not at all. Brina Starler has done a phenomenal job at taking the classic and making it anew for a new generation of readers. I feel in love from the first page. The prologue is perfection and attention grabbing. I absolutely love how the story is set up with Now and Then chapters and how the focus is on Anne and Gilbert as mostly adults. What really made the book for me was their relationship, and the fact there was sex on the page. It felt right and that their pining for each other was ended. Retellings can often take the feeling of just repackaging the original content without much originality or effort. Anne of Manhattan feels new and fresh, more real world. It also renewed my love for this series. I hope the Anne of Green Gables retellings continue with stories of Diana and Phil. My only wish besides more stories set in Avonlea or wherever their journeys take them, is more of Anne and Gilbert. I got my fill, and yet it isn't enough to keep me from wanting more of them. Kudos to Brina Starler for doing such an amazing job. This is the first work of hers I've read and I'm eager to read more!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    In terms of creative works, you can trace a bell curve out of the ones that generate fandom interest. In one tail lie the works that are so bad no one cares enough to create fanworks of them; the best example being, of course, James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’. In the other tail are found the works that are so good they don’t need to be improved, and so they generate equally little in the way of fanfic – although they are good candidates for fanart. Most of fandom can be found in the middle of the bell c In terms of creative works, you can trace a bell curve out of the ones that generate fandom interest. In one tail lie the works that are so bad no one cares enough to create fanworks of them; the best example being, of course, James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’. In the other tail are found the works that are so good they don’t need to be improved, and so they generate equally little in the way of fanfic – although they are good candidates for fanart. Most of fandom can be found in the middle of the bell curve, fixated upon works that had loads of potential duly squandered by the original creators and eagerly snatched by fandomers ready to ‘fix’ it. Before this book, I would have put LM Montgomery’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series firmly in the ‘too good to require improvement’ area of the fandom bell curve. (The only possible exception I can think of is the horribly racist and jingoistic ‘Rilla of Ingleside’, which is ripe for a better treatment than what it got in the direct xenophobic aftermath of WWI in Canada.) After this book, I still think that. ‘Anne with an E’ is a show that has its (myriad) faults, but, like Rozema’s ‘Mansfield Park’, is trying to do a specific thing with its source material: demonstrate that there is no such thing as a ‘faithful adaptation’. All adaptations are to some extent faithless, and both these productions harness the fandomesque power of taking the parts of a work that resonated with you and running with them. ‘Anne with an E’ also added backstory that didn’t exist in the books, especially with regard to people in Canada who weren’t white Anglo-Canadians. Aside from changing Diana’s race in a glancing, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it description, Starler isn’t a bit interested in updating any of the very 1910s race and class sentiments of the originals. Instead, she gloms on to some of the more tiresome elements of the TV show, such as the fact that Marilla Cuthbert is given a teen romance with Gilbert Blythe’s father, and the actor playing Gilbert is cute in a very teen heartthrob way and wears a lot of teen heartthrob bakerboy hats. Seriously: aside from clothes ‘clinging’ to him and having the standard romance-novel-hero cut abs despite never setting foot in a gym, in this book Gilbert's only active description involves a ‘cabbie’ hat. The Anne/Gilbert romance created by Montgomery stands for me as one of the all-time greats in the enemies-to-lovers Hall of Fame. It also gets a nomination in the childhood sweethearts and lost ships categories. I have no idea why or how you would want to retell it, let alone that anyone would think they could do it better. I can see a strong argument for a Diana/Anne story, but what on earth could you change about Anne and Gilbert’s story? Short answer: nothing. Starler doesn’t change a god-damned thing. Her ‘updates’, when she attempts them, are minimal, and universally stupid. For example: Gilbert, who’s always wanted to be a doctor in the real book, undertakes teacher training to fund his further education. In this version, Gilbert is into education for its own sake, and is independently wealthy. Baffling. Anne is shown wearing pink, when in the real book she never wears it but longs to, because her hair provides too comical a contrast. Anne’s first interaction with Mr Phillips involves her telling him that her name is ‘Ann’ but she prefers the spelling ‘Anne’. THIS RILED ME BEYOND THE RECKONING OF IT. Anne’s favourite thing about her name – the only thing about it she likes – is that it’s spelled ‘Anne’ and not ‘Ann’. That’s where the ‘with an E’ thing COMES FROM. She gets Mr Phillips’ back up by demanding he keep the ‘E’ and sets the course for her whole future with Gilbert in that moment. Starler just changes that like it’s nothing, which leads me to believe she’s never actually read the book, and this is just a pathetic fanfic to the TV show. Starler then attempts to rack up representation brownie points by making Diana bisexual and Marilla and Rachel lesbian lovers. Which, fine. You don’t ever get to see these people having or developing relationships, so it’s really labels for the sake of saying ‘queer rep’, but it’s presumably better than nothing. What really angers me about the choices for these characters are what she doesn’t do with them. Marilla in the real book is one of those rare creatures, a spinster who isn’t treated with ridicule and filled with shame. She ploughs her own furrow, accidentally becomes a mother in her sixties, and rises to the challenge. She never, ever, ever evinces sorrow or regret over her single state, and she’s never once treated as a less of a person because she goes her whole life unpartnered. In the hundred years since her inception, very few other spinsters have graced literature. And what was the first thing Starler did to ‘fix’ her? Shoved her into a relationship with a woman who, in the real books, forms one half of literature’s great, complex, platonic friendships – another thing we never get to see much of, with women. FUCK YOU. Then there’s Diana. I fully get why people think the great love story of these books could be Anne and Diana – but they would have to contend with the fact that what separates them isn’t just the sexual inhibitions of the writer’s era. They also grow apart when Anne goes to high school and Diana doesn’t. This isn’t Diana’s choice – her father doesn’t believe in higher education for girls – but Diana also doesn’t rebel against this stricture, or really seem to regret it much. She’s engaged and married and a mother by the age of twenty, before Anne is even finished college. They drift gently apart after ‘Anne of Avonlea’. Anne makes other friends, like Philippa, who are more up to her intellectual and ambitious level, and Diana really isn't heard from much thereafter. Theirs is an intense childhood friendship that doesn’t survive the rigours of adulthood – which would be a fascinating topic, if Starler bothered to notice what actually happened and transposed it to the modern day, instead of, as I say, just watching the TV show. So what we’re left with is a story in which Starler adds in the two things that didn’t feature much, for obvious reasons, in the original: kissing and sex. Anne and Gilbert share a kiss at their high school graduation party that leads to immediate regret and misunderstanding. They don’t speak again until they both end up doing a Masters in Education at the same university. They’re barely twenty-six doing this, which is yet another missed opportunity – Anne canonically took time out of her education to help Marilla and save money, which is the whole plot of ‘Anne of Avonlea’, and one that would have done very well in a modern setting. Gilbert studying education is ridiculous, as I’ve said, but to be honest the field of educational studies is the most pathetic of all the academic disciplines. At least all other areas of academia are finding shit out – education is just debating ways of disseminating information, and coming up with dreadful ‘solutions’ like flipped classrooms. The potential of bringing together two antagonists to work on the same project is lost when Anne and Gilbert ‘make up’ their lame fight before it even begins. They both teach creative writing, even though it’s never mentioned that either of them have published – or indeed written – anything to justify teaching it. Anne drones on and on about how great it is teaching pre-pubertal scribblers how to vomit up literary fiction, and then turns around and takes a job teaching education to college-age students. Wow, that is very consistent and believable characterisation. Not. The sex is really, really boring, both on a sentence level and because there’s no actual tension between these two characters. “Now he wanted as a man wanted, with the urge to take her apart with his hands and put her back together with the words he’d whisper into her hair, afterward. He wanted her to come home with him and the end of the night, and have her full and complete concentration. He wanted everything she had to give – he was hungry for it.” I dozed off. Until she uses ‘damp’ in a sex scene. JAIL FOR MOTHER FOR A THOUSAND YEARS. Starler riffs off the audience's pre-loaded knowledge of their childhood aggro, which she seems to think excuses her from doing any of the heavy lifting. Nuh-uh; as fandom knows, fanfic is about retelling a story with a spotlight on the things you think need attention. Hence every Harry/Draco fanfic mentions the spurned handshake, a very minor event in the books, and a catalyst in every romance written about them. What was missing in the OG AOGG that Starler wants to rectify by paying it more attention? I have no idea, because this book never tells me. Why does it even exist? Fucked if I know. There’s also a sexual misconduct story shovelled in here, because of course there is. I’m tired of thinking about this book, so I’ll just say that Starler is basically writing Baby’s First Fanfic, so she should accept her own limitations and not tackle topics which she is not equipped to handle. Conclusion: thanks, I hate it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Writing a modern take on a beloved classic is a tall order, and this book falls quite short. There are so many possibilities and opportunities for fun modernization and takes on this story and these characters, but it seemed like the author was afraid to really go for it. The charm that made these characters loveable is missing. A disappointment.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I'm a serious Anne fan, as in I last read the series in 2017. These books are like mashed potatoes to me - wholesome and filling and like going home. When I saw this project was coming, my fingers were crossed so hard that it wouldn't suck — I'm thinking of Ana of California, which I found so deeply disappointing. I was trying to remember something about the originals, and so pulled out my paperback copy of Anne of the Island, which I've owned since I was 12, and ended up reading the last 30 or I'm a serious Anne fan, as in I last read the series in 2017. These books are like mashed potatoes to me - wholesome and filling and like going home. When I saw this project was coming, my fingers were crossed so hard that it wouldn't suck — I'm thinking of Ana of California, which I found so deeply disappointing. I was trying to remember something about the originals, and so pulled out my paperback copy of Anne of the Island, which I've owned since I was 12, and ended up reading the last 30 or so pages, and holy crap, the book really is a delight. It's funny and heartfelt, and it has such a warm, but honest descriptions of the failings of human nature. The characters practically jump off the pages, and I got the feeling that L.M. Montgomery was a very attentive woman as she so astutely captures people. On that note, I don't think it's reasonable to hold another author to her standard, even if they happen to be playing in her sandbox. I think the only way to enjoy this is to hold it in your head as a very different book. To be honest, I generally hate it when Elizabeth and Darcy bang it out in a variation (I can think of two exceptions, message me if you care), so I should have guessed that Anne and Gilbert going at it was going to make me uncomfortable too. I wish I had picked up the ebook, so that I could have just skimmed those pages. There are certainly things that Starler gets very right, like the relationships with Marilla and Matthew, but I really didn't like the late turn. It didn't hit for me emotionally, up until then, I would have said that it was a 4-star book, but you really, really have to stick the landing. --- In a hilarious mishap, I stopped the audiobook right before a sex scene, and then CLOSED OUT THE APP, however, the second time I started my car while running an errand, my phone decided to kick the book over to my car bluetooth. I started frantically hitting the volume button, as my bag was in the backseat, and it takes a sec for the controls to come up on my dash. My middle-school daughter's eyes go huge, and she says, "Is that Anne and Gilbert?" I finally get the darn thing turned off and admit yes, and she makes horrified sounds of disgust and asks why I would want to listen to THAT. Me: I didn't know it would be quite this thirsty?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    I was so excited about this book and I'm very sad that it was such a letdown in so many ways. First, I don't think this book captured the spirit of Anne at all. I wanted her to bear some resemblance to her childhood self--imaginative, whimsical, funny, spirited, prone to mishaps, and there just wasn't any of it. She was practical and boring and wore jeans. Wouldn't Anne of Manhattan wear something more interesting than jeans??? L.M. Montgomery is such a prose stylist, and I would expect more styli I was so excited about this book and I'm very sad that it was such a letdown in so many ways. First, I don't think this book captured the spirit of Anne at all. I wanted her to bear some resemblance to her childhood self--imaginative, whimsical, funny, spirited, prone to mishaps, and there just wasn't any of it. She was practical and boring and wore jeans. Wouldn't Anne of Manhattan wear something more interesting than jeans??? L.M. Montgomery is such a prose stylist, and I would expect more stylish prose from a retelling. It didn't bring that either. This is the place for purple prose! At least some beautiful and lengthy descriptions of places real and imaginary. Instead it was so flat. And there was nothing Manhattan about this book! It could have easily taken place anywhere there was a college, which was the main setting. I rankle when books set in New York don't take advantage of the opportunity to paint a portrait of such a mythic place. Couldn't you imagine Anne of Manhattan visiting Central Park and giving ornate names to every body of water and open area she sees? Shouldn't there be some kind of antics? No, what you get is a #metoo plot line. Which I get it, it's realistic, but is this conceit really the best vehicle for such a plot? It's such a tonal mismatch for me. And then there's the whole nonsensical academic part of the plot. Anne is attending a graduate school in Manhattan for a masters in education. I actually did the same exact thing. Literally every person in my program was there to become a public school teacher, as that's the path to be permanently certified to teach in NY state. No one was there to do "education law" as Gilbert was. For that, you'd go to law school or get a PhD in policy. And certainly no one was there to become an "associate professor." A master's degree does not qualify you for such a job! Words mean things! Literally if you google "associate professor," the first thing that comes up that defines that term on the tenure track, as the state between being an assistant professor and a full professor, the state one arrives at after achieving tenure. This book is telling me that someone is getting hired to be a FULLY TENURED professor directly out of graduate school with a MASTERS DEGREE? That's not how anything works! If it was mentioned offhandedly it would be one thing, no one can be an expert in every thing that they write about. But the whole plot revolves around their academic careers and it just made me mad. Honestly I just want someone else to take the concept of a modern-day Anne and run it in a very different direction. ***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.***

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Martinez Figueroa

    Thank you Silvana for telling me this existed. I stayed up til 4am reading and then woke up in the morning to finish the last 3rd of the book. I absolutely loved this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Z

    This was very cute and, as a lifelong lover of Anne of Green Gables, I generally kind of liked this updated take. The enemies-to-lovers story of Anne and Gilbert, the friendship between Anne and Diana (and Phil, which was exciting and surprising to see!), Matthew and Marilla still being present, nods to original clothing and locations… I loved how the author didn’t erase any of the story to make it belong in modern-day NYC, they just tweaked it to fit their vision. Giving Anne of Manhattan 3 star This was very cute and, as a lifelong lover of Anne of Green Gables, I generally kind of liked this updated take. The enemies-to-lovers story of Anne and Gilbert, the friendship between Anne and Diana (and Phil, which was exciting and surprising to see!), Matthew and Marilla still being present, nods to original clothing and locations… I loved how the author didn’t erase any of the story to make it belong in modern-day NYC, they just tweaked it to fit their vision. Giving Anne of Manhattan 3 stars because, while it was a great concept, the writing did feel a little lazy to me at times and it did sort of read more like an AU fanfiction rather than a fully fleshed-out retelling of the classic story. Still, Anne of Green Gables is the book [series] that sprouted my love of reading and this novel made me feel warm and nostalgic. Very light, very quick, fairly decent (and a great book to read in the middle of my teeny tiny reading slump)! Side note: Anne’s celebrity crush being Timothee Chalamet is my villain origin story MORNING EDIT WHEN MY BRAIN IS MORE AWAKE AND ALSO BECAUSE KARA’S COMMENT REMINDED ME THAT I WANTED TO SAY THIS BUT FORGOT OOPS: As cute as this story was, it did feel sacrilegious at times…. Avonlea/Green Gables being placed in the Hamptons was a choice that I was like “hmmmm” to (probably truthfully because, as Kara pointed out, it’s weird to take Anne out of PEI), some of the characters speaking like modern-day adults threw me for a loop sometimes (especially Diana) even though I know it makes sense for this version, the occasional more “explicit” scene..… there were a lot of moments that I was like “ack this feels wrong” but I can overlook those times for the most part because the author truly did make a good attempt at refreshing the story for today’s generation (though… did it need a retelling??) without completely taking apart the original story (it was there it was just very different). Would I read this again? No, but I don’t regret reading it either! It truly was cute and a great concept that just didn’t come fully to fruition for me. And now I wanna dive into the OG Anne stories again…

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    DNF @ 28%. I've really been looking forward to this, but it didn't work for me at all. The characters were super unlikable and except for the names, didn't really resemble the original characters at all. I also was just really bored with it. This one was a disappointment. DNF @ 28%. I've really been looking forward to this, but it didn't work for me at all. The characters were super unlikable and except for the names, didn't really resemble the original characters at all. I also was just really bored with it. This one was a disappointment.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Morpurgo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. You know I am a HUGE fan of Anne of Green Gables. I am always up for additions to the world of Anne and love to discover a new take on her story. This one was set in modern day New York (as most books are🙄), and it focused primarily on the love story of Anne & Gilbert, both 24 and pursuing the end of their academic careers. Gil works at bar called “Kindred Spirits”, Marilla and Rachel Lynne are a couple, Matthew is still alive, and Gil is not a Doctor, but decides to start a non-profit to help li You know I am a HUGE fan of Anne of Green Gables. I am always up for additions to the world of Anne and love to discover a new take on her story. This one was set in modern day New York (as most books are🙄), and it focused primarily on the love story of Anne & Gilbert, both 24 and pursuing the end of their academic careers. Gil works at bar called “Kindred Spirits”, Marilla and Rachel Lynne are a couple, Matthew is still alive, and Gil is not a Doctor, but decides to start a non-profit to help literacy in under-reached communities. It was very campy, very quick and lacking in depth as one would expect from a YA romcom, and had its fun, light moments, but overall was unsatisfying. I also did NOT want to read about the descriptive intimacy between Anne & Gil - no thank you!! I’d prefer to leave that door closed, thank you very much. There was nothing gained in pulling back the curtain to reveal their sexy details. It almost felt gratuitous because we all know that a special part of Anne & Gil’s story is the purity, restraint & blushing anticipation of their relationship. This book implied that any restraint & blushing was strictly related to a physical attraction and I feel that limited what was intended for their story as a couple. After reading Anne in Manhattan I am convinced that the original is still far better, even for a modern audience, and it’s proof that you don’t need to open the door wide and share everything because there is more magic in the imagination.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Marshall

    *I received an advance unedited copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. First of all, anyone who takes on a modern epilogue of Anne of Green Gables has some incredibly big shoes to fill. I loved the Anne books growing up and she's a cherished character from my childhood. So to see her thrust into modern times with cell phones and sex scenes was discombobulating to say the least. I honestly had to break that link mentally to even give this "new" character a fair sho *I received an advance unedited copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. First of all, anyone who takes on a modern epilogue of Anne of Green Gables has some incredibly big shoes to fill. I loved the Anne books growing up and she's a cherished character from my childhood. So to see her thrust into modern times with cell phones and sex scenes was discombobulating to say the least. I honestly had to break that link mentally to even give this "new" character a fair shot. But even then, this book was mediocre at best. It was a quick, easy read... but not really a good or fulfilling read. I enjoyed imagining the progression of Anne and Gil's relationship over time, and Anne's emotional progression as she navigates her childhood wounds into adulthood. And the author did capture some of Anne's sassiness. But overall, this book just never took off for me. I kept waiting for liftoff, but instead just taxied on the runway.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I have been a longtime fan of Anne, probably because I too am an Anne with an e (middle name) while all my cousins with the family middle name don’t have that e. I’ve read the books, seen all the old movies (recently learned there were some newer ones), binged the Netflix series, and even read and watched every episode/book of the spinoff series Avonlee. I even dated a Gilbert Blythe look alike. So yeah, I’m a fan. I was excited to see a retelling since all my friends are Austinites. I finally h I have been a longtime fan of Anne, probably because I too am an Anne with an e (middle name) while all my cousins with the family middle name don’t have that e. I’ve read the books, seen all the old movies (recently learned there were some newer ones), binged the Netflix series, and even read and watched every episode/book of the spinoff series Avonlee. I even dated a Gilbert Blythe look alike. So yeah, I’m a fan. I was excited to see a retelling since all my friends are Austinites. I finally had a chance to say , seeeeeeeee my favorite story is important enough for retellings too. And this story does not disappoint. I can tell the author is a fan. The story has moved Green Gables to Long island, made it a winery, and starts with Anne in the last year of grad school for her Masters in Teaching. Gilbert has been away in California, but has moved closer to family as his father has fallen ill. Most readers remember Anne before adulthood, so at the beginning of this book seems a little late to the game, but through various flashbacks we get the story of young Anne and younger Gilbert and the love that wouldn’t die. The only thing I really miss from her younger story that is not retold here, is breaking the slate over Gilbert's head. He totally deserved it. But what the author uses to fill in those gaps like the beach scene and the kiss at the wrong time fit perfectly with the original story I loved so much. There were so many things to like about this book. There were also a few ehhhh things. For example, I didn’t not care for the sex scenes. There are only two, but the author aimed for steamy and instead came out sounding like a sex scene written by a man. And here’s the thing ... they are not needed. The original books never had sex scenes. This book could have alluded to happy fun times, and left the details out and it would have been just fine. I did like what they did with the character Marilla, and their eventual escape to Prince Edward Island. I also really enjoyed how they brought Anne and Gilbert together at the end. Overall, this was a really fun read that I think fans of Anne will enjoy, but I think people who never read the Anne books will enjoy it as well. It’s a light comedic romance that just puts a smile on the reader's face.

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