— SYNOPSIS —
‘I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.’
Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage.
Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.
With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.
— MY REVIEW —
While I’m not much of historical romance reader or even a reader of classic literature. I have read a few. When it comes to Jane Austen though, I’ve only read one of her novels.
Pride and Prejudice. And I loveeeeeed it! To this day, it’s one of my fave romance books. So when Playermaker Digital approached me for a little collaboration in conjunction with the upcoming movie release of Emma, I jumped at the chance to try my luck at another Austen classic.
I also read that Clueless (y’know that awesome 90’s teen movie?) was loosely based off Emma, and considering that it’s still one of my fave movies to watch, I was eager to see the original story it took inspiration from.
This book centers around the main heroine, Emma Woodhouse who’s perfectly content staying single. Believes she doesn’t need love or marriage in her life, but is more than happy to help others find it— more specifically, help her friend Harriet find it.
Harriet excels at her studies, but when it comes to her personal life and when love is involved, she’s a little hopeless at securing a man. So Emma has taken it upon herself to find the perfect gentleman for her. But that’s when things start getting complicated because the more Emma meddles, the more things don’t go to plan.
Whilst I enjoyed the light-hearted humor included with seeing a tangled mess of misunderstandings, the overall story just didn’t have the same impact on me as Pride and Prejudice did.
Emma’s meddling reached a point where it was too much. Whilst men are coming and going, Emma is reassuring Harriet of her matchmaking choices only to end in disappointment and leaving poor Harriet back at square one.. again.
The overall idea and plot of the story sounded charming but it was difficult for me to like Emma because of her stubbornness. She thought she knew better at choosing suitors for Harriet than Harriet herself, whilst at the same time believing she would never marry or find love for herself because she simply didn’t want or need it.
“Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.” — Emma
Whilst there were a humorous moments throughout, it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged. It started to drag. It went from one failed match-up to the next. Most of the secondary characters weren’t standouts either. They left me with the same mediocre atmosphere that unfortunately Emma sometimes left behind. Besides Harriet, thank the book gods for George Knightley (Emma’s brother in law and friend). He was the voice of reason. Every time I would nod my head in annoyance at another Emma mishap, there he was telling her off! *booyah!* 😛 I’m glad someone had some sense. The quote below pretty much summed up my thoughts whenever Emma’s matchmaking was a total fail.
“Badly done, Emma!” — Mr. Knightley
Despite not loving every bit of this classic, what I still loved about it is Jane Austen’s ability to put diversity in her characters’ personalities. And as I said earlier the premise of this book is what had me eager in seeing who would be matched and who would end up together in the end *whispers* … although I kinda guessed who would end up together in the first few chapters hehe. But it’s always cool to see that you got it correct, am I right?! 😉 The ending was the highlight… and no, not because it was finally finished, but because I actually loved how it concluded for Harriet.
Anyways, I don’t want anyone who reads this review to automatically be put off from reading Emma (or even seeing it’s adaptation). Because I can tell you I’m excited to see the film. Sometimes the movie can be better than the book.. at least for some people. Whilst I thought this was an alright read, after having seen the movie trailer– I’m curious to see what I may have missed when I was reading the book, because the visuals brought back the excitement from when I first read the synopsis.
I almost forgot to mention that the characters in this book are quite young. So despite this being a historical romance, and some of the characters reading older than they actually are, Emma could technically fall under the YA category too. So if you’re a fan of historical romance and wanting to try a classic, give Emma a go. Suitable for teens/ young adults.
Thank you to Playermaker Digital, Universal Studios and Penguin Publishing for the paperback copy, screen passes to see the newest adaptation of Emma, and for the opportunity to collaborate! 😀
#Emma comes out February 13!
The newest adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel.
Historical romance mixed with lighthearted humor about friendship, matchmaking mishaps and unrequited love.
A perfect Galentine’s Day film!
Check your nearest movie cinema for all screening availability.
Watch the trailer now: Emma Trailer
Happy reading, everyone. Catch you in my next one! Xo