cover image Emmett


L.C. Rosen. Little, Brown, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-52477-3

In this spirited modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, 17-year-old white and gay high school senior Emmett Woodhouse knows that his good looks, intelligence, and wealth afford him a privileged life. So, despite navigating grief over his mother’s death and helping his father manage his worsening mental health, Emmett feels compelled to give back to his Highbury Academy community. Though he’s vowed not to date until he’s at least 25, he endeavors to help others who are unlucky in love. When Emmett’s recurring casual hookup says that he wants a boyfriend, Emmett decides to play matchmaker, which proves harder than expected. Constant, unhelpful commentary from condescending neighbor Miles—his straight, bronze-skinned childhood crush who Emmett believes doesn’t understand the complexity of queer relationships—doesn’t help. Rosen (Lion’s Legacy) cultivates a joyously intersectionally diverse environment through which characters—and readers—feel safe and supported, making for an optimistic read that explores identity and provides models of healthy relationships, sex, and love. While retaining the signature wit and warm tone of the inspiration material, Rosen crafts a sensitive and affirming adaptation. Ages 14–up. Agent: Joy Tutela, David Black Literary. (Nov.)

Correction: The text of this review has been updated to reflect a character’s skin color.