Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Anne of Manhattan

Rate this book
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.

327 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Brina Starler

2 books55 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
475 (10%)
4 stars
1,384 (30%)
3 stars
1,729 (38%)
2 stars
668 (14%)
1 star
274 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 966 reviews
Profile Image for steph .
1,231 reviews74 followers
May 30, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Mara.
1,638 reviews3,890 followers
May 28, 2021
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
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,211 reviews104 followers
August 17, 2021
So yes and most definitely, if an author, actually if any author, period, is going to actively and specifically be using Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne Shirley character (as well as Anne's friends and acquaintances with their names and all as they appear in the Anne of Green Gables books) in a modern setting, in a contemporary retelling (and no matter from which novel or novels of the AOGG series I might add) there are to and for me (and if I am actually going to be reading with any kind of joy and pleasure) a number of specific necessities that absolutely do need occur, that do have to be meticulously followed by said author (and indeed, if this does not happen, well, I am usually massively disappointed and often to the point of literally no return so to speak).

And first and foremost, for a modern incarnation of Anne Shirley’s specific story (and life) to work for me (and to equally be considered in any way an homage to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writing) the story (or the stories) in question absolutely will need to be totally set in Canada and also preferably in the Maritimes (considering how firmly rooted in Canada L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe actually are and that their love of in particular Prince Edward Island permeates both descriptively and emotionally almost every part of what Montgomery textually presents). And as such, it really has totally and majorly irked me, and right from the onset, right from page one of Brina Starler’s 2021 Anne of Manhattan that this story is set in the United States, that Anne Shirley is described by Starler as going to graduate school in New York City (and yes, the author placing even Avonlea itself in the USA, on Long Island, that is really absolutely ridiculous and and totally ruins Anne of Manhattan for me).

For come on, there are a lot of really first rate universities with excellent academic programs in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and even one on Prince Edward Island, and I really do find it majorly ridiculous and frustrating that Brina Starler has her Anne Shirley in Anne of Manhattan both reside in the USA and then do her graduate work in the USA and not in one of the three Maritime provinces. Because truly, if Brina Starler wanted a modern United States set tale based on L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, to and for me she should definitely be using totally DIFFERENT names and she should absolutely NOT be locating Avonlea and all its characters in the USA either, since for me, Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe, Diana Barry, Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert (and so on and so on), they are ALL Canadians and should be living, studying and working in Canada (and that Brina Starler actually has Diana Barry accompanying Anne Shirley to New York City is also absolutely ridiculous, as one of the main charms for me of in particular Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island is Diana’s sweet but sedate romance with Fred Wright and her realising that staying home on PEI and becoming Fred’s wife is far far more wonderful and fulfilling than the dreams of romance and travelling to a large urban area she sometimes entertained as a teenager).

Then for two, while in Anne of Manhattan Brina Starler does kind of get the personality of Gilbert Blythe sufficiently right enough and similarly as to how he is often portrayed by L.M. Montgomery herself and especially in Anne of the Island (and that I can sort of understand that Gilbert Blythe fans might also welcome his more obvious and increased presence and that Gilbert certainly plays a much more prominent and constant, active role in Anne of Manhattan than he does in any of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables books except perhaps in Anne’s House of Dreams and Rilla of Ingleside), for me and in my opinion, Brina Starler’s decision to not only focus so heavily in Anne of Manhattan on Anne Shirley’s academics but to also rather push Anne’s imagination, her sense of fun, of beauty and ecstatic descriptiveness, to push what in my opinion has made Anne Shirley into Anne of Green Gables and what ended up winning over everyone, including original doubters like Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde pretty much out of the narrative much too completely, this really has made the Anne Shirley of Anne of Manhattan into a not all that likeable and relatable stranger (and being no longer a kindred spirit) and has definitely made Brina Starler’s adaptation into something not at all personally enjoyable (and I therefore actually also do rather think that my two star rating for Anne of Manhattan is in fact pretty much generous on my part).
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,071 reviews10.5k followers
July 16, 2021
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!
Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,123 reviews2,819 followers
May 26, 2021
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!!!
Profile Image for Victoria (Eve's Alexandria).
686 reviews392 followers
June 6, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,351 reviews3,006 followers
June 4, 2021
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.
Profile Image for maggie.
19 reviews6 followers
June 12, 2023
Anne and Gilbert have my whole heart and that's that

(was probably more of a 3.5 but rounded up purely for the nostalgia factor)
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,326 reviews107 followers
June 18, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Leslie.
677 reviews11 followers
February 10, 2021
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.

Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,524 reviews366 followers
October 12, 2021

Este un retelling modernizado de Anne of Green Gables que nunca he leído pero si vi la serie.
Es muy fiel a la serie, las situaciones y los personajes son iguales, sólo cambia la ambientación y obvio la época.

Y que equivocada estaba al pensar que la protagonista me iba a gustar cuando yo odié a Anne en la serie y es que son exactamente igual SO ANNOYING.
Su enemistad y rivalidad injustificada hacia Gilbert sigue siendo igual, tan inmadura y tonta, ella hizo que no disfrutara la serie al igual que aquí en el libro y no se merecía a Gilbert.

Y aparte de la protagonista tampoco me gustó la forma de narrar, mucho speech interno y descripciones de más.
El drama final también meh, pura inmadurez y terquedad de Anne no sé si ya venía predispuesta, pero es que no soporto al personaje.

Anyway, si eres fan de la serie y te quedaste con ganas de una cuarta temporada este puede ser tu libro para que les des un cierre a la historia.
Profile Image for Hanh.
53 reviews5 followers
July 2, 2021
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
Profile Image for Jessica J..
1,027 reviews2,047 followers
December 13, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Robyn.
1,866 reviews125 followers
June 26, 2021
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!
Profile Image for Kara Passey.
230 reviews4 followers
July 18, 2021
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
Profile Image for Melissa Brown.
60 reviews
April 21, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Darlene.
282 reviews95 followers
May 1, 2021
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.
740 reviews319 followers
September 10, 2021
(2.5 stars) As a tween, I read and reread and read again my Anne books by L.M. Montgomery. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES was, of course, my very favorite but all were dear to me. Now, decades and decades and decades later, I still have a soft spot for Anne Shirley et al, so I decided to try out this modern adaptation by Brina Starler.

Well, now, Ms Starler. I knew Anne Shirley and this is no Anne Shirley. Perhaps an Ann Shirley, but there's no Anne-with-an-E to her at all. Same for all the friends and family surrounding her here. If not for the use of Montgomery's names for all the characters, many would be unrecognizable to me. Perhaps Gilbert Blythe is the one character she managed to keep more or less in character.

I am grateful to Starler for one thing and I don't know if I need to put a SPOILER ALERT here. But, oh happy days, Matthew doesn't die! Well, I suppose he will eventually as we all will, but at least not in this book. (Gilbert doesn't study to become a doctor here either and that's not as happy an event. I worry about the economic future of Ann(e) and Gilbert with both as educators.)

Anyhoo, the writing is okay, the romance is okay, but the story line was a bit meh for me since I was hoping for more of an Anne character with fanciful and imaginative Anne actions and reactions. Instead I got a plain ol' Ann. But if you're not familiar with Anne of Green Gables, I suppose you can read this as an ordinary CR and find it to be adequate. Gilbert is kinda hunky and all and he has the appropriate hots for the heroine.
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,249 reviews126 followers
September 8, 2021
I have always loved the Anne of Green Gables books and movies and was so excited for this modern retelling. It was ok and enjoyable, but it didn’t have the same depth I’ve come to expect from Anne. I liked the concept that Anne was in foster care before ending up in Avonlea. Later she and the gang all end up in New York City with her and Gil in the same graduate program. As typical for the two of them sparks and drama fly. The story was predictable but it is a retelling so that isn’t a huge surprise. I did like seeing the characters in the modern world and would like to see more of them.
March 25, 2022
i bought this book very spontaneously after seeing a tiktok about its tropes and i regret nothing.

‘anne in manhattan’ is a modern retelling/continuation of anne of green gables, set when anne has graduated high school and moved away to new york for university.

although it is an incredibly difficult task to recreate the iconic characters of L.M montgomery i believe this author did well at capturing the essence of the original novel and its vibrant cast.

my favourite scenes were without a doubt the ones set in green gables (anne visits multiple times) and i loved how matthew and marilla were portrayed. the chapters set in manhattan were also super fun. there were so many small moments scattered throughout that put a smile on my face including scenes of anne with her friends, working at the local bookstore and teaching young children to write, which were so entertaining.

there is no denying this book lacks plot, and despite being a character-driven reader i definitely found it a little slow moving. at times i wasn’t compelled to pick it up as there wasn’t a whole lot of action. however, anne and gilbert’s relationship made up for it. it was truly a delight to read about. definitely cheesy, i can’t deny it, but nevertheless i soaked up every page.

along with the fact that it was slightly dull in parts, my main reason for not giving this a 5- star rating is because the third act conflict was a little unrealistic in my opinion. while i agree both anne and gilbert’s emotions were valid given the situation, they both lacked communication skills and were honestly a little immature which frustrated me because they were 24. not a major issue, i just wish it didn’t drag on for so long unnecessarily.

if you choose to begin this book, i definitely advise you to go in with an open mind, because there are several changes made to the original storyline. but if you want a light, cute read and more anne and gilbert enemies to lovers goodness then i highly recommend!!
Profile Image for sana.
355 reviews284 followers
December 28, 2020
“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.
Profile Image for Malia.
896 reviews22 followers
June 3, 2021
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.***
Profile Image for Hannah.
166 reviews81 followers
September 6, 2021
ʙᴏᴏᴋ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ✯✯✯
ʜᴇʀᴏ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ✯✯✯
ʜᴇʀᴏɪɴᴇ ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: ✯✯✯
ᴀɴɢsᴛ:ʟᴏᴡ ғᴏᴄᴜs
ᴄᴜᴛᴇ sᴄᴇɴᴇs:ʜɪɢʜ ғᴏᴄᴜs
sᴛᴇᴀᴍʏ sᴄᴇɴᴇs:ʟᴏᴡ ғᴏᴄᴜs
ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀs' ᴄʜᴇᴍɪsᴛʀʏ:ʜɪɢʜ ғᴏᴄᴜs
ᴄʜᴀʀᴀᴄᴛᴇʀ ᴅᴇᴠᴇʟᴏᴘᴍᴇɴᴛ:ʜɪɢʜ ғᴏᴄᴜs
This was such a cute joyful, nostalgic and emotional read.I love love love the original Anne and Gilbert and I’d never read a retelling of them so I was excited to read thus one.I definitely recommend this book to fans of slow burn books with super cute scenes that make you blush hard even though they aren’t even that spicy.Anne of Manhattan has the perfect amount of rivals to friends to lovers,second chance,light academia and boy-falls-first tropes.I would’ve loved to see more of Anne and Gilbert working together just because I enjoy academia in romance books.And can we talk about the flashbacks to the middle school days of Gil calling Anne Carrots and her breaking a board on his head? *swoony eyes*
Perhaps my favorite thing about this retelling was the LGBTQ friendly vibe.I’ll be honest Anne and Gil in Manhattan can’t beat the original setting but with a modern timeline and setting comes more open views as well which I really appreciate.Marilla being in a relationship with her friend Rachel just felt so right I wanted to cry.
Profile Image for winnie ʚïɞ.
665 reviews221 followers
June 6, 2021
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!!
Profile Image for Maya Joelle.
Author 1 book93 followers
December 27, 2021
captured the beautiful aesthetic of PEI. plus, managed to capture my heart with its own unique atmosphere: Brooklyn/Long Island light academia and fall and farmhouse and libraries. somehow got Anne /right/ even though she's displaced by a century and several years older.

but Gilbert's not a doctor, he's a writer/teacher? which really, really doesn't work for me. it works for this story, sure, but it means this Gil isn't *my* Gil. he's not LMM's Gil, either.

major negative points for the adult language and sexual content. if I wanted to read an adult romance novel (which I didn't), I could've picked up one of those. no, I wanted to read an Anne novel. LMM managed to write beautiful and compelling fiction without such content. so can you.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
70 reviews11 followers
February 23, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,391 reviews102 followers
June 11, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Jen (mrs-machino).
533 reviews45 followers
June 23, 2021
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.
Profile Image for ReadBecca.
831 reviews85 followers
March 6, 2023
Anne of Manhattan perfectly delivers on plucking the familiar characters from Anne of Green Gables, placing them in a contemporary setting. With Gil returning from Cali to start at the same university Anne is attending after not having seen each other since they left for college a couple years ago, they're then thrown together to play out the Anne/Gil romance we are all here for!
I think this would be middling for those unfamiliar with the Anne books, but as someone with such nostalgia for that series, it absolutely delivered on those character dynamics I know so well. Everything about Gil being lifelong smitten, while Anne isn't even aware of her own feelings and thinks only of their rivalry till she can't avoid her true emotions anymore, is so right.

🌶🌶 On page, open door in the 2nd half. Rather R rated.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 966 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.