Sara’s Review of A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont
Expected Publication: March 27th 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Where to Purchase: Mysterious Galaxy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Review Copy: Compliments of Debut Author Challenge ARC Tour
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…
Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…
Eve Marie Mont has manged to take a wonderful and much-loved classic story and give it a new twist that will leave the reader wanting to find out what happens next. Murr!
I loved the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte when I was growing up and I still read it regularly to this day. That is when I can pry it away from Buggy. So when I learned that there was to be a YA version of the story released this year, I began searching for a copy. My sincere thanks and purrs to the folks at DACARCTours for allowing me the chance to read and review this book!
The first thing that I liked about the novel were the characters. I was instantly able to relate to Emma, perhaps a bit too much so, found Gray to be intriguing and mysterious, loathed Elise, and was all over the place emotion wise with Michelle. For me, this reaction to a cast of characters is the first sign that I’ve got a fun read in my paws. Mont succeeds in bringing her characters to life and making the reader care about them. I wanted to know and help these characters overcome the problems they were facing, not just sit on the sidelines cheering them on.
I also enjoyed the fact that Mont chose not to retell the story of Jane Eyre. Yes there were scenes and lines from the original text, and yes Mont does have Emma live the story, but the novel itself is about Emma and her own self-discovery. She has a choice in this book: stand up and fight for what you believe in while being true to yourself, or run away and stay secure in the familiar. It truly was fun to watch Emma struggle and grow in the novel. If I’m to be honest, I much preferred the scenes away from Thornfield because those were the moments where Emma really shone as a character.
On a side note of things that I liked in this book, there’s a scene where Michelle’s aunt brings up the subject of Voodoo and Papa Legba. Now, I’m sure that there are folks who probably didn’t care for this part of the novel, but I loved it! Course, I tend to find things like this fascinating, so it’s not much of a surprise that this scene stood out the most for me. I actually read this part twice because I liked it so much. Murr!
There were a few small things that kept this book from being a five paw for me. First was it was predictable. I knew the moment Emma showed up at Thornfield what was going on within regards to how she got there. and I knew exactly who Rochester would end up being. I was also hoping that Emma would somehow get sucked into the actual book and have to find her way out in order to get back to her real life, but this isn’t where Mont took things. So between predictability and disappointment in how I thought the story would turn out, the book already had half a strike against it.
The second half strike came the last 100 pages of the novel. I felt like the book had a natural ending in the scene involving Emma and her father, but there were still elements to the story that needed resolving. There’s a part of me that feels like those elements should have been resolved before the big scene with Emma and her dad, and another part of me feels like too much time was given to wrapping everything up. I’m not saying that the last 100 pages should have been summarized, but I just felt like the ending dragged beyond where it should have.
When all is said and done, I really enjoyed this book and have already added the other two in this series to my TBR list. In fact I’m itching to get my paws on them as the second book deals with The Scarlet Letter and the third book deals with my all time love The Phantom of the Opera. Murr! I can’t wait to see how Mont has Emma deal with these two books. 🐱