A Breath of Eyre
by Eve Marie Mont
Series: Unbound #1
Published: March 27, 2012
Genres: Retelling, Young Adult
Format: eBook (342 pages)
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories. 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...
A Breath of Eyre was a lovely debut novel about Emma Townsend who gets to live her own life as well as Jane Eyre’s in a fascinating re-telling that I loved. My favorite thing about modern retellings is looking for little references and clues to the original story. I had a lot of fun in A Breath of Eyre noticing the big and small references to Jane Eyre like similar plot points and even the similar school name.
The first thing that struck me as charming was Emma’s connection to the world of Jane Eyre. It reminded me of The Wizard of Oz because she starts to recognize characters from her real life which makes it hard to tell if she’s really living Jane Eyre’s life or if it’s all a dream. That sort of ambiguity is something I love to devour in stories. And since the author had done such a good job at creating strong, unique, and interesting characters, it was easy to recognize them in Jane Eyre’s life.
As I was getting about a third of the way through the book, I started to feel like it was all very predictable. It wasn’t veering much from the Jane Eyre story at all. There were a lot of lines that came directly from Jane Eyre. Just as I was about to give up, the author threw a twist in there that I did not see coming. It was the kind of twist in a story that changes everything and gives you chills. I was glued to the book after that. And the story grew into so much more than a retelling.
Overall, it was a great new take on the world of Jane Eyre that didn’t turn out to be as predictable as I feared it would. It’s an imaginative, tension-filled romance that I loved.
Content Rating: Mild, for a mention of teen drinking and I think there are a few swear words. (Sorry it’s been a while since I read it!)