Book Review: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Book Review: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Posted by: Lisa Parkin July 22, 2013 6 Comments

Eve Marie Mont’s A Breath of Eyre takes readers through a journey of finding your own voice and self discovery. Plus, it gives readers a reason to re-read a classic.

Book Review: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

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Title & Author: A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Genre: YA – Historial Fiction, Time Traveling

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Series: Unbound #1

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corportation

How I Got the Book: Bought


“In this stunning, imaginative novel, Eve Marie Mont transports her modern-day heroine into the life of Jane Eyre to create a mesmerizing story of love, longing, and finding your place in the world… Emma Townsend has always believed in stories-the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates. 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…”

A Breath of (Fresh) Eyre

I love stories about underdogs. Emma in A Breath of Eyre is the definition of an underdog: She goes to a fancy prep school as a scholarship student and prefers the company of fictional characters instead of her fellow classmates.

She doesn’t mind, however, the company of one, Gray Newman. Gray is Emma’s long-time friend and a new-found cutie. Sadly, though, Gray has a reputation for liking fast girls and partying hard.

At the beginning of the story, Emma is soft-spoken and friendless. Her transformation throughout the story is compelling, and it drew me through the book.

I did have some difficulties with the book, but I’ll get to those in a sec.

First, let’s talk about dear ole Jane and Emma. What A Breath of Eyre does really well is feminism. Emma is asked to write a paper with a unique take on one of the classics, and she chooses Jane Eyre, which was recently given to her as a birthday present.

After strange events lead Emma to reliving Jane stories in real life, her original view of Mr. Rochester and Jane’s romance is irrevocably changed. If you’re a die hard fan of this book, it may take away some of the romance for you, but I think what you’ll gain in ideas about female strength and character more than make up for the loss.

Plus, there’s a ton of themes in the book about second chances and forgiveness, and those topics happen to be favorites of mine as well. Not to mention there is a ton of melty romantic scenes to make me happy.

Love Square

So, now for my beef – A Breath of Eyre does a lot of things well, like I said before, but the things it did poorly were enough to annoy me.

First off, the “time-traveling” aspect of the book is explained briefly at the beginning of the novel in a physics class. It’s said that if time travel were possible, people who went back in time wouldn’t be able to change anything – only live it themselves.

Here’s the problem: it’s obvious that explanation is meant to show how it’s possible Emma is living in Jane Eyre’s world…but the thing is Jane Eyre is a FICTION novel. Not actual historical events. So, plot hole there.

Then, Emma’s in a love square. She’s interested in at least four different people (including two older men) throughout the story. Although the story follows her changes of heart and attraction, it’s still weird to think about her fleeting emotions.

Lastly, the A Breath of Eyre is told in past tense. That’s an oddity in YA for sure, and it threw me off at times. It felt like old news, you know? Like, oh, you already did all of these things, so what are you doing now?


There are a few things that took away from the historical romance and time-traveling story of Emma, the shy bookworm, and her adventures with Mr. Darcy, but overall I really enjoyed this novel. A Breath of Eyre is a strong feminist take on Jane Eyre without taking away from the other book’s romance and message; definitely recommended to Charlotte Bronte fans.