A Breath of Eyre
3 of 5 stars
A lightning strike lands teenager Emma Townsend in the middle of Charlotte Bronte’s Gothic Romance, Jane Eyre, and as she jumps between that world and her reality, she must decide where — and with whom — her future lies.
A part of me knew that if I gave myself over to this world completely, I’d be in danger of losing myself, losing my own thoughts and words to Jane’s. It would be so easy to do.
I love the premise of the novel — a modern-day high school student stuck in Jane Eyre‘s world — and the weaving back and forth of the storylines was rather clever. I enjoyed discovering with Emma who the Mr. Rochester in her own life was, and recognizing the place of forgiveness in love.
Conversely, I ended up skimming through large chunks that were just copied from Jane Eyre, as I’ve very recently read it, and the author (and Emma!) weren’t adding anything new. I’d have loved to have seen Emma retain her own personality while in Jane’s position (as she started to do later on), instead of just reciting her lines and going through the motions. I also really couldn’t get into the subplot w/ Emma’s mother; it seemed irrelevant and unnecessary.
Also, for as much underage drinking, sex, and pot smoking that were going on in this book, Gray’s “big secret” seemed really lame and not scandalous. In addition, this book was FULL of the typical high school stereotypes: smart, quiet protagonist; snobby rich girl antagonist; reformed bad boy love interest; independent, tough BFF; etc, etc.
Overall: A high school version of Jane Eyre; definitely not as good as the original, but enjoyable for those the like ‘modern retellings’