A Breathe of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

A Breathe of Eyre

by Eve Marie Mont

(Cover from Goodreads)

I’m not really sure why I bought this book. It was a Kindle Deal of the Day, but I bought it before I ever read Jane Eyre. I waited until I read the classic before diving into this one. That said, I read it in one sitting (and stayed up until 5am doing so!).

This book has both good and bad points.

At first, I loved the character. A typical outsider, Emma loves to read, has few friends, and is socially awkward. A true loner with really no friends, I was interested to see how the novel would play out. However, within the first few pages, she suddenly has a love interest and two new best friends who stick with her through thick and thin. Great for the character, but not very realistic. She is today’s heroine, the girl every little girl wants to be, who magically finds best friends and acceptance with little effort.

In fact, there is a great deal of suspension of disbelief in this novel. A lot of it is highly unlikely (how many high schoolers do you know who almost drown, get struck by lightning, get knocked unconscious in a burning stable while trying to save horses, and then almost die saving a friend from an attempted suicide, all in one year’s time? Yes, all of this does happen in this novel.) Plus, this is yet another tale written about a girl in boarding school where the boarding school sounds a little unreal.

Yet, if you can get past all of that, it’s actually a pretty good book. In spite of how unrealistic Emma is, she is pretty lovable. She has great internal conversations and she grows as a character, finding courage both through her friend Michelle and her adventures being transported into her new favorite book,

Jane Eyre.

Yes, this lucky little girl does indeed get transported inside her favorite book, but what happens there is a great (perhaps not so) new take on a beloved classic.

Which leads me to the only point about this book that actually ticks me off: if Charlotte Bronte were alive, I’m pretty sure she would sue for copyright infringement. While Mont has re-written the story from Emma’s perspective of being trapped inside her novel, once Emma starts to lose track of herself and truly become Jane, Mont is basically just retelling entire chunks of

Jane Eyre.

I, having read through that story once (in the much better written original version), decided I didn’t really want to read those sections again, so I skimmed. Perhaps the retelling is necessary for readers who haven’t read

Jane Eyre

, but really, who would read a novel entitled

A Breathe of Eyre

if they haven’t read

Jane Eyre

? It seems sort of like cheating to me and looks sort of like plagiarism. I mean, if this was written for a creative writing course I was teaching, I would probably fail her for using so much straight from the original. Not okay.

But, if you skip those parts and accept the suspension of disbelief, it’s actually a great young adult novel. A great protagonist, a rocky romance, and family secrets—it includes all the makings of a great weekend read for when you need to relax. This is my version of a guilty pleasure kind of book and, in spite of the aforementioned weaknesses, I’ll probably read it again.

And, if you’re a fan of

Jane Eyre

, so should you.

I give it 4/5 stars.


A Breathe of Eyre

is apparently one of a series. I haven’t read the others, but it seems that in the second novel, she finds herself in

The Scarlet Letter

and in the third novel, in

Phantom of the Opera

. I’m sort of tied between wanting to


this character falling into her favorite books all the time and being glad that I don’t have to deal with the drama of being stuck in these particular books!

Three by Kristen Simmons

Three by Kristen Simmons

I first started reading the Article 5 series by Kristen Simmons because my dear friend Hannah recommended it. At that point, only the first book was published. Since then, I have read each book as it came out. I recently finished the third novel in the trilogy, Three.

The Article 5 series is yet another in the long line of recent dystopian trilogies (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.) to swamp the market. While the book does belong in my category of guilty pleasure/non-intellectual reading, I think it is very good (and I would remind friends that I place Austen, Bronte, and Arthur Conan Doyle in the same category).

The basic plot of the series is that the United States survived some war and the new government has taken over in such a way that limits and endangers the rights of most citizens (as in all dystopian novels of late). This particular new government is set up to mimic the old US government that we know and love, but in reality has very little in common. The government has taken on a religious identity, using moral codes (the articles referenced in the title) to control the population. Of course, like all such regimes, the religious quality is a sham and the leaders of the government care little for morality.

The articles take our Christian moral codes to an extreme that fly in the face of anything Christians should want to stand for. All those who do not follow the moral codes are either murdered (in the case of adults) or taken to a reform school (as Ember is when she is found to be a child conceived out of wedlock). There seems to be no justice in this new government.

In Three, Ember finds out much more about the rebel movement she learned about in the second novel, Breaking Point. The reader also finally is given some idea and background to understand what happened to make this government able to take over. Some might say that this last novel was Simmons’ way of saving her series (many critics said her world lacked substance because there was no history given to explain the current state of things). I, however, enjoyed the series thoroughly.

I would recommend that readers who find Article 5 less than satisfactory continue reading the rest of the series. Simmons’ writing might have been wanting in the first of the series, but by Three she has learned more about her craft. And, the most annoying part of Article 5 (the incessant whining and love-sickness of the young couple, Chase and Ember) has transformed into something that resembles a healthy relationship.

As with other dystopian novels, the criticisms of society found in the Article 5 series are well placed. Simmons reminds us that good things when taken to an extreme turn bad quite quickly.

I give both Three and the series as a whole a 3. I definitely recommend this series when you are looking for something that is interesting and a page-turner, but not overly taxing on the brain (the emotions are another story). I don’t recommend it when you are looking for something happy and simple! Like all dystopian novels, there is no way for a truly happy ending.

Kaitlyn’s Star Guide:
0 stars: Don’t read it. A waste of your time. Worse than Twilight.
1 star: Read only if you’re very tired and desperate for something to read. Will probably rot your brain if you read it too much.
2 stars:  Good for what it is or not my taste.
3 stars: Decent book and worth reading, but not earth-shaking, much less earth-shattering.
4 stars: Really good, definitely something I will re-read sometime. Earth Shaking.
5 stars: Earth Shattering. Every single human being should read this. It should be required for citizenship of the world. Seriously. Why aren’t you reading it yet? LIFE CHANGING.

100 Book Challenge—Book #17 and 18 Welcome to the Ark and The Flight of the Raven by Stephanie Tolan

100 Book Challenge—Book #17 and 18 Welcome to the Ark and The Flight of the Raven  by Stephanie Tolan

So, as a kid, Welcome to the Ark was my very favorite book. I read it so many times that my copy is kind of falling apart. Looking back, I totally understand why I loved it. I am what Steph Tolan calls an “ark kid.” The book is about a group of kids who are more or less loners, highly intelligent, awkward, and so different that others have a hard time accepting them. The only thing that makes it different from my childhood is that they actually have superpowers—they can connect with their minds to stop people with violent intentions from acting them out. There’s this whole idea of a quest and a community that I, as a kid, was so attracted to that I read and reread the book over and over, hoping that someday I would find an ark family where I could fit. While Echo is hardly that, I am incredibly blessed to have this community where I’m accepted and loved. I think in my heart of hearts, I’ll always long for the ark.

Now, given that this book is an all-time fave of mine, you would think I’d know that there was a sequel. Nope, I had no idea until I saw it on goodreads.com. So, I searched the libraries and when I realized I had no alternative, I went ahead and bought it. I don’t regret it at all. I loved this one just as much, as it followed the story of my favorite character—who had gone missing in the last part of the first book—explaining what happened to him. Also, there’s supposed to be a third that Tolan is working on, but she’s been working on it since 2001, so I’m not holding my breath.

I love these books. I love the way that the characters grow and open up. I love the story, the idea, the way it speaks to my heart. I love that the kids—children—are able to so drastically change the world with the power of their connections to each other. It’s a great book to read in an era where people are so “I” centered and don’t want to make real connections. In a world where facebook is how people connect, the idea of something so intimate as walking in each other’s memories and dreams, communicating with thoughts, and being able to dream together… it’s just so vastly different from the world that we live in that I can’t help but feeling attracted to it.

I would recommend this book for kids, particularly those who suffer from their blessing of being different.

100 Book Challenge—Book #9-11 The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

100 Book Challenge—Book #9-11 The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Yes, I finally gave into all the hype (just in time for the movies) and read the trilogy… which I finished in less than three days. I literally stayed up all night reading the last one because I NEEDED to find out how it would all end.

The first book was wonderful, but disappointing in the lack of character development, although looking back I think I was a little too hard on Katniss, who wasn’t exactly given a lot of time for processing all the experiences she was having. The later books are definitely better at this, as she learns to cope and learns more about who she is.

These books are well written, and I think are a good response to the crap that kids have been reading (Twilight, for example). They also have a message that should be listened to about the state of government. Futuristic novels usually do.

The characters are lovable, the world believable (perhaps because like Tolkien, Collins has written of our own world while integrating strange new things that make it seem almost foreign but familiar at the same time). I truly loved these books and continue to think of them and process them. If you haven’t read them, do. They are REALLY good books.

Side note: The movie was also good. I enjoyed it immensely. However, nothing will ever beat a good book, no matter how good the movie (or cute the actor) is.

100 Book Challenge—Book #6: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

100 Book Challenge—Book #6: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The author of my favorite series, the Percy Jackson series, is back with a new series called The Heroes of Olympus. This new series involves the same characters that I loved in Percy Jackson, plus a new spin on the Grecian world that I love so much: Roma. Even my favorite Roman myth, Lupa (sorry, anyone who lives in Rome long enough falls in love with that statue) shows up.

So, I don’t think I really have to say much about why I love this book. It’s my Greek gods and culture and language with my Roman mythology. I feel like Rick Riordan must love me to write such a book!

Read it. (But read the other series first.)