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A Breath of Eyre
by Eve Marie Mount
Going to an exclusive prep school isn’t a dream for Emma. Instead it’s a lonely existence. With no friends, a father who is distant, and a step-mom who thinks she needs therapy, Emma doesn’t think life can get worse. Emma escapes her dreary life by reading Jane Eyre and dreaming about her crush on her English teacher.
As her sophomore year begins, Emma gets a new roommate, Michelle, who offers friendship and relief from her loneliness. However, when Michelle is accused of setting a barn on fire, Emma must decide if the friendship is worth fighting for.
Then a bolt of lightning hits Emma and sends her into the nineteenth century and the body of Jane Eyre. As a governess, Emma finds peace and soon finds herself attracted to Mr. Rochester. Soon, Emma isn’t sure if she wants to live in Jane’s world or her own.
A Breath of Eyre has Emma jumping for her prep school to the world of Jayne Erye. The premise behind the book is interesting and will keep the reader wondering what happens next. Although A Breath of Eyre referes the book Jane Eyre, it is not necessary to read it to understand A Breath of Eyre. However, the book may be more enjoyable to those who have read Jane Eyre.
Many of the events in the book are typical of a teen novel. Michelle goes to a prep-school and is an outcast because she is on scholarship. The prep-school girls are vicious, but the teachers are afraid to discipline them because their parents have money. There is also a love triangle.
Mont throws in an interesting twist when Michelle travels between worlds; however, the book still lacks loveable characters that draw a reader into the story. The reader will smile because of the sweet conclusion of the book, but getting there will take some effort.
- One of the girls at school talks about her father who was a rich man who “took a liking” to her mother. When the man’s wife found out, the girl’s mother was fired.
- Emma is at a party when Gray tries to kiss her. “I’d always imagined my first kiss being in the middle of a meadow under starlight . . . Not standing drunk with Gray Newman at the side of a building.”
- Emma thinks back to when Gray almost kissed her. “The heat from his body had felt like fire. His lips had been inches from mine.” She then thinks, “I would have given anything for him to try to kiss me now.”
- Emma and Gray talk about the problem with dating someone and then being friends afterwards. Emma wonders if Gray has slept with another girl, and then she imagines him with another girl, “her head on his shoulder, his hands running through her hair, and thoughts of being ‘just friends’ a distant memory for both of them.”
- When Emma and Gray dance she, “wanted to bury my head in the warm hollow of his neck. His hands gripped my hips, while his lips grazed my hair . . . I was in intoxicated by the moment, by the promise of something I’d only imagined before.”
- Gray tells Emma that he slept with a girl who he had been going out with for six months.
- Emma and Gray are parked in a car when he pulls her towards him. “. . . I was straddled across his legs . . . His shirt was open a little . . . I slipped my hand inside and pressed my palm against his heart, where his pulse beat hard and steady against my fingertips . . . The kiss grew deeper, warmer and wetter and more intense until I wasn’t thinking about anything other than the kiss. Letting myself fall head first into the white-hot madness of it…Other parts of my body began to engage, and I was all heat and light, tugging at his shirt, digging into his back, burrowing myself into the hollow of his neck.”
- Emma has a daydream where Gray is kissing her and “There is a moment of unbearable tension as we hover mere centimeters from each other—waiting, wanting—and then pure release as our lips collide, sending sparks of heat and light through every limb down to our fingers and toes.”
- Emma and Gray kiss often throughout the book. The feelings of the kiss are described in detail. One scene describes it as “blistering hot.”
- A man is attacked by a woman. His arm was, “soaked in blood.” The man said, “She tried to suck my blood. She said she’d drain my heart.”
- In a dream world, Emma’s mother throws herself off of a roof. “I watched as this dark-plumed thing descended, wings outstretched, then shielded my face to avoid seeing her smash against the stones.” The building is then engulfed in flames.
- Emma’s father talks about when his wife, “came here to this beach and she walked right into the ocean with her nightgown on.” He then tells Emma about how her mother left a suicide note.
- Gray talks about when he got into a fight and hit his friend in the face.
- A girl’s mother, “slapped her hard and quick against the cheek.”
- Gray tries to commit suicide. Emma saves him, but in the process almost drowns.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Emma asks her friend if he stopped lifeguarding because he’s been, “too busy doing keg stands and scoring with the fraternity chicks?”
- Emma’s grandmother drinks old-fashions and doesn’t like it when her drinks get low.
- Several of the girls smoke pot in the school’s barn.
- Emma and Michelle go to a party and, “slurp wine coolers like they were Gatorade.” Other students were, “sniffing out alcohol and drugs.”
- Emma tells Gray that she is not interested in him because he spends his free time with his “head in a beer bong.”
- On the way to a dance, Michelle and her friends drink champagne out of the bottle. Michelle encourages the driver to drink because he has to drive, “less than half a mile.”
- Gray tells Emma about when he went to a party with his best friend’s sister. They both had been drinking, and the girl decided to go skinny dipping. The girl went into the water and never came out. Her body was never found.
- When Emma is upset, her grandmother gives her a sip of tea with liquor in it.
- Elise says, “The new girl must be lesbo, because she can’t stop staring at us.”
- Hell, ass-hole, damn, hell, pissed off, and shit are used in conversation.
- Two roommates tease each other about getting, “enough Johnson.”
- Michelle says, ‘I need to get away from these Lockwood bitches.”
- Emma thinks about going into the hallway but is afraid it is, “occupied by a pissed-off ghost.”
- A teacher is discussing a book and tells the class, “every once in a while, nature has to kick our ass to show us who’s boss.”
- Gray is upset that a teacher wiped a tear off of Emma’s face. “He’s a teacher for God’s sake. What’s he doing touching you? If I was your father, I’d kick his ass.”
- Michelle ask Emma, “Why are you being so nice to me? I’ve been such a bitch.”
- After Emma is struck by lightning she becomes Jane Eyre and lives her life for a short period. Later in the book, when Emma is stuck in a burning barn, she again begins to live Jane Eyre’s life.
- Emma’s grandmother said, “your mother called out to me the night she died. I don’t know how, but somehow, her voice reached me . . . that night I woke up with this panicked feeling, like someone had just taken out a giant chunk of my heart.”
- Emma thinks about her body and lack of curves. She thinks, “Despite nightly pleas to a God I only half believed in, I remained a disappointing five foot three.”
- One of the characters believes in Voodoo and tells Emma about papa Legba’s vẻvẻ, which is a symbol to attract spirits to earth. Emma has a necklace that looks like a vẻvẻ.
- Emma uses an incantation and ask Papa Legba to. “open the door for me. Father Legba, open the door to let me pass through.” Emma then goes to a “dream” world where she meets her dead mother.
- Emma’s friend tells Emma not to mess with voodoo. The friend says she doesn’t believe in it, “but it’s kind of like God. I don’t believe in him either, but he still scares me.”
- Emma thinks, “I had not been raised in a religious household, although my father did believe in giving thanks and asking forgiveness. Now I said a simple prayer for help. I don’t know who it was intended for—was I praying to a great Christin God to send me a guardian angel? Was I praying to Papa Legba to guide me back though the door between worlds? Or was I praying to the Universe to help me find the path of my own destiny. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. I just knew I couldn’t make it on my own.”