Monday, May 06, 2013

Series Review: Unbound (#1-2) by Eve Marie Mont

I was creating my review posts for A Breath of Eyre and A Touch of Scarlet when I realized that I could do a series review for the books! Like my good friend Keertana, from whom I go the idea, I'm reviewing both books in one post! They're mini reviews but I hope it get my thoughts out! I've also added a "currently listening" to feature. I listen to music while I write my reviews and sometimes the music's tone comes into my reviews!

A Breath of Eyre (Unbound #1) by Eve Marie Mont
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation 
Source: Library
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...

Currently listening to: Tiptoe by Imagine Dragons 

When I first came across A Breath of Eyre at my local library, I knew I had to read it. It sound like my kind of read: romance, time travel, and Jane Eyre, one of my absolute favorite books. Sadly, I wasn't as impressed with A Breath of Eyre as I had hoped to be. Not as much of time travel book as I had thought, I also found it interesting that A Breath of Eyre is not a re-telling of Jane Eyre. 

I'll talk about the plot because I'm still unsure about how I feel. One one hand, I really liked the plot but on another, I didn't care for it much. First of all, A Breath of Eyre didn't deal with time travel in the traditional sense. While a person (like me) who read the synopsis, they'd think that Emma traveled to England during the time in which Jane Eyre was set. This was not the case. Instead, this book is Emma's story first and foremost, not a re-telling of Jane Eyre's. Emma just happens to find herself in Jane's shoes when both girls' lives seem to parallel. Honestly, the plot for A Breath of Eyre is not really new, expect for the sort of time traveling part. For example, during a key point in Emma's life, she finds herself in Jane Eyre's shoes. Obviously, this time in Jane Eyre, the book, mirrors Emma's life in the present day and gives her some important information. Hopefully that made sense. 

Emma was an interesting character to be sure but certain aspects about her didn't work too well for me. For one, Emma was strong and independent for most of the book. Even though she lost her mother, she was stronger than I had anticipated. Sadly, when a boy came into the picture, this strong Emma went out the picture. When ever anything had to deal with Emma's love interest, she became whiney and annoying. Obviously, Emma's a teenager and as much as I hate to say it, I knew she would think a lot about a boy's attention. Sure it was something I could get over but the consistency of her borderline obsession didn't work for me. 

If there's one thing I'll give A Breath of Eyre huge props for would be how a key moment of Jane Eyre played out. While the outcome was the same in A Breath of Eyre as it had been in Jane Eyre, it left behind some burning questions. You know when you love a book so much that you think you understand it completely or as well as you can? Well, that is how I viewed my relationship with Jane Eyre. In A Breath of Eyre, questions were raised about something Rochester did (I think you can figure out what it's about) and for the first time, I actually thought of Rochester in another light. That takes a lot of skills and I'm still struggling with how I feel about Rochester now. One book changed my opinion about a character I've loved since the 6th grade. But fear not, I still love Rochester. 

Overall, I think you all should read this book. While A Breath of Eyre wasn't the best book I've ever read and no, it's not a re-telling, it's worth a read. Eve Marie Mont writes a story worth reading about a heroine worth caring about. I still don't understand why this is a trilogy but I'm willing to read on. 
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: I actually like it a lot! 
Comments: While it is simple, I like the simplicity of this cover. It fits the inspiration (Jane Eyre) but it's also interesting. 
A Touch of Scarlet (Unbound #2) by Eve Marie Mont
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Kensington Teen 
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley
The compelling heroine of Eve Marie Mont’s novel A Breath of Eyre returns to find truth and fiction merging through the pages of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter…

Emma Townsend is back at prestigious Lockwood Prep, but her world has altered immeasurably since her tumultuous sophomore year. The best change of all: her boyfriend, Gray. And though Gray is leaving for Coast Guard training, Emma feels newly optimistic, even if the pain of her mother’s long-ago death still casts a shadow.

Yet Emma isn’t the only one who’s changed. Her friend and roommate, Michelle, is strangely remote, and old alliances are shifting in disconcerting ways. Soon Emma’s long-distance relationship with Gray is straining under the pressure, and Emma wonders if she’s cracking too. How else to explain the vivid dreams of Hester Prynne she’s been having since she started reading The Scarlet Letter? Or the way she’s found herself waking in the woods? As her life begins to echo events in the novel, Emma will be forced to choose between virtue and love. But can she forge a new future without breaking her heart?

Currently listening to: Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson 

A Touch of Scarlet begins some time after A Breath of Eyre ended. Surprisingly, I liked A Touch of Scarlet more than A Breath of Eyre even though I don't like The Scarlet Letter. Eve Marie Mont's writing improved considerably in A Tough of Scarlet and her signature time travel is back in full force. While I did have issues with both Emma and the plot, I will be reading the last book of the trilogy, A Phantom Enchantment. 

Emma left me confused in this book. Did I not like her? Did I still feel bad for her? I'm still unsure. The main issue for me was all of the mistakes Emma made. Some of her mistakes made me shake my head in the "that is a bad idea! Don't do it!" sort of way which is never good. Some of the drama was just plain annoying. Yet other aspects of how Emma made me realize why I liked her so much. For one, when her friend and roommate Michelle is having issues and pushing Emma away, Emma is still there for Michelle. Michelle was mean to Emma but I loved that Emma would always let her know she wasn't alone. I also loved Emma's strength of will and standing behind what she believed in, especially when it dealt with LGBT issues. 

As I said, I liked this book's plot but I also hated it. I disliked it so much because of all of the drama. It felt like the majority of the drama was uncalled for and unnecessary. It left Emma is a hard place and while it challenged her, it didn't help her grow or change. For example, the reason why The Scarlet Letter became the book of main focus. I think you can understand why Hester would be the heroine Emma most resembled in A Tough of Scarlet. The aspect I loved was the inclusion on LGBT issues. Michelle comes out as a lesbian and the school erupts into a frenzy. Homophobia was discussed at length and I think this book actually does show how a teen might deal with coming out and their sexuality at school. There was also the issue of allowing same sex couples to attend prom and some even tried to get Michelle kicked out of school. Emma firm stance next to her friend was something I loved. 

Overall, I liked A Touch of Scarlet much more than I had anticipated. A Touch of Scarlet also came very close to a 4 star read but the drama dropped it down. Honestly, had it not been for the extreme case of cheating and ridiculous actions, I'd have liked this book. I still think people should read this book and while some will not enjoy it, there are aspects of A Touch of Scarlet worth praise. 
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Not bad. 
Comments: Hey, it matches the cover for A Breath of Eyre without it being boring. Plus, it goes with the plot for A Touch of Scarlet so double win. In another sense, kind of bland and boring. So basically, I have no idea how I feel about it....