Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Okay, so high school Melanie did not appreciate Jane Eyre! But thankfully, many years later, and because of a few friend’s encouragement, I have seen the light and righted my wrongs, because this reread proved to me how much of a masterpiece Jane Eyre truly is.

This is a very beloved book, that stars an orphan girl name Jane that is trying to figure out the world around her. She’s searching for worth, for love, and all the middle area in-between. When she is very young, she is forced to live with her not-so-nice aunt, who is absolutely terrible to her. But soon, her aunt sends her off to an all-girls boarding school, but Jane starts to learn who she is and who she wants to be, and after getting her education, she begins to teach at this school that she now considers her home.

But at nineteen, she decides that she would like to try to be a governess so that she can travel and see the world that she has learned so much about. Jane gets a job teaching a young girl at Thornfield Hall, but soon meets the master of Thornfield Hall, none other than Mr. Rochester himself.

Mr. Rochester is distant, and rude, and a bit grumpy, but the more and more time Jane and him spend together, the more and more they realize they have a lot in common. And they develop quite a strange and unconventional relationship, while many spooky and mysterious things are happening at Thornfield Hall.

This book is very protofeminist. Jane has so much rage and anger inside of her, because of the gender roles and expectations that are always set on her. On top of always being sent to places where she is forced to live and be molded into what is expected of her. Jane finally gets to live for herself at Thornfield Hall, and she does so unapologetically. Don’t get me wrong, Jane stands up for herself constantly, and at every age, throughout this story, but seeing her come into her own, and never backing down from her beliefs on what is right, is something so very awe-inspiring.

“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

And so many important themes are in this book! From classism, to marriage, to gender roles, to witchcraft, to slavery, to abuse, to power dynamics, and to so much more. And the things brought up in this book? That was first published in 1847? And I stan one feminist icon, and it’s Charlotte Brontë. I can’t even image what the world thought of this throughout the ages, because it spoke to my very soul in 2018. Seriously, I will forever be in awe of this book and this author, and I truly mean it when I say that she’s a new icon for me.

“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”

I ended up being a sucker for the romantic subplot in this book, too, even though I can see how many terrible, wrong, bad choices the love interest made. But Jane always puts herself first, and even though she wants to be loved more than anything, she will constantly fight for her own place in the world where she lives on her own terms for her own beliefs. Jane loves herself, and in turn it made me love Jane, and this masterpiece of a story.

Overall, I fell completely in love with this. This was so intelligently crafted and so expertly woven! And the dark feelings and vibes throughout really makes this such a unique and amazing reading experience. And I think this is a book that I will be able to read and reread over and over for the rest of my life. You also best believe that if I ever have children, this will be required reading once they get a bit older, because this book seriously has an immense amount of power. And I truly believe this is my favorite classic of all-time now. And I never want any woman to feel like a bird trapped in a cage.

Trigger and content warnings for bullying, abuse, abandonment, loss of a friend, and use of the slur g*psy.

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Buddy read with Dani, Alexis, & Kaleena! ❤

April 2018 TBR

Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you’re all having an amazing day, and I hope you know that each and every one of you is a blessing to me, that I’m so thankful for. I hope your day is filled with love, happiness, and good books! These are the eight things that I 100% plan to get to in April! What do you guys plan on reading this month? 💗

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian:
ARC – April 24th, 2018
I’m on the blog tour for this on the 13th! So, be on the lookout! This seems to be a dark story about a girl who had everything taken away from her, including her mother and her kingdom. Now, she lives with her oppressor, constantly being mistreated and mocked. She is only left alive to show the rest of the kingdom what will happen if they rebel.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë:
Buddy read with Dani & Alexis! ❤
I haven’t read this since high school, y’all! So, it has been a hot second, to say the least! But I’ve always wanted to reread so that the story would be fresh in my mind, so that I could eventually read Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye! Also, praise/bless Dani for getting me to read all the classics this year with her.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young:
ARC – April 24th, 2018 & buddy read with Jules at JA Ironside & Amy at A Court of Crowns and Quills! ❤
This one has been getting pretty mixed reviews, but I’m still super excited to give it a try! And, like, give me all the strong warrior girls, please. But this is a brand new, debut, young adult fantasy, that stars a girl dealing with a betrayal from her brother who was presumed dead many years ago.

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope:
ARC – May 1st, 2018 & buddy read with Julie at Pages and Pens! ❤
This is a fantasy romance that is loosely based off Romeo & Juliet, but with a diverse cast and set in a brand-new world! A few of my friends have told me the writing is beautifully lyrical, and you all know that’s my thing. Plus, I’m in such a romance mood right now! I can’t wait to pick this one up tomorrow!

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff:
ARC – May 29th, 2018 & buddy read with Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Me! ❤
I’m also starting this one tomorrow! I’m sure you all have heard of this, but it is Jay Kristoff’s brand new young adult sci-fi series! This is going to be filled with robots and different cybernetics, and I’m so here for it. Out of all the books on this TBR, this is the one I’m most excited for!

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw:
Buddy read with Julie from Pages and Pens, Lilly at Lair of Books, & Jules at JA Ironside! If you guys want to join in, Julie is hosting this buddy read on Twitter, using the hashtag #brWickedDeep! ❤
Okay, I feel like this book just won’t stop calling to me. From the naked hardback, to this buddy read, to Netflix winning the bidding war to produce this visually, it’s calling me! Plus, Hocus Pocus vibes? I’m all for it!

Professed by Nicola Rendell:
This is the April pick for the Book Hangover Book Club that Julie & Chelsea host! And I’m buddy reading this with Lilly at Lair of Books! ❤
Next, on the “Melanie wants to read more romance books” list… haha! This is a new adult, contemporary, student teacher romance! And you can actually get this ebook for FREE on Amazon US!

The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood #16) by J.R. Ward:
Buddy read with Paloma! ❤
And last, but not least, wild horses couldn’t keep me away from the new JR Ward book. Even if the cover of this makes me want to die a little bit. Never will that ever be my Assail! But I’ve been waiting for his story for a long time, and I can’t wait to read this when it comes out on April 10th!

Okay, I think that’s everything! I hope to get to a lot more this month, especially since May is shaping up to be a hectic month for me! But these are the eight things that I completely plan on reading, and hopefully will love! I wish you guys the happiest of reading this April and always! And Happy Easter! 💗

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