A Touch of Scarlet

By Eve Marie Mont
Published on March 26, 2013
Published by Kensington Teen
Source: Publisher for Review
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?

The premise of this series is one of my favorites- a girl gets whisked away to different stories and different classic novels. I find them to be realistic and believable (as much as getting whisked away to a novel can be realistic!)  In this second story we pick up immediately after the end of the first book.  Gray and Emma are finally together and are VERY close.  

As the summary above says, the people around Emma are changing rapidly- Gray, Michelle, Elise, pretty much everyone in the book changes in some way during this novel.  Emma and her friends go through a lot of tough stuff in this book.  I really think teen readers will find this relatable and very conscious of the trials that teens go through.  This book is darker and deeper than the first.  It is not a fluffy book- the characters have real problems and are really learning how to grow up.

I have to say- as much as she makes mistakes- I REALLY liked Emma in this book.  I liked the choices she was making, and that she was learning from the mistakes she made. I liked that she wasn't a total pushover or unable to make decisions without others.  Emma is independent and in a smart and intelligent way.  She is really growing up in this story.

This was an enjoyable read.  I am really looking forward to the third book in this series!

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