Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ARC Review: A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont

Goodreads summary:

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?

My review:

I enjoyed A Touch of Scarlet, but it's not quite as good as the first book, A Breath of Eyre.  I love the idea behind this series, though - with Emma traveling and experiencing the story of classics like Jane Eyre and The Scarlet Letter.  While I've read and loved Jane Eyre, I haven't read The Scarlet Letter, but I like that A Touch of Scarlet can still be easily understood and enjoyed without having read the classic behind it.

During the first half of the story, I really didn't care for Emma much.  Yes, she was going through a lot, but she just had a majorly bad mood about it all.  She seemed too depressed and didn't do anything to change her situation.  Still, this does play an important part in her character growth, and later on in the novel I started liking her character more.

One thing I love is a side character, Elise.  She goes to school with Emma, and in the first book she's one of those popular, snotty, mean girls, which I thought was a bit cliche.  However, in this book, we see that there's more to her character and she actually becomes a good friend to Emma.  I really liked this - it gave her so much more character depth.

I didn't like how the plot kept getting sidetracked, though.  Emma kept getting involved in her friends' relationships, etc., and all the little subplots just seemed to distract from the main point of the story.  And really...what was the main point of the story?  It didn't seem very clear, as what Emma goes through doesn't really have anything to do with The Scarlet Letter.

Despite a few problems with Emma and all the subplots, I did enjoy this a lot.  There ends up being lots of character growth, and I think the writing has improved a lot too - it's a much faster read and flows better than the previous book.  If you're a fan of classics, these books are definitely worth reading!  I'm excited to read the third book when it comes out.

* I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.  Thanks!

My rating:  6 out of 10 (3 stars)

~ The Bookworm

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