GoodReads Summary: 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?
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Expected publication date: 26/03/13
Even though I had some issues with A Touch of Scarlet it was still an enjoyable read.
Emma is faced with a lot of change in A Touch of Scarlet. She struggles with her identity and is desperate to cling to her past. There's a strain in her friendship with Michelle, the "fearsome four" are acting weird, and as if things weren't already bad enough her relationship with Grey is really stretched to the limits. As the story progresses she discovers new things about herself and those around her, but is she ready to move forward?...
The friendship between Emma and Owen is beautiful. Owen is a lovely guy who's always there for Emma, through thick and thin he stands by her. However, as much as I adore him his character seemed a little too unbelievable at times. No guy I know would let themselves be treated the way he did, which essentially, is like a door mat. He knows Emma is hung up on Grey, but despite this he still thinks he has a chance with her, and while I certainly get why (see below) I still felt like shacking some sense into him. I felt sorry for him as he deserves so much better.
The thing that most frustrated me about A Touch of Scarlet was Emma. Her mopey attitude in the first half of the novel was incredibly maddening. I appreciate the growth she went through, but it took her far too long to snap out of it. Her thoughts and actions towards Owen also annoyed me. She knows she's leading him on, and even though she thinks it, she doesn't tell him outright that she doesn't have feelings for him. However, when she finally did, she was back to being the strong and intelligent mc I fell in love with in book 1.
As with A Breath of Eyre Eve Marie Mont effortlessly weaves the classic (The Scarlet Letter) into the story. This is probably one of the few boarding school stories that I've enjoyed as it's not overly dramatic and it deals with real issues.
I like how Mont portrays the characters as more than just black and white stereotypes. For example there's more to the mean girls than just being mean. The layers and depth she adds to the characters -even the secondary ones- makes for an interesting read. And I have to admit that the new found friendships completely took me by surprise!
Overall, while A Touch of Scarlet didn't quite blow me away like the previous book, it was a solid sequel.