Eve Marie Mont's A Touch of Scarlet, sequel to her debut teen novel A Breath of Eyre, catches up with Emma Townsend, who is now in her third year at Lockwood Prep. Emma navigates through the typical events of Junior year, such as PSATs, college visits, prom, etc. Along the way she realigns some old relationships, makes new friends, makes some good choices and a few she may regret. At the book's end, like Hester Prynne, heroine of Hawthorne's A Scarlet Letter, (on which this book is based) Emma emerges as a young woman who has the strength of her convictions. Readers will enjoy seeing changes in some of the other characters from the first book, as they also mature and evolve.
In this second book of her Unbound trilogy, Ms Mont tackles some weighty issues such as social ostracism and teen bullying. There are also plenty of fun passages, surprising developments, and interesting situations that keep the plot moving at a pleasant pace. The writing is fresh, imaginative, and contemporary with a classic twist. I highly recommend A Touch of Scarlet for readers of all ages, and I eagerly await the final volume of the trilogy, A Phantom Enchantment.