I was very intrigued by the idea of the Unbound series -- a girl finds herself in the midst of a classic tale. However, this series surprised me by bringing a much more satisfying story to the second book.
In the first book, A Breath of Eyre, Emma, an aspiring writer, finds herself transported multiple times into the world of Jane Eyre while facing her own issues with her mother's death, a classic "mean girls" scenario at her boarding school, and a complicated boy situation.
Sound like a lot? It is, but Eve Marie Mont almost pulls it off. I really enjoyed the critical analysis of Jane Eyre embedded in the text, and the constant drama of Emma's life kept me intrigued. However, the fact that she had to be in a coma to enter the literary world led to several Bella Swan-esque situations of constant injuries and rescues. A Breath of Eyre was colorful and interesting, but could have done with a bit of tight editing.
Warnings: Language, thematic material
However, while I felt a little iffy about A Breath of Eyre, A Touch of Scarlet really impressed me. In this case Emma is back at school after a summer of romance, but her dreams have gone away with the warm weather (cheeeeeese) and she finds herself in a compromising situation that results in a cold freeze from her friends. Meanwhile, she is studying The Scarlet Letter in school and finds herself transported into the novel when she runs.
First of all, Emma's literary travels seem more believable to me in A Touch of Scarlet. She isn't getting struck by lightning and landing in comas. Instead, she is running and entering a trance-like state. It's all fantastical, but in a more believable way. Also, the drama in this book is addictive. There is a lot going on, and I was completely absorbed, dying to find out what happened next. Finally, while Emma did learn lessons in A Breath of Eyre, I found the lessons in A Touch of Scarlet to be much more resonant.
All in all, the series so far is unique and enjoyable, blending classics, contemporary, historical fiction, and fantasy. I am excited to see what A Phantom Enchantment will bring.
Warnings: Same as above