Friday, June 7, 2013

[Review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson]

"Suite Scarlett"
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Scarlett #1
Genre: YA. Contmeporary
Date Published: May 1st, 2008
Publisher: Point
Format Read: Picked it up at the library


Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler.

And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

My Thoughts:

I'm a big fan of Maureen Johnson's books!  I've been working my way through her titles and I figured that it was about time I gave Suite Scarlett a try and I'm so glad that I did.  This time around Johnson's little story takes place in a historic hotel in NYC run by a family with just as much history as their home (yes they live in the hotel). The story is filled with drama (not girls pulling each others hair drama) but straight up Shakespearean play acting!  What's better than theater people, hotels, awkward 15 year old girls and a hotter than hell summer in NYC?  I can't think of much.  That is if you left the hotter than hell part out of it.  

Scarlett is the type of heroine that I love!  She's awkward, she has no idea what she's getting herself into half the time and she's feisty to boot.  On her 15th birthday she's handed the keys to the Empire Suite and told that she is going to be looking after it.  And what she gets when Mrs. Amberson takes residence in the room is an adventure that she was never counting on.  I loved how Scarlett was just coming into her own when the summer that was going to be boring ended up being the summer that changed her young life!

The famed Mrs. Amberson is probably my favorite character out of all of the players in the book.  She reminds me of some of the older women who I've met in the drama world and I just couldn't help but laugh at so many of her antics.  She was simply one word - brilliant!

The other thing that was so awesome in this book is Johnson's grasp on the family relationships.  Scarlett has three siblings that live with her in the Hopewell Hotel.  Spencer and Lola are older and Marlene is younger.  Spencer is the actor, Lola is the girly girl with a rich boyfriend and Marlene is a the cancer survivor!  Johnson gives us interesting siblings all thrown together and running a hotel.  It was bound to be great fun and it sure was.  I loved watching their dynamics.  As a writer she nailed it!

The parents seemed very absent, like they just handed off their hotel over to their teenage kids, which in a way they kind of did.  It worked for the story, but it was kind of weird.  If you ask me, which you might be asking (are you asking?)  Also I didn't like that Johnson moved points of view.  She would be talking to you (the reader) and then switch to third person.  It was pretty distracting at some points, but sometimes I didn't even notice it.  So that was another thing that was weird for me.  But those two things mixed together still didn't make me dislike the book.  

The book was funny, cute, family orientated and made me miss New York in the summer (as weird as that sounds).  It's so hot during summer in NYC.  Suite Scarlett is a delightful, easy read that's perfect for summer or that moment when you want something that has a touch of drama and gives you a break from books about death and mayhem!

     3 Unicorns = I liked it a lot but it had it's issues!  


Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

Scarlet sounds like someone a reader can relate to. Love that she is awkward and feisty at the same time. Also so great that there is a really strong family dynamic, I love books that heavily feature a family!

Aneeqah said...

This seems like SUCH a perfect summer read to me! I've been reading a lot of deeper stuff lately, and have been craving something light with a hint of depth, and I think this is the perfect book! Even with Missing Parent Syndrome, and the slight switching of POV, it seems like this is such a fun book. And the family aspect of this story sounds great too- it's not often that we get to witness family dynamics in a story.

Lovely review, Christianna!!

Giselle said...

Scarlett definitely sounds like the type of heroine I enjoy reading about too. They're not perfect and they're a bit awkward >.< I hadn't heard of this book before but I did like Maureen's other book I read (brain farting on the title now lol). Great review, chickie!