Rummanah Aasi
  Divorce is a difficult process no matter when it takes place. It is without a doubt emotionally draining. Many books reflect on the process leading up to a divorce as well as the aftermath of how the divorce affects the once coupled, however, not many are written from the eyes of a child. Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy is a pretty good book about how a preteen deals with a divorce as well as learn to love and forgive.

Description: After being expelled from her third school in London, Scarlett is sent by her exasperated mother to live with her father, stepmother, and stepsister in Ireland. Scarlett has made up her mind that she will have a horrible time in Ireland and will go through great lengths to return home until she meets Kian, a mysterious boy with a secret of his own, who urges her to reconsider. Will Scarlett take Kian's advice and remain in Ireland? Will she finally have her greatest wish of having a family again? And what is Kian's secret? 

Review: I had a few issues with Scarlett, but overall I did enjoy it. In the beginning, I didn't like Scarlett at all. I found her to be annoying, out of control, and self righteous, which are symbolized by her pierced tongue. However, as the story progressed and I learned about the painful divorce process of her parents and how her mother neglected her, I began to feel sorry for Scarlett and began to understand her much more.
   Scarlett begins to change, much to the better, once she reaches Ireland. Although she immediately wants to leave her father and his "other family", she can't help but secretly want her stepsister's life, a mother and father who deeply care for her. With the help of Kian, an Irish boy she meets by the lake, she realizes that running away isn't the answer. She must learn how to love and forgive in order to be happy.
   I loved Scarlett's stepmother, Clare, and her stepsister, Holly, who are both sweet and realistic. Kian is also sweet and we slowly learn what his secret past holds. I just wished that his character was a bit more flushed out. Scarlett's mom didn't seem to develop. I felt her change from being an absent mother to one who cares was a bit unrealistic and confusing. Perhaps a few scenes of her communicating with Scarlett during Scarlett's Ireland visit could have made it better. I also enjoyed learning a bit about Ireland while reading this book.
   My main issues of the book are that there were many repetitive scenes and that the second half of the book is rushed. I would have liked a more build up to Kian's story, because his story is essential to Scarlett's own epiphany. Also, Scarlett's actions of having a pierced tongue and running away at night to be with Kian (the romance is very chaste) were incongruous to her age as a 12 year old. Nonetheless, I did end up liking who Scarlett becomes in the end. 

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book try: Indigo Blue by Cathy Cassidy
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