Rummanah Aasi
   Looking for some books to pick up and read during Spring Break? You might want to consider reading Maureen Johnson's fun and charming, Suite Scarlett.

Description (from Goodreads): 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.

Review: Suite Scarlett is a cute and fun read. Scarlett's family operates and lives in a rundown art deco hotel in Manhattan. Scarlett's sister's cancer treatments have drained the family's finances and so when the Martin children turn 15, they inherit a suite in the family's small Manhattan hotel and a job: to take care of the rooms and their occupant. On Scarlett's 15th birthday, a mysterious and affluent woman named Amy Amberson sweeps into the suite that Scarlett has just inherited. Mrs. Amberson claims that she wants to write about her life and hires Scarlett to be her assistant.
   Mrs. Amberson can be demanding and brash, but she does have her charms and a weird sense of humor. Scarlett's job changes on a whim when Mrs. Amberson decides to help fund the theater troupe that Scarlett's brother is involved in put on Hamlet. The financial support is actually a cover up for a revenge plan that Mrs. Amberson concocts to get back at an actress who she claims has stolen the spotlight role that belonged to her. Meanwhile Scarlett begins a romance with one of the actors. Once the play begins, everything starts to go awry. Mrs. Amberson abandons ship leaving more Scarlett in charge and left to save the play, sort out her own confusing romance along with troubles of financing the family business, and sibling rivalry.
   I adored Scarlett and loved her dry humor which Johnson does so well. I also loved how family is important to the overall plot as well as to Scarlett's character development. She loves her family and her siblings, which is shows in their interactions and dialogue exchanges. I just wished the book would stay focused. The side plots of  the play, the revenge scheme, Scarlett's romance, the hotel and family messiness were a bit too much to keep track of. There were also some scenes that were really far fetched and hard to believe especially when Mrs. Amberson and her foe have their show-down which I thought was resolved a bit too neatly.
  Overall I found Suite Scarlett to be an enjoyable book that I would recommend to readers looking for a light and fun book. I think it would be especially enjoyed during spring break and/or summer vacation.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: Mrs. Amberson provides alcohol to the cast and to the theatergoers.Other than that, the book is relatively clean. Recommended for strong Grade 7 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Scarlett Fever (Scarlett #2) by Maureen Johnson,  Dramarama by E. Lockhart, Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
8 Responses
  1. Although this wasn't perfectly executed, I'm glad you liked it overall. I always appreciate a good family dynamic in books, and I like the sound of that aspect here. Great review, Rummanah!

  2. Jenny Says:

    I could definitely use something fun to read Rummanah! Everything I've picked up lately has been a bit of a downer. Characters are dying or relationships are ripped apart and my poor heart just needs something happy and entertaining. Adding this to my list:)

  3. I'm so glad you loved this. I think the series is adorable. Have you read Scarlett Fever yet? I get a kick out of Scarlett's little sister. When I met Maureen at BEA last year, she said she was working on a 3rd book.

  4. I have looked into this series but it kind of felt like it was just dropped after book two so I wasn't too excited about jumping in. It does sound fun and I am always up for a light quirky read. Not a fan of too many subplots to keep track of especially when your target audience is young adult.

  5. Candace Says:

    How have I not heard of this?! This sounds exactly like a book I would love and I love Maureen Johnson's characters in the books I have read so far by her.

  6. Lauren Says:

    I love Maureen Johnson's books, and this is one I haven't gotten around to yet. VERY excited to read it, especially after reading your review. Scarlett sounds like a character I would like—I love dry humor. Glad you enjoyed it despite some of the more far-fetched plot points. Great review!

  7. I bought this one on sale and haven't read it yet. Glad it's so light and fluffy. I'll have to pull it out soon! Great review!(spring break is coming up!!)


  8. I'm not sure if I'll end up reading this one but it sounds fun. I love that family plays an important role in this story as too often YA books neglect that element.

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