Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Hiatus Review - Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett is your typical teen girl in New York. The only strange thing is that she happens to live in a hotel that her family owns. It's a hotel that is slowly but surely losing money and failing. She's also the sister to Lola, who's dating a rich guy who will stop at nothing to impress her, Marlene, who's survived cancer and loves all the pampering and admiration that comes along with that, and Spencer, who's dream is to be an actor on Broadway but who then instead lands a part in a production taking place in a parking garage. On Scarlett's fifteenth birthday her parents give her sole responsibility of one of the hotel suites as is tradition in their family. What Scarlett doesn't bargain for is a certain guest who decides to move in for the whole summer, rule Scarlett's life, plot revenge on old friends, and rediscover New York for herself. Add in a hunky guy who may or may not like her and you've got yourself in quite a pickle. Will Scarlett be able to fix up her summer, survive Mrs. Amberson's tortures, and save her brother's acting career? We can only hope...

I've never been a huge fan of Maureen Johnson's. I know, it's a crime. It's just that none of the books of hers that I've read have made much of an impression on me. I do admit that she's a good writer and has some great story ideas, but out of the books I've read so far, I didn't really like them enough to say that she's one of my favorite authors. But, I think that may have changed after I read this book. While reading I thought to myself; this must be the kind of Maureen Johnson writing that has made people fall in love with her. It's really good! She's witty, precise, clever, funny, and her whole writing style made this book completely enjoyable to read. It's got nice flow and has enough little quirky things to it that nothing ever gets boring. I'm definitely understanding what people like so much about Maureen. I'm a fan now. Besides the writing, there were, of course, other elements that I liked about the book. I really liked the reality of it all. Maybe not the reality of the plot, because I have a feeling that that part was meant to be not so real and more funny and captivating, but I really liked how the author was able to write about the setting and the characters so that it felt as if you were there and you knew them. I've been to New York once, like five years ago so I don't really remember a ton, but from reading this book I was able to understand the whole dynamic and feel of the city which was cool. I'd love to be able to go and spend a week or two among the crazy hecticness of New York. It seems like it would be a really cool place to live. And besides the setting, the characters were completely awesome. They each had some interesting personality trait that made them unique. I also liked how the cute guy in this story had things wrong with him! Yay! Cheers for realistic and screwed up guys. Sure, I'm not as fond of Eric as I am of more unflawed guy leads, but I do admire him for having the strength to defy the character mold. Ha. Overall, I think Suite Scarlett was a super great book. I loved every part of it and am looking forward to the next Scarlett book with tons of anticipation.


  1. I'm totally completely fully excited for the next Scarlett novel. And I totally agree with you on Eric. But Maureen Johnson always has surprising male leads. and female leads for that matter. Marvelous review!

  2. I've been looking for this at my bookstores, but they never have it! Did you see that Maureen Johnson announced the title of the second one on her blog? That one sounds awesome too!

  3. Yay for you finally being converted to the Maureen Lovers. hehe. It's surprising that you didn't like any of her other books, because well, they're awesome, but I'm glad that this one struck a chord with you. :)

    Great review!


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