Review : Suite Scarlett

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Pages : 353
Genre : YA
My Rating : 

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 names 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.

I had heard lots of good on Maureen Johnson’s work and I’ve been a fan of her blog for a while, too; therefore, I was looking forward to reading something of hers. A sweet and entertaining comedy, Suite Scarlett didn’t disappoint. I really liked the book, and I’m excited about the sequel coming out “soon” (February 2010, to be precise).

One of Suite Scarlett‘s strong point is, without hesitation, its incredible set of characters. Agreed, Scarlett’s siblings are at first a little stereotypical; but as you get to know them, you can’t help but appreciate their (mostly) strong relationship. They are fun and honest with each other, but as any real life siblings, they also encounter some bumps in the road. 

Spencer and Scarlett’s relationship was probably my favorite of the book; it was great, for once, to have a character’s brother not being an annoying irresponsible teen. They were each other’s best friends and had some of the funniest exchanges in the book. Mrs. Amberson is also an unforgettable woman; colorful and theatrical, she energizes the most ordinary scenes.

This, in fact, might be a part of what kept me from falling completely in love with the book. Scarlett was the narration’s main focus (the book is written in the 3rd person), and while I really liked her, I didn’t find her story that fascinating. I liked her as a character : she was intelligent and funny, but sadly, also very passive. Things keep happening around her or to her, but she rarely takes action. Yes, she does have a few ideas of her own and she does help her brother and Mrs. Amberson in their various plans, but still I found that she spent a lot of her time just obeying them and her older sister, Lola.

Apart from that, I liked the book. Johnson’s sense of humor is perfect for this story, and her writing brings to life New York and the fantastic Hopewell Hotel. I also have to give the author huge props for writing a teenager’s romance in a realistic way. I loved how this aspect of the story ended.

If you’re looking for a light novel that will make you laugh, this might be the one! Somewhere between a romantic comedy and a chick lit novel for teens, Suite Scarlett is like a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the hot summer air : fresh, delicious, and an absolute candy for the soul! 😛

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9 responses to “Review : Suite Scarlett”

  1. Amanda says :

    Yay! I’m glad to hear it was good. I loved the other two books I read by her. Now I’m looking forward to this even more!

  2. Nymeth says :

    It’s too bad you didn’t fall in love with it completely, but it still sounds like a very fun read!

  3. bermudaonion says :

    I do like good characters – this book sounds good in spite of Scarlett’s passivity.

  4. Staci says :

    Sounds like a fun read and one that I will keep in mind!

  5. Juju says :

    A bucket of Ben & Jerry’s? What an awesome analogy. 🙂

  6. justicejenniferreads says :

    Candy for the soul – I like that. Maybe someday, I’ll get around to reading this, after something dense (I hope). Thanks for the lovely review.

  7. Megan says :

    I loved this one! And I was thrilled not to be disappointed after reading Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes, which sounded great in theory but ultimately let me down.

    Scarlett’s relationship with Spencer was one of my favorites, too, and I found so many of their scenes memorable. You’re right — she was very passive, and that does get annoying. But I loved so many other aspects of the story that I think it balanced out for me 🙂 Great review!

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