Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett (Scarlett, #1)
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.
 Let's begin this review by saying that I have always been a fan of Maureen- I've read The Name of The Star, The Madness Underneath, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope and The Key to the Golden Firebird- and not once have I ever been disappointed by any of these. Maureen is your typical Young Adult author who writes novels that keep you going to the end, with a few laughs along the way.
So when I started Suite Scarlett, the last thing I expected to feel was this:

Yep. It was boring. I simply could not get into it the way I did with all of her other books.

Scarlett was just another New York teenager who's bored over summer- and just so happens to live in a hotel. Cool. Great. A light read. BUT. Obviously- obviously- she is going to meet a boy. This boy's name is Eric. Seems nice enough- a bit out-of-town, country-boy-meets-city-girl 'plot twist'. Nothing new to see here! Oh, but there's more. Eric is friends with Spencer. Spencer is Scarlett's brother. Eric does something bad. Eric breaks the poor girl's heart. Spencer gets mad. Seem familiar? It's basically what you see in every YA book that hasn't pulled it off.

Every twist and turn that could be thought of as unexpected- I expected. Scarlett gets a suite for her birthday- a crazy lady comes to live there and undoubtedly will have some impact on Scarlett's life. That impact leads to another event which therefore goes wrong and seems unable to be fixed. All this happens while the obvious relationship issues are happening in the background.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is-
Suite Scarlett had so much potential in being different to every other book- the different setting could have done with so much more than it was given, yet it felt like Johnson was just settling for what readers are used to. Yes, there were parts of it that lifted my spirits- Spencer and Marlene were undoubtedly my favourite characters as they had fantastic personalities- yet I just felt it nowhere near reached its full potential.

There is a sequel to Suite Scarlett, called Scarlett Fever- yet I really don't feel it needed one. Maybe I'll give it a go in time and see if it turns out better than this did for me.

Let me know what you all thought of it!



  1. Charlotte BowersMarch 4, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Yeah, I was gutted it didn't work out! NOS and its sequel are fantastic, which is probably why I had such high hopes for this one.

  2. I feel exactly the same! I guess not every book that an author publishes is as good as the last.

  3. It so is! Yeah, I don't know whether my opinion was universally the same or what, but I suggest you still try it and see what you make of it! Though I didn't enjoy this one, I still fully recommend her others such as The Name of the Star :-)


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