Title- Suite Scarlett (Scarlett #1)
Author- Maureen Johnson.
Publish date- 2013.
Publisher- Hot Key Books.
(A Brief) Synopsis:
This is not a book about a teenage who solves mysteries and crimes for people who stay in the hotel her family owns. It's a very amusing book, but not that. It involves Shakespeare, theater, acting, sibling relationships, hotels, schemes and a romance that turns the protagonist into an unreliable narrator (that last one is just in my opinion, by the by).
Image Credit: Hot Key Books.
Thank you to Hot Key Books for this review copy!
What I thought:
Suite Scarlett. Been on my planned reading for over a year, more likely two. It was a book I wanted to read, wanted to read a lot, the first novel by aureen Johnson I read, hopefully (though I've read at least one of her short stories), but it did take me quite a while.
And for all that, I am conflicted about this novel.
Scarlett, having just turned fifteen in the first pages, is one of the youngest YA protagonists I've read for a while, though it isn't until the romance aspect comes in that she really feels that age. The rest of the time I'd quite happily imagine her as older, maybe 17. She is likable, mostly, and I did enjoy her inner conflict when things start to get tricky, the way she doesn't really lie to herself... well she might, but only once or twice!
And yet, for all that she sees and understands, when romance was bought into the equation Scarlett became a little bit hopeless. She becomes dependent and and it is the main path her thoughts locate themselves too, and... well, she becomes flaky.
Perhaps I hold it against hr, her infatuational love on eye contact, but if that's the case it is because this romance irritated me a bit. For all the charm of the book (and it has plenty) the romance Scarlett involves herself in felt untrue and, though it was probably with reasoning, there was no build up, to my mind. Not from Scarlett and not from he on the other side- they eyed each other and fliterd and I did not like he on the other side as soon as I saw it. Possibly because he is at least eighteen- at least- and when you've only days ago been 14 that feels very worrying.
I was uncomfortable with it. Really, very uncomfortable. And it was always there, a page away from being mentioned.
Apart from the distressingly constant romance, though, this was a really wonderful story, with characters, setting and a plot that shine. The story is set in New York and Scarlett's family live and own and work in an old, small hotel, and I felt like I was there.
A family full of antics and their own lovely, peculiar, odd habits and personalities, this story also boasts a truly fantastic sibling relationship between Scarlett and Spencer, her older brother, and one that felt honestly genuine and true, and was very amusing.
Rating: I really don't know. It's not "Poor" but it's lower than "Hmmm..." so... New Rating!
So perhaps I'm about 45/100: part of me severely disliked parts of it. Part of me embraced and felt embraced. Now, lets see where the sequel takes me, shall we? (And not comment on the face I thought this was a hotel-situated teenage mystery series.)