Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Suite Scarlett

Title: Suite Scarlett
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: 2008 by Point
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.

When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. 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, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. 

With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.

The show, as they say, must always go on.

First Sentence:
"On the morning of the tenth of June, Scarlett Martin woke up to the sound of loud impromptu rap penetrating her thin bedroom wall from the direction of the bathroom next door."

This is my first Maureen Johnson book, and let me say it won’t be the last. I simply adore her writing style. She could write a novel about sea slugs and I would read it. 

As the story goes, Scarlett lives in a family-run hotel in New York city. Her family is getting a bit behind on money, for a reason none of them like to articulate. Then Mrs. Amberson comes and infiltrates Scarlett’s summer. Suddenly she’s making money, helping with her brother’s play and meeting a cute actor.

I quite loved the characters in this novel. From Chip, Lola’s rich boyfriend, to Billy Whitehouse, Mrs. Amberson’s friend, all the people were intricately described. Scarlett herself is a tad boring, but her life is anything but. With Mrs. Amberson having her running around doing everything, having to deal with her family’s issues, and figuring out Eric, the cute actor, Scarlett lives a harried life.

Spencer and Scarlett have this amazing relationship due to spending so much time together when they were younger. They hang out, talk about everything, and share so many inside jokes and looks, it’s hard not to be envious. Until of course, they have a falling-out, which happens a couple times. One extra thing I loved, Spencer’s “skill”. All the fake falling and crazy antics were fun to read.

------------------(Slight Spoilers)-----------------------------------------------------------------------
By the time I’m writing this review, I’ve read Scarlett Fever as well, but I would just like to make it known that I didn’t really like Eric that much in this book. I mean, he was nice, but something was always off with him. I think Scarlett was just desperate for male attention. He just SEEMED too perfect. Which sometimes (not often), perfect is okay, but in this case it just felt false, like he was hiding something.
------------------------------------(Done with Spoiler-y Section)----------------------------------

Maureen Johnson is the most CREATIVE, AMUSING, AND INTERESTING writer. There are these sparkling moments of “Oh my goodness, that was so randomly creative”. No matter if it’s describing the neighbors, giving Spencer and Scarlett an inside joke, or having Scarlett ad-lib, Maureen has spot-on spontaneity. It is a treat to read her writing, and I have been won over completely.

Content Warning: I’m pretty sure there is mild language, and definitely kissing.


4 Pigs

Blog Sig.


  1. This one sounds like such a good read:D I've been hunting her The Name of The Star book. But so far still no luck. Heard so many good things on that. Great review by the way! :D

    Fara @ Tumbling In Books

  2. Maureen Johnson is INCREDIBLE. I read The Name of the Star and it's sooooo good!! You really need to read it. :)

    Thanks! I love your blog!


Please share your thoughts about this post!
I respond to every comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...