Saturday, 5 September 2015
Suite Scarlett- Maureen Johnson HOT KEY BOOKS WEEK
If living in a famous art deco hotel minutes away from Central Park sounds like your idea of a pretty sweet deal - you should talk to Scarlett Martin. Having a hotel for a home really isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when you've got no guests, no money and no prospects for any fun thanks to your parents putting you to work all summer. Luckily for Scarlett, the Hopewell is about to be shaken to its foundations with the arrival of Mrs Amberson, a glamorous travelling socialite who's planning on putting down some roots for a while - and hiring Scarlett as her assistant. With a new job, new friends, and (maybe) a new boyfriend on the horizon, Scarlett's summer is beginning to look a lot more interesting...
Birthday girl Scarlett Martin is a fifteen year old girl like any other- except that her and her family own a hotel in the centre of Manhattan. As the business is flailing the siblings are expected to pull their weight and contribute to the running of the hotel, and alongside her paltry birthday presents she's handed responsibility for the swankiest suite in the hotel.
When the glamorous yet ditzy Mrs Amberson turns up looking to live in the hotel for an extended period the Martin's seize the opportunity. An income! And as she's staying in Scarlett's suite, Scarlett is expected to fulfil her every desire which has some outlandish consequences.
However, I feel the family relationships were the most interesting aspect of this book. As I only have one sibling who's 11 years older than me, I'm always drawn to books about larger sibling groups. In Suite Scarlett there's Spencer (budding thespian, and at some points it feels like this book revolves around this subplot), Lola (who has a rich boyfriend Spencer hates) and Marlene (the baby of the family who gets away with murder because she's been ill). Then of course there's Scarlett, and although they all rub each other up the wrong way there's an obvious bond between them all deep down.
Overall this book is fun with a cute (yet not quite believable) romance for Scarlett in her brother Spencer's new acting buddy Eric, some madcap scenes where Mrs Amberson takes matters into her own hands and a realistic portrayal of the issues between families, but I'd say Suite Scarlett has less crossover appeal than some other YA books out there. If I'd read this in my mid-teens I'd probably have liked it a lot more, but I'm only able to give this a middling review as it didn't blow me away, and I'm unsure as to whether I'll realistically read the rest of the series.
Suite Scarlett is out now, published by Hot Key Books.
With thanks to Hot Key Books for providing me with a copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.