Suite Scarlett [Book Review]

Title: Suite Scarlett
Author: Maureen Johnson (narrated by Jeannie Stith)
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 1423381068
Pages: 384(12.5 hrs audio)
Year: 2009
Source: Publisher (provided at Book Blogger Convention)
Rating: 4/5

Summary (from Powell’s):

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 . . . .
My Thoughts:

I’d never read any of Maureen Johnson’s books before I went to the Book Blogger Convention. She opened the day with her keynote address and was simply HILARIOUS. After listening to her speak, I knew I had to remedy that asap. So when I saw that a copy of Suite Scarlett was generously given to each of us by Brilliance Audio, I made it my next audiobook (I also picked up another one of her books in print).

Suite Scarlett took me a little while to get into. At first I thought maybe I wasn’t liking it. But at some point, I found myself looking forward to getting in the car again or putting on my headphones as much as possible.  Suite Scarlett is full of quirky characters and I love me some quirky characters (Spencer was my favorite in this book). I think I can safely say that the book was more about the characters than about the story. The plot was interesting, but if you think about it, not that much really happened.

I will admit that I did get that fun first love feeling that you often experience when reading YA a few times, but then I also got a little annoyed with Scarlett’s decisions re: that first love (just like I often experience when reading YA).

Suite Scarlett was funny and entertaining. I’m excited to read some more of Johnson’s works, including the sequel, Scarlett Fever.

Other Reviews:

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4 thoughts on “Suite Scarlett [Book Review]

  1. I’m listening to this right now on my runs. I’m about 2 hours in. It’s a nice light book that doesn’t demand much concentration. The narrator is a little too perky, but I’m getting used to her.

  2. Twitter: devourerofbooks
    I had a bit of a hard time getting into this too and, like BookishlyFab said, I think it had to do with the narrator. She was great, but at the very beginning I was worried I wouldn’t be able to take 9 hours of her perkiness.

  3. Twitter: bookingit
    I really enjoyed Suite Scarlett, but it was one of those books where I was really aware it was YA at times, and really young people do make decisions like that, and it’s part of growing up. (I don’t give adults quite as much slack 🙂 ).

    The perkiness was definitely part of that ongoing awareness :-).

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