Suite Scarlett

Thoughts   Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson, AUDIO (print version pub’d by Point 2008)

MOTIVATION for READING:    I was familiar with Ms. Johnson through her association with John Green (famous ‘rock star’ author – if you don’t know who he is, I’m stunned) AND I have been following her amusing Twitter tweets for quite awhile.   When she was announced as the guest speaker for the opening of the NYC Book Blogger Convention in May, I was thrilled!   I was even more thrilled to get the Suite Scarlett audio in the BBC swag bag and then triply excited when her speech was delivered – she’s awesome.    Bummed as I was when I realized I couldn’t pop this into my car’s CD player to listen, I was totally psyched that my new iPad would give me an opportunity to listen.    YIPPEE!   Combine all this fervor with Audio Week way back when (yep, I’m a tad late…) …  Whew, I’m exhausted.   FINALLY, I am writing up a post.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:    Scarlett turns fifteen and her hotel-owning parents ‘gift’ her a room to care for.    Along comes a new customer for this guestroom and Scarlett is swept into the adventure that is working for Ms. Ambrose.     A little drama – no, really, this book has actors trying to put on a play – some love interest, more than a few shenanigans, and wa la!   A nice little story about a girl trying to figure out her place in the world.

WHAT’s GOOD/NOT so good:    I adored the setting!   New York City plays a big part;  I was charmed by the hotel and it’s surroundings.    Johnson does a great job of setting a scene.    And for someone like me who isn’t all that familiar with New York, I felt like I was there without the assumptions that I knew where I was.   (Does that make any sense?!)   And the reader!   I thought Jeannie Stith did a fabulous job with the voices.

I must admit, however, that I did feel older than the intended audience, and I’m sure that’s acceptable since this is YA for a YA reader, right?   I ended gifting the audio to my nieces (sisters) who ARE in their late teens, early twenties.   I have yet to hear from them if they’ve given it a listen.   But I hope they like it.

I did.   It was sweet.    I’m still getting into audios so I love being able to listen while cooking and cleaning up the house.   But I would forget that I had this to listen to and so I strung it out over too much time.

RATING:   Three slices of pie.    Probably Peach Pie.

* This is my first ‘book’ to read from my haul of books from BEA/BBC – pathetic!    Although, I just started my next one: Finny by Justin Kramon.

**  When I looked up the publisher info, I discovered this is the first in a series!   I ask myself, “Self, will you read the next?”  and my bookish inner self who wants to read everything but usually NOT series books, actually answers, “Yes, I think I just might.”

***  This book was nominated for some prizes:  the Sakura Medal Nominee for High School Book (2010) and the Florida Teens Read (2009).   NOW what to me is REALLY cool, is that I just finished a totally unrelated nonfiction book about a disaster-at-sea rescue and one of the ships instrumental in the recovery was called SAKURA EXPRESS!!!     Things like this delight me.


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

18 thoughts on “Suite Scarlett

  1. I read this one on the train home from Christmas this year and enjoyed. I agree, I’m older than the intended audience, but the humor still captivated me. I keep meaning to read the sequel, but I never get around to it.

  2. I really wish I could have loved this one. I just have issues with people getting away with lying all the time. I felt like it passed on a bad message to teens. 😦 I have loved every other Johnson book I’ve read, though!

    1. I can understand that. I recall you mentioning that in your review. I also was a teensy uncomfortable with the relationship stuff and that’s when I figured I was ‘too old’. Now that I reflect more, you are right – there was a lot of lying by most everyone. Huh.

  3. “this is YA for a YA reader, right?”

    oh no no no, please don’t say that, that makes me feel like I read Children’s books. I am 28 and I still LOVE YA 🙂

    Maybe this book just wasn’t for you.

    1. I don’t mean to discredit anyone of any age from loving a YA book but sometimes, I feel that I am not inclined to ‘get’ some of them. I don’t want to be biased against books geared to a younger audience and I respect your reading choices.

      The term ‘Children’s book’ to me applies to being for an audience under age 12. I love some of those, too. The A in YA is for adult, yes? and references mature themes.

      But maybe you are right, this book wasn’t my favorite. But it’s not horrible! Three out of five is a decent rating.


        1. But I didn’t say I dislike YA books! It’s just some seem more ‘younger’! The Book Thief is YA and it’s in my top ten EVER. I loved Looking for Alaska, and I’m sure I have others to list. I can’t wait to finally get to Hunger Games and I know I have a lot of YA on my tbr. I want the YA that allows me to lose myself into those years and some only remind me that I’m 20+ years too old.

          I hope I can say I would enjoy the great books of any genre/classification.


  4. I agree, I found this to be a sweet audio but would probably have been enjoyed more by a younger audience than me.

    I can not believe this is your first book/audio out of the BEA boxes! I try to pull one out every couple weeks. Try anyway! 😀

    1. I know – I blame all the challenges I’m chasing. I have books lined up ready to go from the first of the year and I’m behind. I can’t have too many books crashing the party, yaknow?!

  5. I haven’t finished this one yet. My hubby got bored with it on the commute, so we stopped listening in the car. I’ll have to download it to the ipod and bring it with me on the metro.

  6. I’m wondering if I’ll have the same reaction. I started reading this last night and so far am not sure about it. I know what you mean about its feeling a little young.

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