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.

Friday Free For All

Hello.   How long has it been since I treated you to a random spouting of whatever is on my mind?    I think I could yap for many words this morning AND still keep it about books.     Got LOTS to say, it seems, and of course, all my sentence/thoughts are TOO LONG for Twitter.  😛   Besides, sometimes yelling into the Twitter void is loneliness-inducing.    I’ll say something and no one reacts.   So I just fell silly.   Like I’m in a room full of people shouting something (not) profound; everyone keeps right on talking.    Even worse, is the feeling that everyone stops for just a silent second to glance at me and then resumes talking.   Twitter CAN be intimidating, admit it. (yes, I do know that I should just jump in and react to someone else’s tweet – gotta be a friend to have a friend…)

See?  I’ve already rambled on and have barely even started.

I am now reading Night by Elie Wiesel;  inspired by my finishing The Book Thief (and the fact that Night is less than 200 pages, who am I kidding?!)       I have a confession.   Of course, I knew this book was about his time in the Nazi concentration camps but I didn’t realize it was about his crisis of faith.    I don’t know why this gives me pause, but it is sobering and somber and quietly dread-full.       I think I might have to seek out Viktor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning as a counterpoint/companion read next.   How did I get on a Holocaust themed book run?

On a lighter note, I decided I could very well pop in an audio book to help Jen celebrate her Audio Week Extravaganza!    So I’m halfway through listening to Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson and I am IN LOVE with the setting!    What a wonderful NYC book!   I’m fond of this book already; fond of the main character and her family.

Which brings me to a question that you may want to address in a comment if you so wish:     Does it intimidate you to see the HOURS of LISTENING on an audio book case as compared to a book’s page count?     It does me.      So, when I saw that Suite Scarlett is NINE hours, I thought “OK, quite do-able.”    and yet, I *know* that I can read about 50-60 pages an hour and could if I wanted to convert a book reading time to hours, but I never do.

On similar note (maybe), I downloaded the audio of The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace and the key-card doesn’t tell me how many hours it is.   WHY do you think I assume it is many?   Many like is LOTS?    I’m scared to look up the page count…    I was about to write another sentence with a form of the word ‘intimidation’ in it and that’s just silly.   I have to get over what that word means!

Which reminds me of that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

I am hoping to put together a pre-discussion post of  questions for Franny & Zooey – I suppose, I should write a review, too – and just wanted to let you know that I ended up liking it very much.    Not what I was expecting to after the first 40 pages.   In fact, I may have to re-read the Franny section.    I didn’t do a good job of taking notes so I might have to re-read the whole thing…   oh well.

I’m also reminded that I need a button.  and a note in my sidebar.   And I want to thank Florinda for sharing the link to the kickoff in one of her announcement posts!

AND.     For August 10, I hereby announce the book will be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

Maree is hosting a discussion/readalong of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods on July 10th, too.   I got the book! I’ve been saying I need to read some NG for years now.

Jenny over at Jenny’s Books will be celebrating Diana Wynne Jones (an author I had never heard of until I started to read Jenny’s blog which you should read, too) – check out her announcement of that special week here.   I want to read Howl’s Moving Castle or Eight Days of Luke.

Have I also shared that we are planning on vacation for July 10th (the F&Z discussion) and it is extremely possible that I won’t have internet access on that date?!?!??!?!?     I’m sticking my head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge this possibility.   DRAT IT ALL.    I can’t go and tell the Hub to cancel vacation because I screwed up and scheduled an internet chat, now can I?     Well, I wish I could but he’ll just turn around and ask me how much money I’m making on this blog-thing and ha-ha…   I’ll see what I can do.   Maybe I can get that I-Pad thingy figured out by then?   It’s on my list of to-do’s before July 4th.

What else, what else?    I had a brain full of topics to address!  Where did they go?

I received Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa, MD from my new-friend-from-BEA Esme at Chocolate & Croissants (thank you!) which she was so wonderfully generous to send me because I was complaining that I couldn’t find this book in LARGE PRINT.    (The one she sent isn’t in large print, either – I don’t think they printed an LP edition.)   My desire was that I wanted to get this for the library at the HOME FOR THE AGED where I volunteer and the residents prefer Large Print.     (It’s the largest Large Print library on the southcoast of Massachusetts!)

Finally, I leave you with a photo of a DOG named Oscar.


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.