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.