Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett was recommended by Michelle. I saw her review of Scarlett Fever and was curious enough to ask what’s a good Maureen Johnson book to read for a first timer. I’m glad I found a copy of this book in Fully Booked The Block and it was the last one too!

Here’s the summary from Maureen Johnson’s website:

When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of one of the Hopewell’s rooms. 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. Where Mrs. Amberson goes, things tend to happen.

When Scarlett meets Eric, an impossibly gorgeous actor, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. Eric has just moved to New York, and is a fellow cast member in a production of Hamlet that may just save Spencer’s career . . . if it ever makes it to the stage. Scarlett’s unsteady relationship with Eric may be best thing that’s ever happened to her, or it may undo the most important relationship in her life.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, serious mishandling of unicycles, and theatrical deception. And every element and person in Scarlett’s life will converge in one night that will make or break them all . . .

The show, as they say, must always go on.

I have the edition with the red cover and it’s really cute but I like this other cover as well. I love that it shows Scarlett with her blond curls, bright red lipstick and black Dior dress. I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m glad I picked it up. Thanks again for the recommendation, Michelle! I would have to agree with you that Maureen Johnson’s books are a lot of fun. Scarlett is such a character. Actually, all of the Martin siblings have unique personalities. From Scarlett’s older brother Spencer, who’s an aspiring stage actor to her elegant and beautiful sister Lola and even her youngest sister Marlene. They lead unusual lives because they live in the New York City hotel that their family owns, the Hopewell Hotel. Even the hotel has its own personality! It’s an old-fashioned hotel but was created in the twenties by a designer who later on became famous for making distinctive stage and movie sets. I’d love to stay in a hotel like that. Unfortunately, the Martin family encountered some setbacks and they’re encountering financial difficulties. Only a handful of guests stay in the Hopewell and they all have to pitch in and help to keep the hotel running.

Scarlett and Spencer are really close and I liked their witty exchanges. It kind of reminded me of how Lorelei and Rory interacted in the Gilmore Girls, one of my favorite TV shows. I also can’t help but like Lola because she’s such a nice person. I wish I had a sister like that, I’d love to have makeovers. The book covers just one summer but so much happened in that brief span of time. I guess when actors are involved and there’s a production of Hamlet to put on, things tend to get a little crazy.

If you want a light, fun read about hotels, stage productions and original characters, then this is the book for you. I will definitely pick up the sequel Scarlett Fever because I want to know what happens next to the Martins but I will probably wait for it to come out in paperback before I get it. I also saw a copy of Maureen Johnson’s other book, Girl at Sea and I’m thinking of getting that as well. If anyone has read it, please let me know what you think.