Suite Scarlett

Suite Scarlett

4.0 188
by Maureen Johnson

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From top-selling author Maureen Johnson comes a fresh, funny novel about a girl, her hotel, and an unforgettable summer - now in paperback! Her new summer job comes with baggage 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, and Scarlett lives there with her four siblings - Spencer,… See more details below


From top-selling author Maureen Johnson comes a fresh, funny novel about a girl, her hotel, and an unforgettable summer - now in paperback! Her new summer job comes with baggage 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, and Scarlett lives there with her four siblings - Spencer, Lola, and Marlene. When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are 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 called Mrs. Amberson.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes) packs her latest with all the elements of a winning novel-a dramatic setting, offbeat characters, witty dialogue-but she leaves out the tension. Scarlett's family operates and lives in a rundown art deco hotel in Manhattan. It is nearly empty when strange, rich Amy checks in for the summer. Claiming to want to write a book about her life, she hires an ambivalent Scarlett as her assistant. But Scarlett's job changes when Amy decides instead to sponsor a production of Hamlet in which Scarlett's brother is acting. Soon Scarlett is clearing a rehearsal space, kissing her brother's co-star-and even helping Amy pull off an elaborate revenge scheme on a actress she thinks once wronged her. Between the play, the revenge, Scarlett's romance, the hotel and family messiness (Scarlett's sister's cancer treatments have drained the family's finances), the book lacks focus. Readers will also find some scenes hard to believe, such as the final face-off between Amy and her foe in which all is neatly resolved. Ages 12-up. (May)

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Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Scarlett Martin's life looks glamorous from the outside, as she lives in the Hopewell, an historic hotel in New York City with a thrilling past. Unfortunately, while her friends are spending their summers adventuring around the globe, Scarlett is stuck at home, trying to save the nearly empty and nearly bankrupt hotel from total ruin. When Amy Amberson, a dramatic former actress of dubious caliber and suspicious intentions, moves into the Hopewell for the summer, she impacts the lives of each of the Martins, but none more than Scarlett. Soon "O'Hara," as Mrs. Amberson dubs her, is running all over the city as the personal assistant to a woman with a penchant for special teas, cigarettes, and settling scores. The story's cast is completed by Scarlett's unique family members and subplots involving their lives give the book extra depth as well as emotional resonance. Arranged in five acts, Johnson's engaging novel manages to pay homage to Shakespeare's Hamlet, American theater, New York City, Art Deco, and the golden age of cinema while maintaining the reader's interest in the heroine's personal dramas and awkward attempts at romance. Scarlett's eventual triumph over Mrs. Amberson's conniving ways leads to success for the entire family, and ultimately, the Hopewell. Skillfully plotted and perfectly balanced between humor and drama, this novel reads like a quick trip to the heart of the Big Apple without the hassle of airport security. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
From the author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes and other imaginative YA novels, this tells about an unusual family who own and manage an old hotel in Manhattan—but no, they aren't rich. Scarlett is the main character, but her older brother Spencer, older sister Lola, little sister Marlene, and hotel guest Mrs. Amberson are also essential to the story. (BTW, the parents love old movies and named their children accordingly.) There is no way I can summarize the complicated plot in this brief review, but I will say it's about Spencer trying to get a paying job as an actor, his fellow actor and friend Eric who becomes Scarlett's love interest, Lola's love life with a wealthy, boring fellow student, and everyone's financial woes. Scarlett is assigned to be a sort of personal assistant to the exotic Mrs. Amberson, who has a history in the theatre and a grudge to settle. How it all works out makes for a complicated romp through the old hotel, around stages, on the streets of NYC, in the family dining room. It's always fun and challenging. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
VOYA - Ria Newhouse
The Martin family is certainly an unusual one. They own and live in the once-elegant Hopewell Hotel in the heart of New York City. The story opens on Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, a rite of passage in the Martin family. Whenever a Martin child reaches that milestone, he or she is expected to take over the care of a suite in the Art Deco hotel. The problem? The once-historic hotel is now almost empty, and the Martin family has let go the entire permanent staff. Only random guests sometimes fill a room or two. Scarlett is given the coveted Empire Suite and something unheard of-a permanent guest. Mrs. Amberson is more than anybody can handle, and she turns Scarlett's summer upside down with her theatrics, her need for esoteric items, and her socialite diva attitude. Scarlett is a well-drawn character who needs just a little more work to make her totally believable. The family connection that runs throughout the book is refreshing, and Scarlett's relationship with her older brother, Spencer, is both entertaining and endearing. The family faces some odd challenges but comes together with the goal of making each family member happy. Scarlett would truly shine if she had a little more "oomph" and stood up for herself a bit more, but most teen girls will enjoy the story line, the romance, and the description of life in a city that seems far, far away. Be sure to book talk this story; the cover alone will create holds in your system. Reviewer: Ria Newhouse
Melissa Zamonis
Scarlett is the third of four children in the Martin family, who own, operate, and inhabit the historic Hopewell Hotel in NYC. The hotel once hosted some of the most glamorous movie stars in its 27 rooms; however, today the building is shabby and rundown. On her 15th birthday, Scarlett is put in charge of one of the hotel's 27 rooms, the Empire Suite. Scarlett finds herself maintaining the room of Mrs. Amberson, a failed 1970s starlet who has returned to the city to write her memoirs. Throughout Suite Scarlett, the theme of family unity runs deep. Maureen Johnson does a great job of portraying an American family with financial problems and busy schedules. In addition, the members of the Martin family all begin to realize the things in their lives that are the most important and meaningful. Overall, Johnson's characters are quirky, memorable, and overall believable people. Reviewer: Melissa Zamonis
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

The Martin clan is an unusually eccentric family, even by New York City standards. Scarlett's parents own and run the Hopewell, a small, rundown, historic hotel in the heart of the city in this novel by Maureen Johnson (Scholastic, pap. 2009). According to family "rules," upon turning 15, each sibling is given a hotel suite to care for, along with any guests booked into that particular room. By the luck of the draw, Scarlett's first "client" is Mrs. Amberson-a former actress and world traveler with a penchant for running other peoples' lives and an amazingly egocentric view of the universe. By the time the woman is finished with the Martins, every member of the family will have experienced a life changing and positive event. Jennie Stith's little girl voice seems a tad young for Scarlett, and her breathy delivery becomes wearing after a while. This, coupled with the book's implausible plot and minimally developed characters makes it a marginal purchase.-Cindy Lombardo, Cleveland Public Library, OH

Kirkus Reviews
On her 15th birthday, Scarlett Martin receives the key to one of the shabby-but-elegant suites in her eccentric family's aging Manhattan hotel. This rite of passage carries the responsibility of taking care of both the room and guest who occupies it-a dubious honor already bestowed on her older sister Lola and on her brother Spencer, an aspiring actor. What initially seems like a symbolic gesture quickly becomes a full-time project when wealthy, flamboyant Mrs. Amberson moves into the hotel for the summer and firmly clamps Scarlett under her wing. Along the way, there is a show that must go on, the inevitable messy love interest for Scarlett and a younger sister who is a bratty, spoiled cancer survivor. There are a lot of pieces packed into Johnson's caper comedy, and at times the fantastical plot feels a bit unwieldy. However, the authentic charm of the characters and the endearing sweetness of their odd familial relationships do, finally, make this light read worthwhile. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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