07 October 2009

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Oh Suite Scarlett! Please, join us in taking a peek at the sweet life of Scarlett Martin and her brother Spencer who live in a NYC hotel with their parents and sisters. That's right, they live IN a hotel. In New York City!

Yeah, it's not that cool. Hopewell Hotel is pretty old and definitely falling apart, piece by intricate piece. Almost no one stays there anymore, and the Martins have been forced to let go of most of their staff. On the morning of her fifteenth birthday, Scarlett joins her family for a breakfast of undercooked waffles, charred waffles, and frozen whipped cream. Apparently, Belinda, the beloved (and awesome) cook and the last of the staff, had to be let go from the hotel. And now all of the kids are expected to pitch in and help with the building's upkeep, among other tasks. Scarlett is more than disappointed; with all of her friends being off someplace cool or exotic for the summer, she was planning on getting a job and gaining freedom and a cash flow. As it turns out, she gets everything she thought she wanted and then some . . . and learns the meaning of the phrase "Be careful what you wish for!"

Enter the newest hotel guest: Mrs. Amberson, the best (and possibly most interesting, and quite likely the most tragic) thing to happen to the Martin family in recent memory.

Some elements of the story don't quite work, but the storytelling itself more than makes up for anything lacking within the book. The author make sure that the reader knows what is important. The true-to-life relationships, laugh-out-loud dialogue, and real emotion are outstanding and make this story well-worth the read. Recommended to all readers, especially those with a flair for the dramatic!
Call number: YA JOHNSON (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian

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