Review: SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson

Posted 20 August, 2010 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 2 Comments

Final Grade: 93/A

YA Contemporary
368 pages
Available Now
Review copy purchased
Rated PG

BLURB: 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. 

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. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.
Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deceptions. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

REVIEW: This is an older book, released in May 2009, but it’s well worth the read. Scarlett was a fantastic character. She was bright, caring and a sane voice in an otherwise nutty family. I’m not overly-familiar with New York, having only been there once in my life, but this book just felt like I think New York should “feel” like. Scarlett was a true New Yorker, navigating the city that never sleeps with an ease only someone who lives there could have.

The characters who surround her are fantastic. Her brother shines as a struggling actor and her best friend (in her family anyway). Her little sister cracked me up. She was such a  demanding little chick, believing that everyone should bow and curtsy to her because she was once terribly sick (she recovered). And Mrs. Amberson, the C-list Broadway star, runs Scarlett ragged (and gets her moving outside of her comfort zone).

There’s a great little romance going on in Suite Scarlett, too. Hottie Eric is working with Scarlett’s brother, Spencer, on an off-Broadway production, and Scarlett’s in love.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read this book, I highly suggest it. Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite YA authors–she captures the voice of each character so well and writes with a fantastic sense of humor. Suite Scarlett and the sequel, Scarlett Fever, are books well worth checking out.

AUTHOR BIO: Maureen Johnson lives in New York City. She wonders if you have read any of her previous books: The Key to the Golden Firebird, The Bermudez Triangle, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Devilish, or Girl at Sea. It s okay if you haven’t; she is sure to like you anyway. Unlike Scarlett, Maureen does not live in a hotel, but she wishes she did. Visit Maureen online at

Purchase this book at INDIEBOUND or AMAZON.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

2 Responses to “Review: SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson”

  1. I really like this book. it is not like ever book at the library it is fun and cool. I like how Scarlett makes things work. she does her best. and never lets any thing keep her down not even a guy. I really like this book. you did a great review of it. you told ever one just what this great book is all about!