Suite Scarlett
Suite Scarlett
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Annotation: Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Marvin is stuck in New York City for the summer working at her quirky family's historic hotel, but her brother's attractive new friend and a seasonal guest who offers her an intriguing and challenging writing project improve her outlook.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #26471
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 353 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-09632-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-19189-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-09632-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-19189-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2007041903
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
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)
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)

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up Johnson certainly seems to have the formula for good, clean, readable chick-lit down pat, and this title does not disappoint. According to tradition, when the Martin children turn 15, they inherit a suite in the family's small Manhattan hotel and a job: to take care of the rooms and their occupant. On Scarlett's 15th birthday, Amy Amberson sweeps into the suite that Scarlett has just inherited. The woman is demanding and brash, but she does have her charms (and large amounts of cash). In the beginning, Scarlett is overwhelmed, but then her role becomes that of Mrs. Amberson's assistant for her projects, which change on a whim. When Amy decides to help the theater troupe that Scarlett's brother is involved in put on Hamlet , the teen begins a romance with one of the actors. Then everything starts to go awry, and when things get tough, Amy abandons ship, and plucky Scarlett is left to step in and save what needs saving, something that she does with flair. Scarlett's brand of humor is particularly dry and well articulated. This novel blends sibling rivalry and the importance of family, friendship, and romance into a plot that is charming and well delivered. Emily Garrett Cassady, North Garland High School, Garland, TX
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* The Hopewell Hotel, 75 years ago a stylish Upper East Side haunt, has fallen on hard times. Its proprietors, the Martin family, have let the last remaining employee go, and now it's up to the four children, Spencer, Lola, Scarlett, and Marlene, to keep things afloat. Enter one Mrs. Amy Amberson, a flamboyant, mysterious guest, back in New York after a long absence, with some clandestine motives. Mrs. Amberson is to occupy the Empire Suite, just today entrusted to Scarlett as a "present" on her fifteenth birthday (a family tradition), for the entire summer, and keeping her happy will test Scarlett's ingenious mettle. What follows is some utterly winning, madcap Manhattan farce, crafted with a winking, urbane narrative and tight, wry dialogue. Beneath the silvered surface, Johnson delivers a complex sibling relationship. Like the Hilary McKay's Casson quartet, first introduced in Saffy's Angel (2002), these siblings are bound by tender, poignant connections, all the more real for the absurdity of their circumstances. We can only hope that they, too, return for more intrepid adventures.
Voice of Youth Advocates
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.-Ria Newhouse.
Word Count: 87,182
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 13.0 / quiz: 123486 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.3 / points:21.0 / quiz:Q44377
Lexile: 690L

Her new summer job comes with baggage

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City.

When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. 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 and world traveler. An dwhen 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 and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she might just be able to pull it off.

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