Before my write-up of Scarlett Fever, a brief note to the author (Which contains spoilers, but in such a confusing, disjointed and possibly insane manner that they shouldn't actually be all that spoiler-y. But, as the book doesn't come out until 2/1, do feel free to skip this next bit if you're at all concerned.)
Dear Maureen Johnson,
ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE ME INTO A CRAZY PERSON? How could you leave me hanging like that? Seriously? The only thing that stopped my agonized "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" from actually being verbalized was the fact that I was reading under the blankets with a flashlight, trying desperately not to wake my snoring husband. You, madame, are a monster. Also, I am way tired this morning. So thanks for that, too.
Also, is it gross that I'm kind of in love with Spencer? (Not because he's a literary character -- that doesn't even remotely bother me -- but because he's practically jailbait.)
Lastly: I'm totally on Team Max. I know he did a bad thing -- a thing, actually, that felt a little bit Edward Cullen-ish, though The Sparkling Wonder would have had some annoying Sparkly Self-Righteous and Condescending Explanation for his motivation, whereas Max quite possibly just acted out of self-interest -- but I JUST DON'T CARE. Team Max. Make it right, Johnson. Make it right.
If you haven't read Suite Scarlett, then the following won't mean much to you. Go. Read. And then return. (I mean it. If you're looking for a light, funny, quick read to help you forget it's January (or February... or March... UGH), then look no further than this series.)
The show is over, her shabby hotel of a home is back to its natural state (mostly empty), and Scarlett Martin is about to begin her sophomore year. She's working for a talent agent who she's pretty sure is certifiable, her brother has landed a job that has the entire city mad at him, her older sister isn't acting like her usually reliable self, and her younger sister is acting -- and trust me, this is totally weird and terrifying -- nice.
Also, she's still obsessed with her not-quite-ex-boyfriend (not-quite-ex-boyfriend as in "he was never actually her boyfriend, so he can't technically be her ex, but her heart still got all stomped on"), her boss told a client that Scarlett would be happy to spy on the client's son, and because of that, said son has decided to make Scarlett's life utterly miserable. Well, MORE utterly miserable.
Such is the life of a Martin. Sounds like an difficult existence, maybe, but after reading about them, I doubt you'd pass up the chance to be one, or to at least be a friend of the family. Or even stay in their hotel. The Martins are one of those literary families -- like the Cassons or the Melendys or the Conroys -- that I read about and just wish I could be a part of. (Not as a replacement for my own family. Yeesh. You know what I mean.) They squabble constantly, bicker even more, and occasionally have Epic Battles, but they all very much have each others' backs. They are all, in their own very different ways, awesome. And, for that matter, strangely wholesome. I kid you not.
As for the setting -- very, very rarely, I read a book that makes me want to live somewhere other than Maine. Even less often, I read a book that makes me want to live somewhere urban. This series falls into both categories -- the trials and tribulations of Scarlett Martin make me daydream about living in New York City.
Thumbs up, yet again, for Maureen Johnson. I hope that you get that call from Dick Wolf.
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.
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