Book Review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

I’ve wanted to read a Maureen Johnson book for awhile, particularly after following her on Twitter–and her brilliant commentary on Dan Brown’s most recent Robert Langdon novel, The Lost Symbol.

I chose Suite Scarlett. She’s got a great voice, as well as a gift for description and characterization. Scarlett Martin lives in a hotel. Her family own the hotel and she works in it. She’s just turned 15 and is given run of one of the rooms as a test of responsibility. The hotel has fallen on hard times, and she’s tied up with working at the hotel for her parents, when a high-paying patron checks into the hotel. She turns out to be a wealthy, highly eccentric (they often are, aren’t they?) divorcee who has decided to reconnect with her roots in New York City. She pays Scarlett to be her assistant who ends up doing much more than merely running errands. A play ensues, pranks are played, and Scarlett learns a lot more about the real world.

I was immediately drawn in by her imagery, her attention detail, and penchant for dialogue and colorful characters. After reading a bunch of SciFi and Fantasy novels recently, it took me awhile to get used to a normal novel. The plot is pretty simple, but don’t take that to mean it’s mundane. I can tell that Johnson loves the city of New York, and I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good picture of the city through the novel, populated a quirky set of characters and a hyperbolic bit of deus ex machina (deus ex money, in this case) spattered throughout.

Check this book out, enjoy it!


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

  1. That girl on the cover is 25 if she’s a day!

    That ain’t no fifteen year old, unless her mama been puttin’ growth hormones her Gogurt.

    Child, please.

    Suite Scarlet, my ass. She be wearing enough make-up to work the streets of New York without having to assist no rich old ladies.


    P.S. I can’t really explain what come over me, but just let it happen.

  2. Very true, sir. I think that every time I see that cover. It’s way too common to have awkwardly overaged people on young adult covers.

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