Author: Maureen Johnson
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
My Edition: Hardcover
Plot - 18/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 17/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 8/10
Recommendation - 8/10
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. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer, is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.
When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each 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 named 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.
With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.
The show, as they say, must always go on . . . .
I really wasn't expecting what I got out of this novel. Maureen Johnson's novels have been kind of on the fence with me. I like one book, but then I can't get in the other, I like the next, can't finish the other. So where did I think this would get me? It was the best books of hers the I have yet read, that's what.
I have to say the whole old-school glamour of this novel, it gave this novel a awesome atmosphere to it. I just loved it because of that, it was awesome. The plot was a simple plot. Nothing spectacular, but because of the setting and the old style of it, it felt like it was worth more then it was. Which means it was awesome.
I loved the realness of everything. The characters were the best. They were so real, and alive. Scarlett was a really fun character. She was just like an average teenager, discover her first crush, her first boyfriend, going through her families rough time. It was all very average teenager-y stuff. Very fun stuff.
This novel was fun, real, and honest. Plus I loved how the guy to love wasn't the love interest of Scarlett but her honest to god *swoon*-ish brother, Spencer. That is totally different and I loved it. But, yes. This novel is one to buy, and whoo! It just came out in paperback with a awesome new cover.