Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scarlett Fever

Scarlett Fever, by Maureen Johnson

"It's not always going to be like this," Scarlett said. "I've been useful to you, right?"

"Many times," Dakota said, leading her along. "Sometimes, we all get a little broken."

A little broken. Scarlett wondered about that. At what point do you get so broken that it's time to just get thrown away? She had a feeling she was going to find out.

This book was hilarious and I was surprised to find out that its actually a sequel - the first book, Suite Scarlett, is one that I have not yet read, but am now definitely planning on reading. The novel follows Scarlett as she is coping after the breakup of her and her "summer" boyfriend, Eric. She lives in a hotel in New York with her parents - but a falling-down hotel, not a fancy one - and her siblings Marlene, Lola, and Spencer. Spencer is a budding actor but has not been able to land a part recently, ever since the Day of the Sock (read it and you'll see what it is); Marlene is 11 and a cancer survivor; and Lola is eighteen and works instead of going to college. Scarlett works for a crazy agent who is constantly calling her on the phone to do things for her, and eventually she runs into Eric one day because he needs an agent, and she has to deal with her feelings all over again.

Maureen Johnson is a great writer - I've read a few of her other books, such as The Key to the Golden Firebird and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Her prose is funny and smart, and the dialogue and narrative is definitely engaging. The book ended very abruptly, of which I was not a fan (and for which I am deducting a half-star!), but there will be a 3rd Scarlett book published sometime in the future.

3.5 stars out of 5.


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