Audiobook review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

12 Jun

Suite Scarlett My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suite Scarlett is a sweet, fluffy, fun book with entertaining characters and an amusing plot.  I enjoyed it,  I think my daughter will as well.

The publisher’s description, via

Her new summer job comes with baggage

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, and Scarlett lives there with her three siblings – Spencer, Lola, and Marlene.

When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are 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 called 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.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deceptions. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

The strength of this book is in the characters. The action flows from them and their quirks.

I felt that the romantic storylines (particularly Scarlett’s) played out well as part of the story without overwhelming the other aspects.  I also liked the sibling relationships, and that each of the family members related to the others in a different way.  While the author focuses on Scarlett, each of the siblings gets a chance to show some quirks and some growth over the course of the novel.

It’s also a fun look into New York, into theater, into the world of a family run hotel.

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator  (Jeanie Stith) was pleasant to listen to and did a good job with her reading of Suite Scarlett.

In retrospect, I wish I’d saved this book to listen to in the car with my 12 year old daughter when we go on a road trip this summer. I didn’t like it well enough to re-listen this soon (there are very few books that would stand up to listening twice in a season!), but I’ll look into some of her other books. I’ll certainly be reading more of her work.

Maureen Johnson was the keynote speaker at Book Blogger Con, and she was hugely fun to listen to as she talked about writing, about the world of publishing, and about the role of bloggers in today’s book world.

Brilliance Audio provided this audiobook as part of our BBC goody bag.  Better yet, they expressed interest in working with bloggers. A big thank you to Brilliance Audio! I’m hoping this leads to a long and productive relationship.


Posted by on June 12, 2010 in books, reviews


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “Audiobook review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

  1. Pam

    June 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I am taking it for the five hour drive down to my Grandpa’s. How long is the book?

  2. Melissa

    June 12, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Glad you liked this, Laura! Yours is the first review of this that I’ve seen since the Book Blogger Convention. I just borrowed two of Maureen’s books (Girl at Sea and The Bermudez Triangle) from the library today.

  3. Amanda

    June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    So far this has been the only Johnson book that’s disappointed me. I didn’t like how dishonest everyone was!


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