Thursday, January 22, 2009


Poised at the Edge Book Review
Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Martin leads a unique life. Just because her family owns the legendary Hopewell hotel, in the heart of New York City, doesn't mean they're rich. In fact, the summer after her freshman year, her family is in financial turmoil. While all her wealthy school friends are off for exotic summer adventures, Scarlett is working in her family's run-down, once glorious, nearly deserted hotel.
It is a family tradition that when a Martin turns fifteen, they are expected to take care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby hotel. When Scarlett inherits the Empire Suite, she also acquires the hotel's only guest, an eccentric world traveling, former "actress" Mrs. Amberson. Mrs. Amberson knows how to stir up endless drama. Suddenly Scarlett's summer, which began merely blah, is fraught with unanticipated wild adventure.
Money woes force Scarlett's older brother Spencer to almost give up his life-long dream of Broadway, until Mrs. Amberson steps in to save the day. The price, she calls all the shots. Scarlett is left breathless, answering to every one of Mrs. Amberson's (often bizarre and inexplicable) requests. But if Spencer does not get a real acting job, like NOW, his parents will make him abandon his dream, and go to culinary school.
So, without their parent's knowledge, the historic Hopewell Hotel becomes a theatre for Spencer's troupe's presentation of Hamlet. This is wonderful for Scarlett, who has fallen for Eric, a member of Spencer's troupe. Now, if only their parents don't find out.
SUITE SCARLETT is a hilarious, carefully crafted novel, full of unique characters, and endless wit. Maureen Johnson has a creative style, which makes her one of the freshest YA voices out there. This book comes highly recommended.

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