Young Adult: Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson

Young Adult: Scarlett Fever by Maureen JohnsonScarlet Fever by Maureen Johnson
Series: Scarlett #2
on 3rd July 2014
Pages: 347
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
four-stars

Click here to buy the book from AmazonBooktopiaBook DepositoryAngus and Robertson
If all the world's a stage, New York City has the best scenery.

Life at her family's Manhattan art deco Hopewell Hotel hasn't gotten any easier for Scarlett. Her job as assistant/servant to the ever-eccentric and newly self-appointed theatre agent Mrs Amberson is running her off her feet. Plus, Scarlett can't keep her mind off Eric, her sort-of ex-boyfriend.

As if the universe is determined to destroy what little of her mind she has left, Scarlett's now lab partner Max may just be the mist irritating and infuriating person she has ever met. But New York is still a city of constant surprises, and a whopper of one is just waiting round the corner for Scarlett...

Life is never boring for Scarlett Martin. The amateur production of Hamlet held in the ballroom of her family’s hotel ballroom may be over but her job as assistant for Mrs Amberson is only just beginning. On call to the former actress/now talent agent is a 24/7 job with Scarlett running all over the city trying to please her boss. Scarlett’s family are all busy too with Spencer finally getting some acting recognition but it comes with strings attached. Lola is experiencing change too with her family and relationship clashing. Finally there’s Marlene who is confusing Scarlett with her oddly pleasant behaviour.

I love how Scarlett deals with how insane her life is. Her boss is effervescent and exciting but a tad over the top and I love how Scarlett manages to deal with her and her demands. In this book summer is drawing to a close and it’s great to see how Scarlet balances her home life with her job in addition to going back to school. But – as with life – these things are rarely independent. Mrs A manages to get Scarlett to babysit the brother of a potential client in order to seal the deal. It gets messy with Scarlett not as willing to take on this task as she is of others. And then there’s the Eric thing. It’s lovely to read a book where things aren’t forgotten from one book to the next. Eric was such a big part of Scarlett’s life in Suite Scarlett and despite my feelings towards him after reveals in the first book, I loved that he was still present in Scarlett’s mind in this second novel of the Scarlett series.

One of my favourite things about this series is Scarlett’s relationships with her family. She’s happy for Spencer finally making some success in his acting career but also slightly afraid for him and just what it could all mean. Her big sister Lola has always been there for Scarlett but things are changing and Scarlett has to start working out how to exist without her sister being so close. And Marlene… I like how the character of Marlene is written. She’s complicated and her relationship with her siblings is complex and flawed but realistic and lovely for that reason. This is a family who are great because they all have their own things going on. And it’s not always what Scarlett would want for them. But she will support them because she loves them.

I found the ending to be a little sudden – I turned the page and was surprised to find that it wasn’t just the end of a chapter but the end of the entire book. But rather than feeling unfinished, I attribute this to enjoying Scarlett and the other Martins’ antics so much that I just didn’t want the book to be over.

This is an enjoyable book with an interesting plot. It’s full of family dynamics and the stresses of a teenage girl trying to make her way though her junior year of high school. Scarlett is likeable and real. She’s not perfect and makes mistakes but owns them. There’s a lovely dash of romance which works wonderfully in this book and quite a few surprises too. Scarlett Fever is a clever and fun book that I had a great time reading.

 

Thanks to Hot Key Books for the review copy

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