by Maureen Johnson
Book Summary (from Amazon)
Her new summer job comes with baggage
Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City.
When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. 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 and world traveler. An dwhen 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 and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she might just be able to pull it off.
Britney’s Book Review
I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was my first book I’ve read by Johnson, and it was picked randomly. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her other book, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but something drew me in about this book. I am a sucker for covers, but I’m not quite sure that was it.
To say the least, Maureen has a delightfully charming voice. She seems to see what others don’t, twisting her words in a unique yet clever way. One of the things I most enjoyed about this story was her descriptions. To Johnson, nothing is just a wooden table – it’s a wooden table with personality. I never once felt like I was getting lost in a void of words.
The story focuses on Scarlett, the main character. Her family owns a hotel in NYC, but it isn’t as glamourous as the media makes it out to be. Scarlett, along with her brother and two sisters, help take care of the hotel. But with the endless adventures in New York, along with the enchanting guest, Mrs. Amberson, Scarlett’s summer doesn’t quite go exactly how she imagined it would.
When Scarlett’s brother lands a part in a Shakespeare play, she can’t seem to stay away from all the drama – especially with a certain boy. I love Johnson’s sense of humor. She is constantly pulling together “plans” throughout the story that fall through, but somehow end up making sense.
This story is truly delightful. I actually ended up reading most of it on a plane ride. It’s not exactly a beach read, but it makes my pleasure books list. (When I was in grade school, everyone had to bring a “pleasure book” to read during times when we weren’t doing anything.) Most likely, you won’t get through it quickly, but it’s great to pick up and put down, and then pick up again. I guarantee it won’t lose it’s simple, lovable charm.