Monday, March 1, 2010

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Martin and her family own and operate a hotel in the middle of New York City. Whenever one of the Martin kids turn 15 they are assigned a room in the hotel to be in charge of. Scarlett is assigned the Empire Suite. Shortly after her birthday and room assignment Mrs. Amberson becomes a permanent resident in the Empire Suite.

Scarlett's brother Spencer is an actor. He has a scholarship to a culinary school that his parents want him to attend. Spencer wants to focus on his acting. He joins a small troupe of actors putting on a version of Hamlet.

Lorna, Scarlett's older sister is dating a boy who's family is very rich. Scarlett and Spencer think that she is dating him for his money because she doesn't act like a girl in love. Lorna thinks she would like to be part of the "rich world" but soon finds that she doesn't fit in with the stuck up crowd.

Marlene is the youngest. Marlene is in remission from Leukemia. Marlene is a bit spoiled and gets whatever she wants.

At first the story shows the disfunctional relationships between all of the siblings. Scarlett and Spencer are close and Lorna and Marlene are close. By the end of the story they are all working together towards one goal, making sure that Spencer gets his chance to act rather than having to go to culinary school to help out the family business.

I had a hard time getting into this story but by the end I was engaged in all of the characters and was quickly turning pages to find out how everything turned out. There are a few curse words in the story and a mild kissing scene with a mention of condoms but for the most part this is a pretty solid middle school book.

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