Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Scarlett is the third of four children in the Martin family. The Martins live in and manage a shabby hotel in NYC that dates back to the 1920s. When Scarlett turns 15, she is put in charge of one of the hotel’s 27 rooms- the Empire Suite. Into this room moves Mrs. Amberson, a failed 1970s starlet who has returned to New York to write her memoirs. Soon, Scarlett is taking dictation, running around town with Mrs. Amberson, and getting caught up in her Auntie Mame-meets-Bianca Jagger adventures.
In the midst of all this, Scarlett falls in love – or so she thinks – and it takes Mrs. Amberson to help her see the light.
There were parts of this book that I liked, but overall I thought it was just okay. I liked Scarlett and Spencer a lot, and Lola grew on me through the book. The rest of the family (Mom, Dad, and Marlene) and Mrs. Amberson weren’t very likable. The plot took a long time to come about. The tone in the first half of the book seemed different than the second half. At various times, I wasn’t sure who to cheer for and who was the “bad guy.” I didn’t like how the family forced the hotel on the kids. I know family businesses take a lot of hands, but it just seemed like the kids were being forced to either work in the hotel or work to support the family.
I really liked Spencer and Scarlett’s relationship and the idea of the play, though having it in a parking garage makes no sense.