Scarlett Fever is the YA contemporary sequel to Suite Scarlett, both of which are written by Maureen Johnson.
First off, you know what I always say when I review a sequel - avert thine eyes if thee has not yet read Suite Scarlett! Read my review of the first book here, and avoid some spoilers by passing this review up for a later time, eh?!
Okay... I am trusting that those of you book devouring deviants that are still reading this are those who have already read Suite Scarlett... hmm? Last chance to stop reading and avoid spoilers... Gonna start giving a synopsis of the plot of Scarlett Fever in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1!
Scarlett Martin, that witty, wild-haired, much-adored-by-me, fifteen-year-old protagonist of Suite Scarlett, has a fever. A non-literal one, that is. See, Hamlet has been running in the Hopewell (the art deco, small hotel her family runs and lives in) dining room for so long she had gotten used to seeing the cast all the time, one of which was the undeniably hot Eric, whom she'd had a sort-of relationship with earlier in the summer. But now the show is over and the dining room is back to being empty - and she can't stop thinking and obsessing about Eric. Her friends come back from their summer and school starts - yet nothing seems to get her mind off of him.
But, of course, life at the Hopewell is never at a lull for long. First her cancer-survivor little sister Marlene comes home from camp being eerily polite to Scarlett. Something is definitely up there. Lola doesn't seem her pristine self. Spencer's career is floundering after the Day of the Sock (what, you ask? read the book and find out!). And Mrs. Amberson wants to take on a new client to her agency - a girl Scarlett's age with one heck of a stage Mom! Scarlett is given the task of keeping an eye on the girl's surly brother who is now going to her school. Oooh, fun times.
If all of this can't keep Scarlett's mind off of Eric, then what can?
As soon as I finished Suite Scarlett I dived for Scarlett Fever (as I mentioned in my review of the former book in my review on Monday). I was blown away by how equal the sequel is to Suite Scarlett, if not even BETTER!!! My, oh, my! How have I not read anything by Maureen Johnson before this?
The back of the hardcover made me laugh and caused my bibliophile senses to quiver in anticipation (as my senses often do when about to read a sequel to a beloved book). I read it super-duper fast, because it is just addictive that way. Honest. Check it out. I dare you to not gobble it up in two days or less!
Scarlett is officially one of my favorite contemporary YA characters - sure, I admit, she is among many other favs, but this is still an honor I don't bestow without careful consideration. ;)
Scarlett Fever returns the reader to the Hopewell havoc and hilarity with a smooth, perfectly awesome ease. Mrs. Amberson's continuance as a character is a happy one, and she is as unpredictable and three-dimensional as ever! And what with all the new plot twists - Spencer's acting career, Marlene's evil-genius personality, Lola's relationship woes, and Mrs. Amberson's ever-present tasks for Scarlett (all of which I care about fervently, and hang on every word) - there are hijinks galore!
And with the Martin's financial issues and lack of money for college tuition's, Scarlett Fever manages to have a very down-to-earth awareness of the economy and its effect on this generation - without becoming a downer at all.
I absolutely, posituvely love this family (the Martin's of course, haven't you been listening to my crazy book addict ramblings?) and would love to get tangled up in some of the insane things that happen to them! The family life portrayed in Scarlett Fever has a genuineness to it, a sweetness and level of funny that has a realness to it. Maureen Johnson has an immense talent for exhilarating storytelling, clearly.
If you want to read a book that is laugh-out-loud funny, clever, madcap loony, and can't-put-down-able (and why wouldn't you?) - read Scarlett Fever. And when you do, tell me - is that not one hell of a cliffhanger or WHAT?!
There has to be a third book, right?! RIGHT???