Sorry for my radio silence over the past…three months. I’m not really sure what happened, but I’m going to try to start posting and reviewing again occasionally. Things are really busy right now, but hopefully I can find time. No promises.
Browsing on the web one day, I discovered an intriguing site: Out of Print Clothing. They sell not only bookish related clothing but also other products such as pouches, journals, bags, jewelry, and more. I saw many lovely products, so imagine my delight when Out of Print agreed to send some samples! I requested three items: a Library stamp t-shirt, a Master and Margarita t-shirt, and their Pride and Prejudice tote bag. I’m delighted to say that I was overall quite satisfied with each one.
The t-shirt that initially attracted my eye was the distinctive library stamp t-shirt; I thought it was a lovely concept. Although apprehensive that the shirt would be too small, it was actually just right, if somewhat tight. So if looking for a very loose fitting shirt, definitely size up. For me it was fine though. One drawback to this particular one is the sheer lowness of the v-neck, but other than that, I really have no criticisms. It’s a great idea, and has been executed extremely well. I love the soft gray color too, and the choice of year for the dates….
Although a Great Gatsby t-shirt also looked nice, I’m pretty sure they’re more common, and how often does one see this? :
The Master and Margarita is such a zany, insane book, and although I could have done with less text and more image, this shirt does do it justice. The small fit much the same as the library t-shirt; the neck, however, is much demure, which given the book’s nature isn’t exactly apt. Still, the neck is much better. In general though I prefer the library shirt’s overall design and image, but this one is also satisfying and comfortable. The cat is quite crazy looking.
The Pride and Prejudice bag was perhaps the most refined; I absolutely loved the peacock design, from an old and very famous edition of the book. The lettering is gorgeous and I love how the feathers splay out over the top of it. My only complaint was that it is a bit small, not quite a good size for holding many books. The straps are a bit small too; to me it felt more purse like in terms of straps. Still an amazing product overall.
On Friday and Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the American Writers Program‘s annual conference, which this year was held in Seattle, near where I live. My parents were both on a panel, so I got to come along, both as a blogger and as a reader. Unlike ALA and BEA, AWP is more focused towards smaller journals and presses, although plenty of larger publishers had tables and booths as well. I had a lot of fun, though it can get quite overwhelming; the book fair was held in a giant, noisy room, and there are so many tables and so many publishers vying for your attention.
There was also a lot of free paraphernalia, designed to attract people to booths. I picked up a great deal of it, including….
And, of course, chocolate, mainly dark…:
They sure know the way to attract people…
Also, here are a few of the pens and pencils I found particularly amusing or nice:
But of course the main things of interest are the books. Oh, so many books, of all different kinds, poetry and fiction. I saw many books that looked interesting, but I only ended up buying three (though I wrote down the titles of many more).
1. The 13 Clocks, James Thurber (published by the New York Review of Books!)
2. Momo, Michael Ende: Ende’s Neverending Story is quite well-known, but I’d never heard of this one before; it sounds intriguing.
3. Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, Brad Gooch
Here are the titles:
Conversations, Cesar Aire
Elsa, Tsipi Keller
The Ivory Hour, Laynie Browne
Selected Tales of the Brothers Grimm (featuring illustrations by Haitian artists, this one looks amazing).
Plants Don’t Drink Coffee, Unai Elorriaga
A Treatise on Shelling Beans, Wieslaw Mysliwski
Spring Tides, Jacques Poulin
The Chukchi Bible, Yuri Rytkheu
Just as my shelf of books that I need to read was thinning out, more books came pouring in. But I’m not complaining…
Overall, I enjoyed the conference very much, although I would have liked to have been able to go to more panels (E. Lockhart was on several, and I missed it!) Despite the disapproval of many and the fact that it is rather chaotic and uncivilized, I think the conference is a great way for small publishers and journals to promote their work to a good audience, and for people to find out about less popular (and probably better) fiction and poetry. It’s no BEA, but AWP probably has more books of merit.
I think we all know that New Year’s resolutions are overrated; after all, the beginning of a new year is completely arbitrary, and I could just as well do this in February for Chinese New Year, but nevertheless, I have some bookish related resolutions:
1. Read less. I know this seems counter-intuitive; but I guess I don’t mean read less, I mean read more slowly, take more time. I’m a really fast reader, and I feel like sometimes I’m rushing to finish and review books so that I can keep up the volume of posts, and that’s not good. When I slow down, I always notice so much more.
2. Read better. MG YA fiction is all very well, but this year I want to read more literature and more nonfiction. Rest assured, I’ll still be reading children’s and teen books from my favorite authors, but probably less of it. There are so many young adult and middle grade novels coming out that look good and I’m sure would be entertaining, but are just sort of a waste of time for me. Reading biography, history, science, and classic literature is much more worthwhile. Sometimes, though, you just need a break, you know? And that’s when I turn to YA or really well written middle grade.
3. Read longer: Les Miserables, here I come! War and Peace, watch out! This goes along with both #1 and #2. If I want to post every day or almost every day, I can’t read Hugo and Tolstoy; instead I have to read shorter books. Which means that I probably won’t be posting quite as much this year. There’s also the fact that I have lots of other activities that I want to devote time to. If only we could freeze the clock…
4. Review better. Since I’m going to read less books, I can review each of those books more in-depth, right? At least I hope so. We’ll see.
5. Start participating in those book blogging things: Not sure what to call them, but I want to start doing Top Ten Tuesday, and other things like that. Hopefully it will garner more traffic as well, though that’s just an added bonus.
So, this year and perhaps years after you can expect less posting, but hopefully better reviews of better books and other posts. Looking forward to it. Happy New Year, all!
I read a lot of great books in 2013. I’m traveling at the moment, but here’s a quick year-end wrap-up of my 2013 reading.
These are very subjective, and there are certainly a lot of other books that I read and enjoyed; these books are just my absolute favorites of the books I read this year.
January: Some of my favorite new books reviewed in January, although some of these I may have read in 2012:
The Greatest Show on Earth, Richard Dawkins
Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene
Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
How to Lead a Life of Crime, Kirsten Miller
Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
Lady Susan, the Watsons, Sanditon, Jane Austen
Poison Study, Maria V. Snyder
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, Kristopher Jansma
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
Eighty Days, Matthew Goodman
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Tisha, Robert Specht
The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo (I’d read this before, but so long ago it hardly counted)
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo
Crown of Midnight, Sarah Maas
Moon Palace, Paul Auster
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker
The Importance of Being Earnest & Other Plays, Oscar Wilde
Most certainly my favorite books published this year were Rose Under Fire, The Golem and the Jinni, and Eighty Days. In terms of older books, I discovered the amazing Room of One’s Own over the summer (and have since recommended it to a friend who loved it), as well as Wilde’s plays, which were great.
I look forward to another year of great reading of books both old and new! Look for another post about my plans for 2014.
a conspiracy of faith, Anita Shreve, battleborn, books, books could not finish, books I could not finish, brandon sanderson, charlie lovett, claire vaye watkins, did not finish, DNF, DNF books, Gayle Forman, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Just One Day, review copies, Stella Bain, the bookman's tale, the way of kings, Viking
These are books that I recently (within the past few months) didn’t finish, and books that I didn’t read enough of to write a review. I did want to mention them on the blog, though.
The Bookman’s Tale, Charlie Lovett: I had high hopes for this one, but alas I couldn’t finish this one; I got to page 50. The story was very interesting, but the writing just wasn’t good enough to keep me reading. Ah well. Date put down: August 4th.
A Conspiracy of Faith, Jussi Adler-Olsen: Dutton sent me a copy of this mystery rather unexpectedly, but for whatever reason I didn’t feel like reading it. Date (finally) put down: August 19th.
Battleborn, Claire Vaye Watkins: I don’t know…I just couldn’t get into these stories. The prose was lifeless and flat. The few stories I read were uninteresting. It’s a shame too, because I am interested in Western fiction. Vastly disappointing. I read about 50 pages before putting it down. Maybe I’ll try again later. (Another review copy, incidentally).
The Way of Kings, Brian Sanderson: This wasn’t a book I was particularly interested in, but I did happen to win the Goodreads giveaway. Still, not an epic fantasy kind of person. It’s only the first book in the series, and it’s like 1200 pages long. Meh.
Just One Day, Gayle Forman: Everyone’s raved about this book, but I guess I’m just not a fan of straight-up romance. I also felt like the main character made some pretty stupid choices.
Stella Bain, Anita Shreve: “I found myself unable to read much of Stella Bain. Given its subject matter, the book felt kind of cold and detached. I only got to page 40 in the ARC, but the book in total is less than 300 pages, and I didn’t particularly feel like continuing.”
This was a rather weird post, wasn’t it? Anyway, just some recent books that I failed to take an interest in.
classical music, counter-tenor, counter-tenors, John Cox, literature, music, new music, new operas, opera, opera festivals, operas, Oscar, Oscar Wilde, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Opera Festival, summer opera, Theo Morrison, world premiere, world premieres
On Wednesday night, my parents, my grandparents, and I attended the world premiere of Oscar at the Santa Fe Opera Festival. We’re here for the week and are seeing all five operas on the schedule – La Traviata, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, Oscar, La Donna del Lago, and the Marriage of Figaro. But Oscar was something special.
It’s about the life of the writer Oscar Wilde, and his incarceration at Reading Gaol for “gross indecency” (in other words, homosexuality). The opera explores his experiences in the prison, before and after. The opera was musically and theatrically spectacular, particularly the farce trial at the end of Act I. Oscar is taking refuge in a nursery of one of his friend’s children, and the toys enact the trial. It was quite frightening and disturbing, these children’s toys with grins plastered to their faces condemning Oscar. The judge, who was a jack-in-the-box, was particularly disturbing, popping up and down with a sinister grin. The music was also really great.
The only part that I didn’t like was that the opera was narrated by Walt Whitman in the land of the Immortals, and that at the end, Oscar joins them, as if great writers are just Greate. It’s people who make writers great. The whole end was like an embodiment of Literature with a capital L. A lot of writers wouldn’t be remembered if not for the people who read them and enjoyed them. That part was annoying. Still, the opera was amazing, with great singers. I hope that it’s one that will be performed in other places. It was quite a privilege to see the second performance EVER.
One other thing: Oscar is sung by a counter-tenor, meaning a very high male voice in the female range. It’s quite alien to listen to, but very beautiful. Here’s a recording of David Daniels (who played Oscar) singing Schubert’s “Nacht und Traume”:
Anyway, Oscar was a wonderful opera, and I’m so glad I got to see it. It also motivated me to read more Oscar Wilde. (I’ve only read his fairy tales.) Picture of Dorian Gray, here I come!
Tonight we’re seeing the last of the operas, Mozart’s famous Marriage of Figaro.
across a star-swept sea, allegiant, anticipated books, code name verity, crown of midnight, divergent, elizabeth wein, insurgent, Jane Austen, Jane Austen's England, new releases, Rae Carson, rose under fire, sarah maas, the bitter kingdom, the chaos of stars, upcoming releases, veronica roth, Waiting on Wednesday
Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine
that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re all eagerly anticipating.
Please follow the link to visit her site!
I was going to publish this yesterday, but I forgot. So, Waiting on Wednesday is on Thursday. Rather than just doing one book for this, I’m going to do several, because there are a whole bunch of books that I’m really, really excited for. All of them except for one are interestingly enough, YA. They are listed in order of when they’re coming out, from soonest to latest.
Authors: Lesley Adkins and Roy Adkins
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Plot Summary: “Jane Austen, arguably the greatest novelist of the English language, wrote brilliantly about the gentry and aristocracy of two centuries ago in her accounts of young women looking for love. Jane Austen’s Englandexplores the customs and culture of the real England of her everyday existence depicted in her classic novels as well as those by Byron, Keats, and Shelley. Drawing upon a rich array of contemporary sources, including many previously unpublished manuscripts, diaries, and personal letters, Roy and Lesley Adkins vividly portray the daily lives of ordinary people, discussing topics as diverse as birth, marriage, religion, sexual practices, hygiene, highwaymen, and superstitions.
From chores like fetching water to healing with medicinal leeches, from selling wives in the marketplace to buying smuggled gin, from the hardships faced by young boys and girls in the mines to the familiar sight of corpses swinging on gibbets, Jane Austen’s England offers an authoritative and gripping account that is sometimes humorous, often shocking, but always entertaining.”
I really want to learn more about Jane Austen’s time period, so this book looks perfect. Plus, it’s beautiful looking; the cover looks stitched. Hopefully it’ll be entertaining and informative. I won the Goodreads giveaway, and I hope that the book will be there when I get back from my trip.
Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah Maas
Genre: YA fantasy
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Plot Summary: “After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.
Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. “
I loved Throne of Glass, and I’m so, so excited for the sequel. This is kind of a guilty pleasure series for me; it’s entertainment. I sadly didn’t win the Goodreads giveaway, and I’ve looked at a bunch of other giveaways for it on other sites that are all…CLOSED. So frustrating!!! August 27 isn’t that far away, but I would like to get it sooner if I can.
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: YA fantasy
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
“The epic and deeply satisfying conclusion to Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.
Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she’s never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most. Riveting, surprising, and achingly romantic, Rae Carson has spun a bold and powerful conclusion to her extraordinary trilogy.”
I loved the first book, and really enjoyed the second, so I am super excited for the concluding book in the trilogy. Although I’ll probably get it from the library since I don’t own the first two books.
Title: Rose Under Fire
Author: Elizabeth Wein
Genre: Historical fiction (YA)
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Plot summary: “While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.”
Code Name Verity was so good; this book’s set eight months after it, and it looks amazing….If you got an ARC, I am envious; any idea how to get a physical galley? I can’t find an email address for Hyperion.
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology (YA)
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
“Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.
Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.
Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.”
I’ll admit that part of the reason I want to read this novel is that the cover is gorgeous (I love the combination of blue and gold!) and it doesn’t feature an annoying teenage model. It’s so beautiful, and the story sounds pretty good too.
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: YA dystopian/science fiction
Release Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Pages: 464 pages
“Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.
On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.
Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.
In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.”
I’ll probably check this one out of the library since I don’t own For Darkness Shows the Stars, but it will hopefully be pretty good.
Author: Veronica Roth!!!!
Genre: YA dystopia/science fiction
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
“What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.”
So that’s the roundup: seven great looking books coming out this summer and fall. I’m looking forward to them all.
The King killed my canary today. Now, I know full well that the customary way to begin such a tale as mine is: “Once upon a time, when wishes still came true, there lived a poor orphan Goose Girl,” or some such fiddle-faddle. But what do I care for custom? ‘Tis my own story I am telling and I will tell it as I please.
“Her name is Alexandria Aurora Fortunato, and she is as lovely as the dawn. But that is only one of her problems. There’s also the matter of those three magical gifts of treasure bestowed on her by a mysterious old woman. And King Claudio the Cruel wants to marry her for her beauty and her wealth, and so does his rival, Prince Edmund of Dorloo. Those are two more problems. And, worst of all, she is locked in a tower, with a grille of iron bars and several hundred tons of stone between her and freedom. Some days Alexandria wishes she looked like a pickled onion. Clearly the only thing to do is escape — and, with the aid of her twelve darling goose companions, that’s precisely what Alexandria does. So begins the adventure of Patrice Kindl’s beguiling heroine. Her flight will take her to strange lands and lead her into perilous situations, all of which the plucky Alexandria views with a wry and witty spirit. Here is a sprightly tale of magic and romance, in which those geese play a most surprising role.”
Goose Chase is a very easy but entertaining fairy tale, first published in 2001. It is a spin-off of “The Goose Girl” and in it, we have a very young woman (she is fourteen) who does not wish to marry and must escape. King Claudio is, true to his name, cruel, and his first two wives died mysteriously. Prince Edmund, who is “somewhat less intelligent than a clod of dirt” would be better, but still awful. So you see, the only alternative is to flee. But how? Besides The Goose Girl, elements of Rapunzel are present too; at the beginning Alexandria is imprisoned in a tower, and her long golden hair grows and shrinks upon command, proving very useful on several occasions. (And harmful).
I love fairy tale retellings, and this was a good one. The writing mimics an older style, using the words ’tis, ’twas, trow, and more. It was a bit inconsistent at times, but I still enjoyed reading it. Most fairy tale retellings are written in a modern style; not so with this one. Alexandria narrates confidently in her own distinctive voice.
Also in most fairy tales, there are talking animals. In Goose Chase, the geese don’t talk, but they are incredibly intelligent, and they understand perfectly well what Alexandria says to them. They also have a will of their own, and although they want to help Alexandria, they’ll do it in their own manner. The way that they help rescue her from the tower is pretty funny. It involves several mattresses.
I really loved the story itself. All of the events were really entertaining to read about, particularly Alexandria’s back-and-forth with the idiotic prince. He grows on you, and he is not as stupid as he might first seem. He’s just kind of awkward and bumbling, but very lovable. The way he talks is really funny too, and he does actually offer some good suggestions.
I raced through Goose Chase, mainly because of how short and easy it is, but also because it was a very absorbing read. I wanted to find out what would happen, and there was a mystery aspect too, which I kind of guessed at. Alexandria’s name was too elaborate for a simple Goose Girl, and I thought that there must be something more to her.
The only other book I’ve read of Patrice Kindl’s is Keeping the Castle. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t great. Goose Chase certainly wasn’t great either, but I enjoyed it more. Keeping the Castle had Austentatious pretensions which it failed to meet; Goose Chase is just a lovable, easy romp through a fairy-tale kingdom. I would definitely recommend it for younger readers, although the older style language might be a bit difficult for them. The book was entertaining and light, good for an hour or two.
Rating: 3.5 stars.
On the morning of the tenth of June, Scarlett Martin woke up to the sound of loud impromptu rap penetrating her thin bedroom wall from the direction of the bathroom next door.
“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 named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler. And when 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 just might be able to pull it off.” There’s also the fact that the Martins are nearly broke and have had to let go of their major selling point – their chef.
I have to say that I enjoyed 13 Little Blue Envelopes more than Suite Scarlett, but it was still a good, humorous book, with a lot of the randomness that characterizes most of Maureen Johnson’s work (and personality). I guess my main problem with it was that towards the beginning there was just too much going on: Scarlett’s bratty younger sister, the family’s financial problems, her brother’s problems, the letting go of the chef, and the new guest. Also, the fact that the chef was let go was unrealistic; she was the main attraction of the hotel, and then they “let her go”? I also didn’t find the romance as interesting. Overall, Suite Scarlett wasn’t as compelling, unique, or funny. Still, I liked the plot setup and the setting of the novel. The characters felt a bit flat, but I really liked Spencer, Scarlett’s brother. The relationship between them was convincing, although the plot was absolutely absurd.
Suite Scarlett just didn’t resonate with me, I guess. It all felt kind of forced. The book was still somewhat entertaining, but I did consider putting it down several times. I ended up finishing it, mostly because I wanted to find out what was going on with the mysterious Mrs. Amberson. She does help the Martins a lot, but I still distrusted her immensely, and I didn’t like how she treated Scarlett.
Even if I didn’t like the main character of 13 Little Blue Envelopes all that much, the book was still hilarious and quirky and romantic. I liked Scarlett a lot; but I just didn’t find the book that funny. One of the only remotely funny scenes was the fake audition, and even that wasn’t very good. There were some good elements, but nothing was convincing, and I have to say, that Suite Scarlett was just weak in terms of its writing and humor. It was trying to be funny, but it didn’t succeed. And yet something kept me reading, something more than wanting to find out about Mrs. Amberson. I’m not sure what that was. Perhaps it’s just the fact that the book was written by Maureen Johnson, and I wanted to finish it.
The writing wasn’t particularly good either, and as I said, the hilarious ridiculousness that characterizes Johnson’s other work that I’ve read wasn’t present enough. The plot idea itself was interesting, but it was never really followed through. I did like the romance eventually though; still, Scarlett is fifteen. A bit young, you might say.
Overall, I found Suite Scarlett sadly wanting as a novel even though I kept reading; I would recommend 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Maureen Johnson’s story in Let it Snow much more than this one; they’re both funny, romantic, and sweet.