Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Scarlett Martin grew up in a hotel. As interesting as that sounds, it quickly loses its appeal when you have to clean and deal with guests for your entire life. This summer was suppose to be spent getting a summer job for pocket money, instead she was told to work at the hotel some more. Now she has to attend to Mrs. Amberson – an eccentric, C-List celebrity who is determined to change everyones life around her. Between Mrs. Amberson, her angsty little sister, her struggling actor brother and a possibly love interest, this could prove to be her most interesting summer yet.
This book was about letting loose so you can enjoy what's going on around you. Mrs. Amberson acted as a sort of once in a life person who manages to influence everyone around her, changing things that were previously thought to be unchangeable. Of could her desire is to change everyone, but it's not until she loosens up a bit before she starts making the big changes. I think Maureen Johnson does an excellent job of showing the different type of siblings. There is Scarletts' brother, Spencer, who is an amazing physical actor who doesn't want to get tied down to the hotel forever. He loves to dote on Scarlett and they can usually be found talking and hanging out more then not. Then there is Scarlett's youngest sister, Marlene who is coddles and is allowed to do essentially anything she wants by their parents. For whatever reason, Marlene has a problem with Scarlett and is generally not a fan of her. Lastly there is Lola, Scarlett's older sister who works outside of the hotel and is not often around. Lola and Scarlett are always nice and sisterly to each other, but Scarlett won't go to the movies with each other or anything like that.
I really enjoyed this book. I found all the characters interesting and intriguing – Mrs. Amberson and Spencer are at the top of that list. Scarlett felt like a realistic 15 year old that I could relate to on some level (despite not being 15). I'll probably buy the sequel when I see it in the store so I can continue my journey with Scarlett Martin and her family.
Devilish by Maureen Johnson
Jane is ridiculously smart. The sort of smart that is isolating. She breezes through all of her classes, even the college level one that are offered special just because of her. Jane dyes her hair and rebels against their school strict catholic rules because there is no real reason to try. Her only friend is Allison Concord and to be honest Jane is fine with that. Ally is sweet, lovable, a little clueless but still Jane's best friend. After a traumatically embarrassing event in front of the school (let me just say barfing on someone was involved), Ally comes into to school acting and looking different. Jane, being the smart gal she is, investigates the weirdness with quickly gets her involved into a game for her soul with the devil.
I didn't dislike this book. It was fun and definitely a new idea. However I wouldn't be too distraught if I misplaced the book and couldn't find it. It just fell a little flat for me. I found myself not actually caring about any of the characters nor the overall outcome.
Knightly Academy is a prestigious school where kids from well-to-do families study to become knights. At least it used to only be for well-to-do families, until a loophole let Henry Grim, a serving boy, take the test and pass. Now Henry Grim gets to fulfill his dream of becoming a knight, if only he can survive the bullying from his much more socially important classmates. However things get a lot more serious when the harmless bullying turns into threats, stolen items, and legitimate attempts to get them hurt or even expelled. Henry needs to figure out who is behind this before it ruins his chances to become a knight forever.
Before I read this book, I was told rather accurately that it was like 'Harry Potter with Knights'. Henry Grim was an incredibly likeable main character, he was smart and just wanted to learn despite no one wanting him to be there. His two friends he does have balances him out nicely – Rohan and Adam. Rohan is the reason, the one who pipes up whenever they are about to do something not exactly allowed. Adam is the wit, getting Rohan and Henry to relax and just enjoy themselves whenever they get too stressed out.
Obviously there are a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, not that that's entirely a bad thing. Just an observation. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun read that drew me in. I have a thing for medieval stories, I'd never toss up the chance for to stories about knights and this book is no exception.
Book Count: 4