Heidi's Reviews > Scarlet

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
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's review
Nov 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012-debut-author-challenge, ya-historical-fiction, 2012-favorites
Read from February 16 to 18, 2012

I'm not sure why I connected with Scarlet and Robin so much. Maybe because I've always loved stories about Robin Hood. Maybe because Scarlet and Robin seem so real, flaws and all. Maybe because I love stories about courageous people trying to help others. I also love Whatever the reason, I did find this book compelling. I stayed up way too late to finish the book, something I try not to do these days.

In any case, I found Scarlet a character I could really root for. She's far from perfect but she's got a good heart which she does her best to hide. After suffering a devastating loss just before meeting Robin, she tries not to get too attached to the band, unwilling to admit for the longest time that she would die for them, especially Robin. She and Robin are kindred spirits who suffer from great feelings of inadequacy, unwilling to forgive themselves for past sins, but who have dedicated themselves to helping others hoping to atone for their mistakes. John provides some of the lighter moments in the book (of which there are only a few) with his boisterous ways and Much is the gentle caregiver. As in the original stories, Gisbourne is a strong villain, the kind who deserves to die.

Plotwise the book moves along quickly yet provides thoughtful moments also. I am impressed with the way Gaughen kept the story moving while still providing for character development. There are several twists near the end that are gut-wrenching in their intensity. I am hoping there will be a sequel because the ending leaves several plot threads untied. Scarlet is left in an uncomfortable situation that I want to see her out of before I will be completely satisfied with the story.

NOTE: Some of the content makes this book more appropriate for older students. There is a moderate amount of swearing and profanity that I wish hadn't been included, it's so unnecessary, the story would have been just as strong without it. This language made the book seem not quite medieval. Also there is sexual innuendo, no graphic encounters, but the implications are definitely there. There is also a good amount of violence, which while realistic, gets graphic at times.

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