This is my first Maureen Johnson book, and let me say it won’t be the last. I simply adore her writing style. She could write a novel about sea slugs and I would read it.
As the story goes, Scarlett lives in a family-run hotel in New York city. Her family is getting a bit behind on money, for a reason none of them like to articulate. Then Mrs. Amberson comes and infiltrates Scarlett’s summer. Suddenly she’s making money, helping with her brother’s play and meeting a cute actor.
I quite loved the characters in this novel. From Chip, Lola’s rich boyfriend, to Billy Whitehouse, Mrs. Amberson’s friend, all the people were intricately described. Scarlett herself is a tad boring, but her life is anything but. With Mrs. Amberson having her running around doing everything, having to deal with her family’s issues, and figuring out Eric, the cute actor, Scarlett lives a harried life.
Spencer and Scarlett have this amazing relationship due to spending so much time together when they were younger. They hang out, talk about everything, and share so many inside jokes and looks, it’s hard not to be envious. Until of course, they have a falling-out, which happens a couple times. One extra thing I loved, Spencer’s “skill”. All the fake falling and crazy antics were fun to read.
By the time I’m writing this review, I’ve read Scarlett Fever as well, but I would just like to make it known that I didn’t really like Eric that much in this book. I mean, he was nice, but something was always off with him. I think Scarlett was just desperate for male attention. He just SEEMED too perfect. Which sometimes (not often), perfect is okay, but in this case it just felt false, like he was hiding something.
(Done with Spoiler-y Section)
Maureen Johnson is the most CREATIVE, AMUSING, AND INTERESTING writer. There are these sparkling moments of “Oh my goodness, that was so randomly creative”. No matter if it’s describing the neighbors, giving Spencer and Scarlett an inside joke, or having Scarlett ad-lib, Maureen has spot-on spontaneity. It is a treat to read her writing, and I have been won over completely.
Content Warning: I’m pretty sure there is mild language, and definitely kissing.