Sasha's Reviews > Scarlet

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
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's review
Jul 05, 12

bookshelves: 2012-debut-author-challenge, young-adult, own-it
Read on May 30, 2012

Scarlet cover

I find it important to the integrity of this review to acknowledge that there were many things I adored about this novel and yet there were many things I disliked with a passion.
Even though this text reads like a feminist one -- I hope you – like I – interpret “feminist” as endearing versus [some not nice word here] … and if not, well…

Boo, you whore

-- I mean it does have a strong female heroine and yet there are still some details that rendered the plea of female liberty false.

1. The importance of Scarlets’ virtue
It does not escape me that Joanna is martyred and she had no virtue and this could be a point made to counter my argument. But I would implore you to acknowledge that the “whore” (Joanna) is only able to be appreciated in death and the virgin (Scarlet) is a heroine.

2. Sir-Blush-A-Lot
So Scarlet wears her namesake across her cheeks – cute – got it – now stop it.
Either the literature of the world has vastly misguided me of how prone my having a vagina makes my face to blushing or I have the worlds’ laziest blood, ever. Just seems to me that if Scarlet had truly been with these boys for two years she should have better control of her shit. (Example 1: The first time Scarlet blushes is because she makes eye contact with Rob [oh-noes-cooties!] and boom… insta-red!!)

Blushing gone wrong

I mean at the very least she should be very freaking light-headed from all the blood rushes.

3. Anorexia, much?
Alright, I’m 50/50 on this topic. Scar definitely had some self-destructive eating habits; refraining from eating to the point of passing out (on multiple occasions). I think Gaughen had an opportunity to address something serious and never did.
But on the flip side of things, I thought Scarlet’s reasoning for the self-punishment one of the most beautiful insights of the novel. Case in point:
“And Rob should understand. He takes the guilt and responsibility that others can’t. John takes the punches. I just take the hunger, and most times it feels like awful little,” (pg 25).

And on that hungry note, Scarlet, I bequeath you… 3 Bat Cakes!

Bat Cake!Bat Cake!Bat Cake!

Edit: Originally posted at


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