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Scarlett Undercover

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,165 ratings  ·  276 reviews
A voice-driven mystery perfect for fans of Veronica Mars.

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Little Brown
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,165 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Feb 10, 2015 marked it as to-read

Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Some spoilers below:

--Diverse and quirky cast of characters
--Brown, Muslim-American heroine who isn't idealized and deals with real life personal challenges
--Marlowe/noir-eque feel to the writing (intentional, since I've read that the author is a fan of that genre
--Fast paced and action filled plot
--Engaging storyline with interesting twists
--Grand mythology

-There were some little inconsistencies and things that didn't smoothly go together that were nev
This is great!

Scarlett is a Muslim American girl who takes on a case to solve a mystery of why 9-year-old Gemma's brother started acting "so weird," before and following the death of his best friend Quinn. It's more than what it seems; what looks like a suicide isn't. It's instead an intricate thrill ride about magic, jinn, and ancient curses and how a group of teens got caught up in them. Scarlett's own heritage plays a big part in all of this and it's deliciously well-done.

But what's the knoc
Sherwood Smith
Received from NetGalley.

I actually read this in two days, stealing time from the hideousness of dismantling the house (including ten thousand books) for pest control. The house is put back together, and I'm still thinking about this smashing debut novel.

Scarlett is sixteen, and a private eye. We find out fairly soon that she graduated from high school two years early, but she printed up cards to post around local schools for cases. We also find out that she solved a fairly hefty murder case (whi
katayoun Masoodi
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
i disliked most everything about this book, the writing, the secondary people which you didn't get to feel much, the main character, the couple of arabic sentences which were there so the story would have an exotic feel to it?, the islam which was pretty strange brand that i have not seen at all probably made up by a fantasy writer?, the story... ah the romance angle, .... really disliked it. did read it/skim it till the end so i had hopes that maybe it would get better. for me it didn't, i thin ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Gave up after 70 pages. It's really, painfully obvious this book about a Muslim girl (African Muslim? She mentions that either her mom or grandma was Sudanese) written by a white woman. Comes complete with food-based descriptions for POC, like calling saying Scarlett is "cappuccino-colored" and saying another character has skin "the color of weak tea."

Plus I'm not engaged by the story and I hear some dogs get brutally murdered for no reason.
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked this book a few years ago because I like when the main characters are diverse n some way; race, class, disabled. I find it refreshing because heroines and heroes come in all shape and sizes.The characteristics make a real hero and, of course, their actions.

Now that that is said let's start the honest review. The main character was kick-ass as the back cover says. She's very brave and just want justice. She understands the consequences of her actions as she still pursues her mystery. Sh
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Scarlett Underground is an awesome diverse book that takes on the classic sleuth mystery and adds in the intrigue of mystical cults and genies. I've yet to see a book with such an original heroine and it's not too often that you read a book with a Muslim American protagonist (the only other one I've read is the graphic novel Miss Marvel).  This is a book that readers will be speeding through and that will leave them eager for another installment. I definitely would like to read another book feat ...more
Jen Ryland
This book definitely had a lot of pluses. Scarlett was a great main character -- a smart, independent, female seventeen year old private investigator. And I liked that the book delved into what Scarlett's Muslim faith meant to her as an American teenager. I'm no expert on religion of any kind, so I can't say whether that part of the book is accurate.

I do enjoy PI stories and was happy that this book had a Veronica Mars vibe. There was some nice, witty hard-boiled PI banter: "My patience hit its
J. Greene
Not what I wanted but not the worse.

I expected quite a bit from Scarlett Undercover. I wanted all of the Veronica Mars, private investigator, kick ass-ness. Unfortunately what I got is a sassy, quick-footed heroine--who despite being the kind of sass I was expecting wasn't enough to blow me away.

Scarlett Undercover has things going for it, it's main thing being the fact that our MC, is curly haired, smart-mouthed, and very much so Muslim. It was what grabbed me. I always appreciate a diverse YA,
Ms. Yingling
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Even though I really, really like this book, I have to admit that I dropped the ball with this review. I read it while waiting for my daughter's band concert on a Sunday, had Career Day on Monday, and left for D.C. with our 8th graders on Tuesday. Sitting here a week after I read the book, trying to come up with details... not good. But the book was, and I'll definitely be buying it. I thought it was great that Scarlett lived in a supportive, ethnic communi
I can't say very much yet, but I loved this book. If your ideal heroine is sarcastic, independent, and overall kickass, this book is for you. If your ideal heroine has a softer, sweeter side and shares strong emotional tethers with the most important people in her life, this book is for you. If you don't like good books, this book is not for you. But you should consider reading it anyway because maybe your tastes will improve.

This was great. I can't wait to write a full review for it. But you kn
This was an interesting book. The MC is a Muslim teen girl who operates as a PI. Her newest case turns out to not be as simple as expected, and is linked to the murder of her father and family secrets and history. I really enjoyed reading this, really liked Scarlett, and would love to see more of her in the future.

I am a bit torn by the ending, which ends in a bit ambiguous manner (view spoiler)
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Scarlett Undercover" was a quick, fun read with a sharp and memorable protagonist that I enjoyed the ride of following throughout this overarching mystery. This is one I finished a while back, but I can't remember the exact date, so I'm marking it for now. I'll write a review when I have some time to meditate on my thoughts, but this is looking like 3.5 to 4 stars. Review to come. ...more
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've heard this compared to Veronica Mars, and I think that's a valid comparison to make (for adult readers, since most teens now don't know VM), and something I'm into. I don't generally like mysteries very much as a genre, but I love the character of Veronica, and I love the character of Scarlett. I definitely love that we have a Sudanese Muslim heroine who's not whitewashed on the cover!

I think a lot of teens who like mysteries will be into this, and maybe also fans of The Amulet of Samarkan
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
“I’ll take the case”. I miss these words from Veronica Mars. Upon receiving Scarlett Undercover, I was curious enough that I moved this to the top of my TBR. A Muslim American heroine that loves to solve mystery? Why not?! Surely Scarlett Undercover was a fast read, but it wasn’t what I hoped for.

As the story begins, I felt like I was stepping into the middle of a conversation. I didn’t know anything about Scarlett, but as the story continued, it felt like I should know. Which totally confused m
Jun 27, 2014 marked it as to-read
The main character is a POC? Yep, I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

(view spoiler) ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Originally posted at Confessions of an Opinionated Book Geek

3.5 Stars

Scarlett is smart. As in, has graduated from high school two years early and spends her days working as a Private Detective for clients that no one else will listen to. Like a middle school kid who is pretty sure her older brother is responsible for the suicide of a local teenager. Other people would say, “of course he’s acting weird, kid, his best friend just jumped off of a bridge,” but Scarlett is good at reading people and
May 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like most everyone else, I was pretty excited to read this book as it featured a Muslim American woman as it's heroine and I don't see that often. Unfortunately, though, this book fell below my standards/hopes. I read the book in its entirety but I honestly could/should have DNFed for several reasons (possible spoilers ahead BTW!):

1) aka the major reason - it was not representative of Muslims/Islam at all. Other than Scarlett saying she's a Muslim and being able to speak some Arabic (I don't fau
Sarah Monsma
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Scarlett’s an orphan. Her father was murdered. Her mother died of cancer. Her sister’s caught up in medical school. But don't waste time feeling sorry for her; Scarlett’s anything but pitiable. She’s smart – graduated high school at 16. She’s enterprising – started her own detective agency. She’s tough – a wise-ass and martial artist who carries an old police baton into dangerous neighborhoods. She’s a typical teen – not sure if she wants to practice her parent’s religion, distracted by a certai ...more
Great characters, exciting storyline!

What to do when you discover you have a guardian angel, are descended from Solomon and that your family is responsible for guarding a jar that has to do with jinns, ancient curses and immortality?
Mind you all this information comes slowly. The reader is as puzzled about things as Scarlett.
Scarlett (as investigator) has taken on a case from nine year old Gemma Archer, who's worried about her brother Oliver. Gemma is right. He's turned weird, very weird, danger
Mar 10, 2015 added it
E-ARC received from NetGalley.

I'm more familiar with Nancy Drew than Veronica Mars, but definitely agree with early hype that fans of teen girl detectives will get a kick out of this one.

There were times when I felt like the tension wasn't quite there, like the circumstances should make me worry more for Scarlett than the writing was allowing me to; there are a lot of intimidating/lecherous/straight up evil men in this book who don't ever seem to pose as much of a threat to Scarlett as they sho
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, good
Small thoughts before I write my official review:
~Why does Scarlett keep calling Gemma "kid"? It seemed a little out of character for a teenage girl to be calling a little girl "kid."
~DID NOT expect the supernatural element. BUT it didn't ruin the actual good-old-mystery of the thing, which I'm glad of.
~Great writing style, except for one little thing that niggled at me throughout the book: Sometimes the subject of the sente
Lisa Shafer
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm surprised that book bloggers aren't RAVING over this book. It's good. Really good.
I had my doubts at first. A white woman writing about a WOC Muslim protagonist? How's that going to work? But it did.
And Scarlett is a kick-butt heroine! She does NOT need to be saved by a guy. She's not caught up in a stupid love triangle. She's smart. She's resourceful. She loves her sister. Her story is NOT just about how to get the cute guy.
This is a mystery book that turns into action/adventure. It hints a
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
The marketing said this book was perfect for fans of Veronica Mars and I totally agree. It's more like Veronica Mars meets National Treasure. Scarlett is a private eye solving cases around her home city when she's asked by a young girl to discover what danger this girls brother has gotten himself into. A world of secrecy, Arabian folklore and danger now surrounds Scarlett and she must solve the case before she puts the people she loves in harm's way. Scarlett being a Muslim American is an added ...more
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
A solid debut novel. It is a fun mystery and the comparison to Veronica Mars is definitely worthy because this is a fun, sarcastic lead. I like that the Muslim aspect of the character is integrated to the whole story and explains a lot. There were times where I found the integration of non-English words kind of clunky, not that I mind that they were used but because I found the way they put them in and explained them a little clunky, but then I remembered that this was a YA book and a lot of the ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Excuse Me?
BFF Charm: Heck Yes!
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Fantastic Religious Noir
Bonus Factors: Teenage Private Eye, Diversity
Relationship Status: Need a Partner?

Read the full book report here.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am obviously biased in favour of this book. I'm so glad to see more YA heroines that I can relate to on paper. I'll definitely be picking up a copy of this! I'm excited by the premise, and the MC sounds pretty kick ass as well.

2015 seems to be the year of more diversity in YA lit!
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-5-stars
I am obligated to read this because of the author's last name. Lathams (of first AND last names) need to stick together!

Also it was SUPER good.
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"I'm a grown-up army brat with two kids, two dogs, and a husband. After working in a morgue, a maximum-security prison, a heroin detox, and assorted middle and high schools, I decided to try may hand at writing. Happily, it stuck.

I love watching people.

And I love writing about the characters who live inside my head—even when they don’t play nice."

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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