Rad Reads

GL Book Club: Suite Scarlett

For all you girls who have been following the GL Book Club and those of you who are new, welcome to week 3!  So far, Lauren has led discussions with the first two novels, Twilight and Generation Dead.  Now, I, Emily Capp, shall continue with the joys of book clubbing with Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson.

Our protagonist is Scarlett, also known as O’Hara by the annoying but entertaining Mrs. Amberson.  Scarlett is one of four siblings who live in The Hopewell, a hotel that has been in the family since the 1920s. 

Pause for a minute—how cool would it be to live in a hotel?!

Anyway, growing up in New York City and living the life in a hotel isn’t as luxurious as it seems for young Scarlett.  While her friends from high school are out discovering the globe for the summer, Scarlett is stuck working in the hotel with her parents with little to no pay.  The hotel isn’t doing so well. Due to the illness of Scarelett’s younger sister, Marlene, the family’s savings went to huge hospital bills. 

Aside from the drama of keeping the hotel afloat, her brother has only days left to prove to his parents that he can make it big in acting.  The pressure on, Scarlett takes on Spencer’s ordeal and tries to come up with a way to make him succeed, or at least create the illusion of success.  The oldest sister, Lola, isn’t much help as she attempts to live a life of luxury with her stuck-up, rich boyfriend.

But of course, you readers know, the most excitement in the book stems from Mrs. Amberson.  A mysterious character who makes Scarlett’s life both easier and much, much harder.  She saves the day and ruins it, as she nonchalantly bulldozes her way through the Hopewell family.

So lets get chatting away about this book.  Don’t think I have forgotten about Eric either. I’m most anxious to hear your take on this jerk (or is he a hunk)?

Discussion Time!

1) What do you think of Scarlett’s living situation?  Do you think residing in a hotel would be the ultimate living experience?

GL Emily: 
Um, totally!  Especially a hotel as cool and filled with history as The Hopewell.  Perhaps I would prefer my own room rather than having to share it with a sister. I mean, it is a hotel—there are rooms to spare.  And I’d prefer that the maid service be provided to me rather than me having to provide it!

2) What is your take on the relationships in this family?  Lola and Marlene, Spencer and Scarlett, and the obvious favorite-playing among these siblings?

GL Emily:
  I will be honest (and I feel kinda bad about it), but I absolutely can’t stand Marlene.  I know she was sick, but she is the ultimate bratty little sister. The fact that she is so outright mean to Scarlett irks me to the point that if I had her in front of me I’d…OK, never mind.  Although Lola is the only one who seems to control Marlene, I don’t like her that much more.  She’s the oldest and I guess feels some responsibility for Marlene and the rest of the family, but she gets so caught up in herself that she ends up doing more harm than good to her sibs.  I think Spencer and Scarlett’s relationship is beyond sweet.  I totally love Spencer and the way he charms Scarlett but also protects her.  I wish that Scarlett would have been open about Eric to begin with and maybe things would have worked out differently…

3) Which brings us to our next question: Eric?  I’ll be more specific, do you think he’s a man Scarlett should spend some serious daydreaming time on or should she tell him to buzz off?

GL Emily:
  I’m torn.  Part of me would never care that he had a girlfriend because he intended to break up with her, and the other part of me is like, he did this to her, so he’ll do it to Scarlett, too.  He even says to Scarlett that when he starts school, he doesn’t know if he’ll hurt her.  Bottom line, he’s a Carolina boy about to start a new city life at college.  I understand this is completely new for him and he doesn’t owe Scarlett anything, and I think I’d have to say goodbye to his fit body.

4) How about Mrs. Amberson? love her or hate her?

GL Emily:

5) Overall, did you like the book?  Can you imagine a life like Scarlett’s for yourself? How’s the drama in your own life compare?

GL Emily: 
Every time I read a book, I find myself living their life.  So as I read, I feel the pain and heartbreak and I get the anxious knot in my stomach.  So my answer is, I live it too, not just imagine it. For a few days, as I skim the pages, I get to be Scarlett and live in a hotel and walk the streets of NYC.  How about you?

I’ll be back next week to read The Trials of Kate Hope with you! It’s a quick read, so it’s not too late to run to the library and check out a copy. And, coming soon to an entertainment blog near you…the July Book Club schedule!

6/22/2008 11:09:00 AM