Scarlett Martin is back, and this time she’s…still hopelessly in love with charming rogue wanna-be actor Eric, who broke her heart in Maureen Johnson’s utterly enchanting New York story, Suite Scarlett. In this captivating sequel, the summer has ended, the set of the Hamlet production that took place in the dining room of her parents’ broken down NYC Art Deco hotel has been struck, and Scarlett still can’t manage to delete the library of pictures she has of Eric on her cell phone. The start of her sophomore year at school and the ongoing demands of her boss, the take-no-prisoners talent agent Mrs. Amy Amberson, help distract Scarlett from her romantic woes, but not by much. Then her older brother Spencer scores an ongoing role in a New York crime drama that sounds remarkably like this one, her older sister Lola commits an unthinkable act that throws the whole family into turmoil, and her usually snide, sarcastic younger sister Marlene is being suddenly, suspiciously nice. What the heck is going on with the Martin sibs? To make matters worse, Scarlett is in charge of convincing a young Broadway star into signing with Mrs. Amberson by way of her sullen, angry older brother Max, a classmate who is making Scarlett’s biology class hell with his refusal to do anything but be annoying. And did I mention Eric keeps dropping by unannounced to ask Scarlett for acting tips? You can read this laugh out loud sequel alone, but you will enjoy the saga of Scarlett so much more if you go back and read about her humble beginnings. As Scarlett Fever ends on an ambiguous note, it’s clear Johnson is going to regale readers with even more of Scarlett’s sojourns through life, love and NYC, and I for one cannot wait. For a guaranteed perfect beach reading experience, pack both Scarletts in your spring break suitcase.
Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson