From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Scarlett Martin and her unconventional hotel-dwelling family are back. Following the success of her brother's theater troupe's staging of Hamlet
at a run-down Manhattan hotel in Suite Scarlett
(Scholastic, 2008), Scarlett continues her work with socialite cum talent agent Mrs. Amberson to find her brother work as an actor and to secure the agency's second client. As Scarlett and Mrs. Amberson woo Chelsea, the teenaged star of a bad Broadway musical, Scarlett attempts to get over a failed romance; reluctantly befriends Chelsea's brother; and handles family crises involving her brother's sudden semi-stardom and her sister's return to her former (and very wealthy) flame. While the novel may be enjoyed for the light if slightly madcap romance that it is, it is notable for its attention to social class and to the Martins' struggles with money. As the proprietors of a fading art-deco hotel they can neither afford to keep nor sell, all of them must make sacrifices, and Johnson's sympathetic portrayals of their financial woes save the novel from its own cuteness. The story ends not only by resolving Scarlett's brother's dilemma but also by introducing a troubling resolution to Scarlett's sister's romantic predicament, nearly ensuring a third volume of Martin family madness.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
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In this follow-up to Suite Scarlett (2008), Hamlet has closed, moving the Hopewell Hotel back toward the seedy side and Scarlett’s life to a boring “normalcy.” Her job as Mrs. Amberson’s personal assistant has her dealing more with dogs and doormen than with famous stars; her best friend, Dakota, is tired of Scarlett’s obsession with actor Eric; and Max, Scarlett’s archnemesis and responsibility, is driving her crazy. It’s hard to nail down a true plot in this over-the-top, humorous, often-bordering-on-slapstick novel that, though not Johnson’s finest, does offer a unique off-Broadway/TV series perspective seldom found in YA literature. Grades 8-10. --Frances Bradburn