Daily Archives: January 27, 2010

In which I review Scarlett Fever in the time it takes for the tub to fill

If you adored Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlett (I did, and I’d be very worried about you if you didn’t), then you will be happy to hear that you have only 5 days to wait until you get more of Scarlett in Scarlett Fever. And more of Scarlett also means more of her crazy talented brother Spencer and the delightfully kooky Mrs. Amy Anderson, and Scarlett’s oddball family and the rundown charm of their home, the Hopewell Hotel.

The focus this time around is love (hence the itsy bitsy hearts on the room key on the cover) – mostly Scarlett’s love life, broken down as it is. There’s Eric, her sort-of-onetime boyfriend, who is still in the picture (sort of), and then there is Max, Scarlett’s new, infuriating / irresistible lab partner. As in the first book, much of the pleasure here is in the family relationships. They are dynamic and quirky and genuine.

I found this follow up to be a pleasing romp, with a good deal of trademark Maureen Johnson cleverness to please fans, though perhaps with not quite so many perfectly put observations about the foibles of human nature as can be found in Suite Scarlett. Deceptively light.

Favourite new character: Murray the painfully neurotic little dog. This is perfect: “He was an exposed, throbbing nerve, set loose into the world in the form of a dog.”

The tub is now full. I’m done.

Scarlett Fever is published by Point, an imprint of Scholastic.