The Hopewell Hotel...
. . . is a small Art Deco “jewelbox” in New York City. The hotel has a grand past, but a somewhat dusty and broken present, with pigeons breaking into the rooms, chandeliers with more cobwebs than glass, and constantly exploding toilets. Guests are rare, but it does have one constant set of inhabitants . . . the Martin family.
ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2009
New York Public Library "Stuff for the Teen Age 2009"
Meet the Martins
Scarlett Martin is the third of the four Martins. Scarlett is fifteen, blonde, and broke. Her friends are gone for the summer. And she’s got this one curl that exists just to stab her in the eye and blind her. Welcome to her life.
Scarlett’s closest confidant is her nineteen-year-old brother Spencer. Spencer is a talented actor and an inspired physical comedian who can do any fall, take any punch, and steal any scene. He’s also very, very out of work and is facing down a family deadline to get his career in order.
Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the kind and practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend named Chip (not much loved by Scarlett or Spencer). Lola has exceptional and expensive taste, which often runs in conflict with the realities of life at the Hopewell. Lola is the most committed to saving the hotel and is deeply devoted to her family—if she can just keep her own life in check.
Eleven-year-old Marlene is the survivor of a terrible childhood illness . . . one of the side effects being a massive sense of entitlement. Marlene is a member of a survivor’s club called the Powerkids, and she leads the most exciting life of any of the Martins. (Marlene has switched on the lights at the Empire State Building, and you have not.) Scarlett seems to be the only one willing to talk about Marlene’s bad behavior, a fact that Marlene does not appreciate.
There are currently two Scarlett books, with a third IN THE WORKS.
Suite Scarlett (2008)
When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of one of the Hopewell’s rooms. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. Where Mrs. Amberson goes, things tend to happen.
When Scarlett meets Eric, an impossibly gorgeous actor, her summer takes a second unexpected turn. Eric has just moved to New York, and is a fellow cast member in a production of Hamlet that may just save Spencer’s career . . . if it ever makes it to the stage. Scarlett’s unsteady relationship with Eric may be best thing that’s ever happened to her, or it may undo the most important relationship in her life.
Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, serious mishandling of unicycles, and theatrical deception. And every element and person in Scarlett’s life will converge in one night that will make or break them all . . .
The show, as they say, must always go on.
Scarlett Fever (2010)
School’s in session. Mrs. Amberson has moved just down the street and opened the Amy Amberson Agency (AAA, frequently called by stranded motorists). She’s taken Scarlett on as her official assistant. Marlene has had a personality transplant, Spencer accidentally becomes public enemy #1, and there is definitely something wrong with Lola. And Eric? Oh, he’s still around too.
Unfortunately, two new figures have entered Scarlett’s life: 15-year-old Broadway star Chelsea Biggs and her brother Max. What could possibly be more life-affirming and ego-boosting than to work with someone your own age who has a thriving stage career? Especially when said person has a brother who has nothing better to do than make you miserable every single day? Absolutely nothing. It’s a dream life.
The drama has spread over all of New York City. Gossip pages, boys standing in trashcans, an ill-fated cake, murder on the steps of the courthouse, flying doughnuts, violence in the Biology lab, Broadway politics, topiary abuse, a dog named Murray who tinkles when he sees hats.