Book Review: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen

ScarletRelease Date: February 26, 2013

Publisher: Walker Children’s

Genre: YA Retelling

Source: Purchased (previous library book)

I know I am so late to this Scarlet party, but wow! I was never too obsessed with the story of Robin Hood, but I feel like I learned a WHOLE LOT from this book. I really enjoyed this – way more than I originally thought I would – so gird your loins! Here is your synopsis from Amazon:

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her female identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Robin and his band know the truth. As Gisbourne closes in, helping the people of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life, but her fierce loyalty to Robin-whose quick smiles have the rare power to unsettle her-keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

1. Scarlet and Robin Hood’s merry men were such great characters.

Scarlet has a lot of secrets. If you pay attention, you can piece them together before she reveals them. I think it’s supposed to be that way. That, plus Robin, Much, and John make for a great time. I am team Rob for life. I have such a huge crush on him! Rob, John, and Much care about Scarlet so much, even though they really try to treat her like one of the boys. It’s so adorable and kind of reminds me of me and my guy friends.

2. The adventure in this book was a bit slow to get started, but once it did…oh boy.

A lot of this book is set up, as with any new series. However, once we start to find out what Scarlet and the boys are up against, it sounds nearly impossible to get out alive. They’re good…but are they that good? That’s what this book sets out to prove. Scarlet is fantastic with her knives, Rob is a former soldier from the Crusades so he is great at fighting, Much has one hand but is very skilled at felling a foe, and John is huge and imposing to any enemy. Together, they seem unconquerable. Even with some romantic upsets, the band never really falls apart. It’s a beautiful tale of friendship and courage, especially considering the foe they’re up against.

3. This really is a feminist tale of strength and courage.

Scarlet poses as a boy named Will Scarlet. She is always getting on the boys for trying to treat her like a girl and protect her like a girl. She is running from her previous, mysterious life and is helping her town with the Hood. She enjoys being a thief because she feels like she is atoning for something she did in her past. I know this sounds vague, but I don’t want to spoil it for you, dear reader! She is constantly being underestimated by the men around her and she is constantly proving them wrong. Even if this book didn’t set out to be a feminist story, it definitely became one in my mind!

4. On Twitter, I called Scarlet a tease, and I got yelled at for it. I guess I kind of deserved it, but this weird love triangle in this book is just…weird. I don’t have a better word!!

John sees Scarlet in a dress, which never happens. She wears her dress – in secret – to church on Sundays. After John sees her in a dress, he starts to flirt with her and try to kiss her. From the beginning, we KNOW Scarlet is in love with Rob. Granted, she doesn’t really know that because she is truly inflicted, but then she starts flirting back with John and kissing him back, too. Then you’re like NOOOO TEAM ROB 5EVERRR and it really upset me because I didn’t want her to do that to herself. Don’t torture yourself, girlfriend! You know what you want. In Scarlet’s defense, though, she thinks Rob hates her so she tries not to think about her love for him. I get it now, I really do. I apologize here for offending anyone by using the word “tease,” I really needed to think a bit more when I said that. I apologize. I needed to read a bit more before I passed judgment! Forgive me!!

OVERALL: 4 stars!!! I really liked this book. It took me a  bit to get into, which made me nervous because all of my blogging buddies were so into it. I was halfway through when it started to get really interesting! I have Lion Heart coming for me in the mail and I just purchased Lady Thief so I’ll be binging the rest of this series as soon as I finish Fairest by Marissa Meyer. (Pick that up too because damn).

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Scarlet by A.C Gaughen

  1. missprint says:

    I am so conflicted about this series. I love Robin Hood. I loved The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. I actually made a cross stitch Robin Hood sampler several years ago. But I tried to read this one and I had such a hard time dealing with the slang/dialect in the writing that I wound up putting it aside. At the time I felt good about that decision. But then I remember how much I love Robin Hood and I am torn again. How did you feel about that aspect of the story?

    • andistrube says:

      I actually didn’t mind the dialect and slang. It got better the more I read, but it ends up being a HUGE part of the book towards the end. It was a little rough for me until halfway through, but I kept on reading and I’m super glad I did!

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