Saturday, 2 June 2012

review: Scarlet

by A. C. Gaughen
Walker Children's, February 14 2012
historical young adult

Will Scarlet is the deadly knife-wielder in Robin Hood's guerilla gang... and the only girl, too. While Rob attempts to evade capture, while John Little keeps true to the flirtatious stereotype and while crippled Much wrings sympathy with his efforts to overcome his disability, Scarlet sets herself up for a whole bunch of action sequences to finally confront evil ol' Gisbourne.
...I seriously cut out as much snark as I could. I was trying to be "biting but sweet" (as the lovely Rida said), but I think that summary ended up only biting.

The cover:

Boring. Borrring. And she's so pretty. Who in the world is going to think that's a boy?

The book:

HEADS-UP: this is a really terrible review.

My reading experience went something like this:

  • First two chapters: Gaaaahh oh no a runaway romance barrelling down on me *takes shelter behind the obvious saw-it-coming plot twist*
  • Entire middle: Oh look, another person's died just to show Gisbourne's cruelness. Oh look, another push-and-pull confrontation between Scarlet and either John and Rob. Oh look, some more clues to lead to the obvious plot twist. Oh look, more scenes to make me wonder why on Earth Rob doesn't recruit more people in his gang. I mean, WHY DOESN'T HE RECRUIT MORE PEOPLE? Egads.
  • By the climax: Scarlet you are such a prickly b-word-that-rhymes-with-witch. Rob I know Scar's pointed out your being-the-hero thing all along and I  hate to agree with her, but you really should get that looked at. Gisbourne, I don't know why you aren't dead yet. Oh wait, I do -- it's because Gaughen wants to keep John Little in this unnecessary love triangle. (I know. HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE.)
  • Last pages: *is steamrollered by the romance seen coming 257 pages ago*

So hey, I didn't like this novel.
  1. Why couldn't Scarlet experience some change and become marginally nicer?
  2. Why couldn't the romance be more subtle?
  3. Why couldn't the secret to the plot twist be less obvious?
  4. Why couldn't a single member of the gang be likeable?
  5. Why did the characters have to ruin the whole book for me?

Bad books make me sad. Bad books also equal bad (i.e. poorly written) reviews; my apologies. *kowtows* Also, I'd like to say that I'm so proud of myself for not uttering a single cuss word in this whole review.

Rating: 1.4 out of 5