Sunday, October 7, 2012

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Author: A. C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 14, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars
Recommended For: Older Ya Readers, Fans of Robin Hood, Adventure/ Action Fans, Fans of Romance

 "Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for."-

Scarlet is a debut novel written by, A. C. Gaughen, and I never really heard about it before picking it up. Then I read the cover and instantly fell in love. A book about a girl in disguise as a boy is awesome. A book about a thief is intiguing. But a book about a girl who's a thief that gives to the poor and has a mysterious past is just captivating! I knew I had to read it, and I'm so glad I did. Scarlet was everything I hoped for and more.

The main character of the story, Scarlet, was tough as nails. She went through a bad situation when she was younger and a scar on her face to prove it. She wasn't ready to tell her story, though, and her past remained a mystery throughout most of the book. The other major characters were Robin Hood, Little John, and Much. They all had their own stories, and were all just really well done. They seemed so real, each with their own quirks and flaws. It seemed odd at first for Robin's band to have only three other people, but it fit the story. It also helped me get to know the characters better.

Scarlet is a spin-off of Robin Hood, but it still has its own unique plot. Many things are different. Yet enough things are the same for a fan of the original Robin Hood story to like it. Robin Hood and his band are trying to protect their people despite the sheriff's attempts at capturing and hanging them. They were doing pretty well until the sheriff hired a Thief Taker to find Robin and his band. The only problem is that  the Thief Taker is someone from Scarlet's past. Someone who will stop at nothing to find her.

The writing style bothered me for the first few pages, until I became too enraptured with the story to notice it. The book was written to be authentic with it's time, so Scarlet spoke and thought like a commoner did hundreds of years ago. It fit the story well though. The writing itself was good. It flowed well and drew me in.

Even though I loved Scarlet, there was a few things I didn't like. Robin and John were a bit annoying near the end of the story. John became possessive and Robin was very judgmental of Scarlet. It upset me but didn't mess up the story that much. I also didn't like how Scarlet went on and on about how she was never good enough and how she could never atone for her past. Although understandable, it got old pretty fast.

In the end, I'm glad I read  Scarlet because it was just a very good story. I had a good plot, good characters, good writing... I read it with no regrets. I'd definitely recommend this book to most ya readers. I'll be keeping tabs on AC Gaughen to see if she writes anything else.

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