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Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen {4 Stars}

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen is a retelling of the story of Robin Hood, where Will Scarlet is actually a girl in hiding :D. I haven’t read any Robin Hood retellings, so I was really excited to hear of this series, plus breaking gender-norms is the best! Scarlet did not disappoint. I so thoroughly enjoyed this one despite a couple of hang-ups and can’t wait to start on Lady Thief!

Note: I borrowed Scarlet from my library. All opinions are my own.

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen {4 Stars}

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen (Scarlet #1)
Published by Walker Childrens on February 14th, 2012
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Page Length: 292 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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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.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • Omg Robin Hood retelling :D. Possibly one of my favorite Disney movies, even without foxes, Robin Hood is a wicked fun story and deserves more retellings. I love the noble thieves trope and Robin Hood is basically the quintessential noble thief after all!
  • Scarlet is narrated in first-person from Scarlet’s perspective (the girl pretending to be Will Scarlet) and she narrates in dialect! It was just so wonderfully authentic feeling to start saying “I were running” in my head when I slipped into Scarlet’s story. This narration style really brought a lot to Scarlet’s character <3.
  • Speaking of Scarlet’s character! I love Scarlet so much! She is such a great kick-butt heroine, standing up to the “lads” of the gang and rolling her eyes at their advances. She is bull-headed to a fault and determined to help people despite how damaging she believes her thieving is to her soul. I want to be this girl’s friend so badly!
  • We know early on that Scarlet has a dark past, but we don’t find out until pretty far into the book exactly what that past is. When we do it is really quite tragic and thoroughly explains Scarlet’s actions. I just want to hug her and make her feel better :(.

Weaknesses:

  •  John Little (ie Little John) is so freaking annoying! He’s just a huge asshole really. He is constantly hitting on Scarlet and insisting that she will start liking him even when she says she isn’t interested in him. On top of that, there are a couple of times when the boys of the band blame Scarlet for things they have absolutely no right blaming her for and I just want to knock their heads together!
  • While I ended up loving the dialect, it takes a fair amount of getting used to ;-).
  • Scarlet is a fairly short book, and this translated into not enough time to really develop the secondary characters. I point this out not because I expect this of all books, but because I found myself specifically wanting to get to know the lads and townspeople as well as Scarlet knows them.

Summary:

If you enjoy the tale of Robin Hood and can get behind a book in dialect, you simply must pick up Scarlet! Annoying boys aside, I loved every minute reading this one. I’m so glad I was finally able to nab it from the library and actually read it, since it’s made the trip back and forth a couple of times now >.>. Don’t make my mistake and continue to put Scarlet off! Reeeeaaaad iiiiiiit!

4 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya

 

 Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

© 2014 – 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. This is one of those books I’ve had sitting on my Kindle for over a year now….I really do need to get to it. I wasn’t a fan of Disney’s version of Robin Hood, but I do love the story and I’ve read a ton of retellings. This is the first truly gender-bending one I’ve heard of though, and that by itself is enough to make me want to read it. Fortunately, though, the rest of it also sounds pretty awesome. Fingers crossed I can get to it soon!
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Review: Restless by William BoydMy Profile

  2. This has seriously exploded this last week in the marvellous world of book blogs! Do all the bloggers (except me) have some sort of collective intelligence thing going on that I should know about? Anyway, this book looks SO good! Love the Robin Hood myths, so maybe I should take this as some sort of sign as to read this. Glad you liked it, hope you like the sequel too!

    • Haha, I think it’s that the second book is coming out next month so everyone has been catching up ;-) I loooooooved the sequel so you should definitely read them both :D

  3. This was one of my favorite books last year! Definitely my favorite by a new author. And I had the privilege of reading an ARC of Lady Thief, and I can just say you will get some sympathy for John by the end of it. Now I can’t wait for the third book.

  4. I loved the idea for this book, but I actually found the whole thing very annoying. I didn’t end up liking any of the characters very much and shared your objections to the way the boys often treated Scarlet. While a book where Will Scarlet is actually a girl should have been a very empowering story and instead I thought it was kind of sexist.
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Non-Fiction FridayMy Profile

    • Oh no, I’m sorry :(. John annoyed me, but I think I ended up connecting with Scarlet enough that I just ignored John.

  5. Actually, I could see myself reading this. My YA list is getting longer than ever.
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Urban Fantasy Review: ‘Blackbirds’ by Chuck WendigMy Profile

    • Haha, excellent! What about it makes you interested? It’s honestly between YA and adult it seems since I imagined Scarlet as around 20, not a teenager, though I’m not sure how old she is actually supposed to be

  6. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. Thank you for the extra push to pick it up!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Season of the Witch by Mariah FredericksMy Profile

  7. I actually have this book on order at the library right now. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much; now I’m even more excited to read it. I didn’t realize this was written in dialect. Sometimes that works for me and sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll see. Great review!
    Natalie @Natflix&Books recently posted…Attachments (Book Review)My Profile

  8. Hmm…one of two things could happen. I could love the dialect, or it could set me twitching like crazy. The possibility of the latter is probably why I haven’t picked this up yet. Still, if time allows, I’ll try to give it a shot this year. :)
    Kel @ No Cucumber Sandwiches recently posted…Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George (3 stars)My Profile

    • This just means that you need to read the first couple of pages at the store or something! You’ll know right away if it’s something you can handle since she doesn’t hold back, haha

  9. I just finished this too! I think everyone is playing catch up to get ready for LADY THIEF;-) I’m posting my review later today too.

    I think your review is spot on. I was expecting to absolutely LOVE this, because I’ve read some really gushy reviews, but I was slightly disappointed because of all the hype. But I did REALLY enjoy it, and I have to say I agree with your assessment of John. I couldn’t stand him and I couldn’t figure out why Scarlet put up with him the way she did.

    • Haha, awesome! Of course with the craziness of my posting schedule, I actually read this close to Thanksgiving and have only just posted the review *fail*. So have you read Lady Thief yet? >.>

  10. I really loved this one too! I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book-I’d heard such great things (from you and others). This one put me on a Robin Hood kick for sure. Do you know if there will be 3 books total?

  11. Darnit, Anya, my TBR is massive enough! :P

    Seriously, though. This does sound like it would be a fun read. I might just make note of it for when I want something like it! I also agree with the Robin Hood love. Historical accuracy or not, I’ve got a soft spot for that story!
    Lisa (@EffingRainbow) recently posted…Shapeshifters, by various authors (anthology)My Profile

    • Haha, I will be the death of you when the books topple over! That’s a good plan though, I like to just try to remember books that sounded good so if I see them at the library or the store on sale I can snag them ;-)

  12. Ooh, this sounds much better than the impression of it I had in my head! One for the library list, definitely. I’m a bit iffy about books that are written in dialect after a bad experience with a books written in a nearly unintelligible Scottish dialect but I was born in Nottingham in England and went to university there so perhaps it’ll be much easier for me to pick up! Home advantage…;)
    Charlotte @ Lit Addicted Brit recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: My Reading WishlistMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] tells the story of Robin Hood from a completely new perspective ;-). If you haven’t read Scarlet and Lady Thief, you definitely want to check out my reviews of them instead, but in short READ THIS […]

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