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Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
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Scarlet (edition 2012)

by A.C. Gaughen

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3805028,382 (3.92)13
Member:TValeros
Title:Scarlet
Authors:A.C. Gaughen
Info:Walker Childrens (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read, YA, retellings

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Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen

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‘I do what I do because I will always believe that no matter how awful life gets for however many of these people, there is something I can do about it. There is something I will do about it.’
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a huge fan of Robin Hood tales. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is one of my all-time favorite movies and never fails to give me the swoons.

When I first heard about this twisted retelling, I was a bit hesitant. I expected a love story and (hopefully) an interesting backstory leading up to how Scarlet became a member of Robin and his band of thieves and why she’s posing as a boy in the first place. There was definite potential there but my initial hesitation was dead-on seeing as I did not love this as most have.

In regards to Scarlet’s backstory, I really liked this aspect and somehow managed to not see the twist that was clearly coming from a mile away. But once all is revealed, there were some things that failed to add up for me. Primarily, her speech. She talks like Osha from Game of Thrones, it was ridiculous. It’s highly uneducated and once you realize who and what she actually is it begins to sound incredibly forced. I understand that speaking in such a way served only to put her in less of a spotlight and allows her to blend in with the village folk, however, if she was trying to stay out of the spotlight maybe she shouldn’t have constantly been taking so many highly unnecessary risks? She was constantly putting herself and the band in danger and after the first couple of times I was ready to kick her out of the band myself. But the fighting was awesome and badass! Except… more things failed to add up. Like where Scarlet picked up those awesome fighting/knife skills. It couldn’t have all been self-preservation and learning on her own. There was zero mention of any of that and there should have been since her past would have never included any knowledge related to fighting/thievery.

And now for the love story. I’m sorry but… it irritated me.

While I’m fully aware that a love story happened in my previously mentioned favorite movie, this love story still managed to come off as completely ill-fitting. There just seemed to be entirely too much going between the Sheriff of Nottingham killing villagers and the new thief taker brought in from London for there to be a legit romance let alone a freaking love triangle. WITH JOHN LITTLE. I could have accepted the romance but the love triangle pushed me overboard. There was also the fact that I just didn’t swoon over these too as much as I would have liked. Then there were lines like this:

“You called me a whore, Rob. You said awful things.”
“Ah,” he said, and his hand took mine again, tight. “Hurting you is the best way I know how to punish myself.

I don’t even know where to begin with that line.

One last and final issue is the fact that this is a historical novel that failed to feel anything like a historical novel. I missed the detail and the feel of this medieval time period being brought to life. But this is definitely one of the smaller issues I had with this novel.

Scarlet was unfortunately a massive disappointment for me. I went into this one with high hopes and maybe that was the problem. It intrigued me enough to continue this series with the hope that it will improve. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | May 29, 2015 |
I was happy to take a break from the dystopian genre to read this little gem. I enjoy retellings of old stories, and this story put us in the middle of Robin Hood's gang. It started a little slow (or maybe I was just distracted), but by the 5th chapter, things were picking up and the rest read smoothly. I found myself eagerly anticipating "one more chapter" several times before I made myself go to bed, but quickly finished it the following morning. In short, I loved this book. I loved its twists and turns, how bits of the past slowly came into the present. I won't spoil it, but definitely had an "ah-ha moment" in the middle when I learned Scar's true name. Fabulously done!

Would I recommend this to fellow book lovers? Yes!
Would I recommend this to teen readers? Probably. It does have quite a bit of blood/gore. ( )
  lauraodom | Apr 16, 2015 |
Honestly I haven't said "I hate you" to a character more than when I read this book. Scarlet or Marion or whatever, she's the worst. The author got stuck between the cookie cutter for "badass female role" and "blushing bride to freaking be" and we ended up with a blushing fool called "Scar". The girl was constantly blushing and is thrown into a love triangle with JOHN LITTLE and ROBIN HOOD. What the hell and Will Scarlet was supposed to be a dude but whatever. I hated this version of Robin Hood. ( )
  Rosenstern | Feb 8, 2015 |
I've never read another story, original or retelling, about Robin Hood before. I just saw the movie a few times as a kid. But I absolutely loved this story. Writing in an awesome female character in place of a man. Genius. I love reading to go on dangerous, non-stop adventures, and this book delivers just that. There is always something exciting going on. Scarlet is a wonderful character. You can't be anything but amazed by her incredible knife and stealth skills. She is also more than just a thief. In a way she is like a female Robin Hood, but you will have to read the book to figure out why. The whole story leads to a fantastic ending that does not end suddenly nor does it have a horrible cliffhanger. It ends with just a bit of wonder as to what is in store for the character's futures. And I can't wait to find out what that may be. ( )
  JosP | Jan 15, 2015 |
Great readalike for Bloody Jack. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
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Book description
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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802723462, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Will Scarlet shadows Robin Hood, with an unerring eye for finding treasures to steal and throwing daggers with deadly accuracy, but when Gisbourne, a ruthless bounty hunter, is hired by the sheriff to capture Robin and his band of thieves, Robin must become Will's protector risking his own life in the process.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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