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

by A.C. Gaughen

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286None40,382 (3.98)11
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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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Retelling of Robin Hood. Scarlet, or Scar as the guys call her, is the best thief in the group, and she can more than take care of herself. Until the thief taker Guisbourne arrives in Nottingham. He and Scarlet share a secret, and even Robin Hood might not be enough to protect her from her past. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Mar 3, 2014 |
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 (Scarlet #1)
Published by Walker Childrens on February 14th, 2012
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Length: 292 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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.

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 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 ( )
  anyaejo | Jan 7, 2014 |
This just isn't my species of book. Don't get me wrong, I love Robin Hood as much as the next girl, but I'm more into the fantasy sort.

No one really knows ’bout me. I’m Rob’s secret, I’m his informant, I’m his shadow in dark places.

This is just another of those books I can eat up in a day. I was gripped while I was reading it. Right from the start to the end. But I won't be gushing about it for a year, or giving it more stars, cause frankly I've come across too many rare gems of books to just freely throw my stars about.

But to be fair to A. C. Gaughen, she has pulled of quite a dishy Robin Hood.

“You are my whole heart, Scarlet. And this is breaking it."
“Let me heal up a bit, and we’ll see if we can make his part of ‘so long as ye both shall live’ a little shorter.”
“I’ll keep your heart, Scar,” he whispered. “If you keep mine.”


And Scarlet herself is fierce. "I'm saying that some girls slap, but I have knives.”

And wise. “I know what it's like when you can't get no one to listen to you. When what you say don't matter. I half think every girl knows what it's like to be silenced.”

And sometimes she just breaks my heart. “He takes the guilt and responsibility that others can't. John takes the punches. I just take the hunger, and most times it feels like awful little.”

Having said that, this just hasn't met my expectations. It felt too forced, too strained and stilted at times. Scarlet was unconvincing now and then, and she is too much of a martyr, she keeps relentlessly punishing herself, and I've honestly read enough about tortured souls to last me a life time. It was just plain annoying at times. Rob's merry men John and Much also felt too hackneyed every so often. Even Rob himself was typecast once in a while.

I was keen on the story line, a merry woman is fresh and revolutionary. That is a redeeming facet of this book. And all in all, it was a good debut, but unfortunately not the unforgettable sort.


( )
  potterhead9.75 | Jan 5, 2014 |
I had been wanting to read this book for some time. I love Robin Hood retellings and this was an excellent one. Gaughen does some interesting things with the story and Scarlet is a very compelling character.

Will Scarlet is the best thief in Robin Hood’s gang, Will is also a girl that the band calls Scarlet...however everyone outside of Hood’s band thinks Scarlet is a boy. When the Sheriff of Nottingham calls in Lord Gisbourne to deal with Robin Hood and his band, things get complicated for Scarlet. Her and Gisbourne have a past. Robin Hood struggles to save the surrounding towns from Nottingham’s taxes and dodge Gisbourne. Scarlet helps as she can, but her sordid past is finally catching up to her.

The whole book is written in slang, which was a bit hard to read at first. After a couple chapters I got used to it and didn't have any more trouble reading this book. There’s a good reason for why the book is written that way.

I loved what Gaughen did with Robin Hood and his merry men. The story will be familiar to those who are fans of Robin Hood. This is basically a tale about oppression of the area Robin Hood is supposed to be ruling, but his rule has been taken away by the Sheriff of Nottingham by edict of Prince John. Robin and his band do a lot of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. In the case the poor are the townsfolk that Robin should be ruling.

Scarlet drives a lot of the planning and thievery. She is an expert at thieving because of her past life in London as a thief. Scarlet is a bit bitter and quick to anger. She is constantly very defensive and constantly feels like she has to prove herself over and over. Part of this is because of how she feels she’s wronged people in the past, part is just because she is hot-tempered. I did find some aspects of her character a bit unbelievable. For example once we learn her past I was curious as to how she became so good at acrobatic stunts, fighting, and thieving in such a short time.

Scarlet also has a problem with eating enough. This is talked about a lot in the beginning of the book, as the men in her life try to get her to eat more. The problem seems to stem from the fact that Scarlet thinks other people are more deserving of food than she is, so she is constantly giving her food away. It was an interesting dynamic to add to a historical fantasy like this one.

There is also a lot of action and thieving and sneaking. Scarlet is an excellent thief, agile and daring. However she has a lot of issues to work through. The band nicknames her Scar, both for the scar on her face and the scars on her soul.

There is also quite a bit of romance in the book. Scarlet is the only woman in an all man band of thieves. There is a lot of tension between her and Little John (who she thinks of as an older brother) and Robin (who she wishes was something more). It was very well done and the characters have excellent chemistry together.

I did have a bit of a problem with all the tension between the characters being believable given the timeline though. Supposedly Scarlet has been part of Robin Hood's band for a couple of years; you would think in that time the characters would have worked through most of the issues together and been a cohesive team. Still I enjoyed reading about it all, so if you can get past the timing of it all it’s well done.

The book is very well written and engaging and I breezed right through it. There is a nice afterward explaining Robin Hood and what is confirmed and unconfirmed as far as history goes. There is also a list of references for those who would like to read more about the Robin Hood history and background.

Overall, despite a couple small inconsistencies, I really loved this book. I love Robin Hood retellings and this was a good one. Robin Hood and Scarlet are both moody and complex characters that were very engaging. The world is well done and I loved how Gaughen twisted the mythology of Robin Hood around some. Recommended to those who love historical fantasy and the tale of Robin Hood.

If you love Robin Hood retellings I would also recommend The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley and Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson. ( )
  krau0098 | Nov 3, 2013 |
Yep. After reading some reviews, my suspicion was confirmed. The thing that bothered me right away: the way Scarlet talked. And I KNOW some authors know how to do the dialect-thing right, take Blood Red Road for instance, I LOVED that book! And like another reviewer said, why didn't all the characters talk like that if Scarlet did? They all did in Blood Red Road. There was a proper way to use the dialect, and this was not it. Secondly, I could tell there was a love-triangle coming on. PAGE FOUR is where it began. PAGE FOUR PEOPLE! Some of the two main characters were already swooning over Scarlet! It was just too soon! I don't know about you but I kinda like to get more of the actual plot before the boy/boys come in. I'm trying not to judge books by reviews and read them and judge them for myself, but sometimes you just gotta trust the reviews. Scarlet will be going in with all the other books that "disappointed me this week pile" ( )
  alexis909 | Oct 10, 2013 |
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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.
Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:58 -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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