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

by A.C. Gaughen

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3024537,355 (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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I really loved the premise behind the book. As there is little to no historical information available about the origins of the Robin Hood myth, there’s no reason Scarlet couldn’t actually have been a woman. Plus I’m always in favor of seeing fairy tales re-cast with strong female leads. It’s just such a nice break from the traditional helpless damsel! Unfortunately, I enjoyed the execution significantly less than the starting point. Scarlet’s London thief patois comes and goes as she tells the story, enough that I never really got into it. Instead, I was frequently pulled out of the narrative by odd words and phrases. Her personality never grew on me either, or developed at all for that matter. She starts out touchy and grumpy because of trust issues and she never improves in that regard. While I don’t mind characters with weaknesses, it’s important that they enjoy some personal growth throughout the novel and that doesn’t happen here.

Scarlet is also not the strong heroine I was looking for. Sure, she can fight with the best of them and is compassionate to those she helps. But all that independence goes right out the window when it comes to boys – the weakness of so many otherwise wonderful heroines. I don’t mind love triangles on principle, but I passionately hate heroines who lead two boys on and can’t make up their minds. In someone who’s otherwise so brave, this indecision at the expense of other’s feelings is neither believable nor relatable. If you disagree with me and enjoy such love triangles, you might enjoy this book significantly more than I did. It does keep the fun, adventurous feel of the original and something exciting is always happening. I just couldn’t get over my complete disappointment with our heroine.

This review first published at Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
The tale of Robin Hood has been told in a thousand different ways, but Scarlet takes on the perspective of another one of Robin's band: Will Scarlet. This is a familiar figure for those who have heard of Robin Hood's band of merry men, however, in this case Will Scarlet is not male but a female.

One of the most interesting developments in the story is how one comes to see the band as a unit as each accepts growing up and becoming an adult. Each has faced significant trauma and are still attempting to conceive of a better world and at are odds with the figures in their life how have placed them in this situation. Most interesting is that every one of Robin Hood's "men" are under 18 and so it reads very much like a coming of age story. Each struggles to find their place in society and are overwhelmed by the war and strife of every day life.

Also present within the work is a love story. For those who have read adult romance there is always a sense of knowing what is to come, but this work crafts a story in which the love is building and uncertain. Feelings are as uncertain and treacherous as the situation that the characters find themselves in and create a very real experience of first love. The love one sees building is tenuous and threatened primarily by the readers knowledge of Robin Hood's lady love of the original tale. ( )
  alicen3 | Jun 8, 2014 |
You know, I was so tempted to write a review consisting entirely of ZOMG's and using caps lock to emphasize how much I love this book. But I know that will either a) bore all of you to death or b) embarrass myself. Now that I can think clearly and trust myself to write a readable review, I shall continue.

Scarlet is a retelling of the much-loved story, Robin Hood. The author's take on this story is nothing short of brilliant and unique. Robin Hood's infamous companion, Will Scarlet, is actually a girl --and a badass one at that-- who is the main protagonist.

Actually, what I appreciated most about this story was how A.C. Gaughen took each character and molded them to give each a distinct personality of their own. There's flirty John Little, sweet Much, and heroic yet sometimes moody Robin Hood.

Scarlet
"I weren't the sort to have people to go with, people looking after, and I were fair sure I didn't want to change that none."

Scarlet is independent and strong, while at the same time, flawed in her own ways. Namely, in the romance department. Some may have problems with her character, as she can be a bit on the abrasive side at times, but given her past, I find it easy to overlook. I liked Scarlet most when John Little kept pushing himself on her, and she didn’t let him get to her.

Her mysteriousness at the beginning of the book had me hooked and interested to know more of her character.

Robin Hood
”He were handsome, God knows that. All soft wet-wheat hair, eyes that were gray blue like the English Channel, and a jaw that were strong enough to take a few punches.”

The Robin Hood in this book is still the heroic, kind-hearted one we all know and love. But little did we know that he also a love-stricken man who is hopelessly in love with his best friend. He tried not to let his love get in the way of his work, resulting in him pushing away Scarlet at several points in the novel.

That description of him up there? That made me swoon.

There were plenty of action scenes to keep one entertained throughout the novel. They kept me engaged and were definitely one of my favorite parts. The unexpected plot twist caught me off guard and was not one I anticipated.

Because I was so desperate for the next installment, I began obsessively searching for when the next book will be released. And then I began to search for historical fiction books to keep me busy until then.

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever read a retelling of Robin Hood. But I say this with full conviction; this is one of the best retellings I have read in a while. And that’s saying something.

I never thought I would be falling hard for Robin Hood and his story. I guess I was proven wrong, thanks to A.C. Gaughen’s debut novel. With just enough tension, action, and romance, this one is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
( )
  Summer_Missfictional | May 23, 2014 |
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 |
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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 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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