Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

June 29, 2013 Lindsay's reviews 0

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)
by A.C. Gaughen
Published February 14th 2012 by Walker Childrens

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.

Synopsis from Goodreads

When someone mentions Robin Hood, this is what I think of. In fact, I will probably whistle the opening tune for the next 12 hours. Who hasn’t watched this at some point in their lives? I loved (and still love!) that a “bad guy” thief could be the good guy, and that a sheriff, usually a position of authority, could be evil. And of course, the romance. *sigh* A love that survives through interminable odds. Seriously, who doesn’t love this story?!

I’m sure a few of you probably have this particular memory of Robin Hood. Not his most shining moment, but at least Carey Elwes doesn’t look bad in a set of green hose.
Bad jokes, cheezy song and dance numbers, and acting that borderlines on the ridiculous. And yet, we all watched it. There is just something about Robin Hood that draws us in!

Then there is my personal favorite: Prince of Thieves. I was 11 when this movie came out, and Kevin Costner, with his sexy mullet, was probably my very first teenaged swoon. To this day I know all the lyrics to Brian Adams’ hit, running through the credits. Who the hell sits through the credits for a movie, let alone rewinds it to watch them again?

This book was none of these things. The romance was complicated, the line between good and evil was blurry, and most notably, Will Scarlet is a girl. Not just any girl, but a KICK ASS girl!! She is now my hero, plain and simple. I’m going to start practicing with my kitchen knives, with apologies to my family, and my floor which will undoubtedly be gouged to shit when I’m done. I’m hoping I can at least come through it with all fingers and toes still attached.

I almost didn’t read this book. I was about to put it down after only a couple chapters. The language bothered me to the point of gouging out my eyes. I definitely got used to it, but even at the end, it was still itching at my brain. Gaughen tried to give Scarlet “commoner” speech. Basically, this entails replacing the word “was” with “were”. As in, “I were at the market”. I’m sorry, but changing one word does not a commoner make. For the amount of research Gaughen did to make this book as historically accurate as possible, she should have gone all the way. For the sake of argument, though, I suppose that would have made the book less readable for teens.

I love the way this book plays on gender roles, and social inequality. For those of you more interested in shiny objects, this book has plenty of fight sequences and torture, escape and rescue, and maybe just a little bit of love.

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One woman stuck in a house full of boys, I immerse myself in books and save my sanity by reading, writing and blogging. I'll read just about anything, from any genre, and LOVE supporting Indie authors. <3
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