Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

ScarletTitle: Scarlet

Author: A.C. Gaughen

Genre: Historical

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Pages: 292

Rating: 4.5/5

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.

When I opened up this book, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It was short, which made me happy, but it was set in the past, which, though it’s a genre I tend to enjoy, it’s not something I actively search for in my reading. It was about Robin Hood, though, which seemed like it could be quite interesting, especially with a protagonist who’s a girl pretending to be a boy. Despite that though, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, as I’ve said. And, as I read, I was still unsure of what to expect. That obviously didn’t matter too much to my overall feelings for the book, though, as evidenced by my rating.

One thing that really threw me about this book was the way in which it was written. Because of its first-person point of view, it was written in the style of the protagonist, a girl named Scarlet who was posing as a thief. She acted as a lowly former peasant both in and out of her disguise, and that was reflected in the way she both talked and narrated the story. This meant that it was full of grammatical mistakes, something that kind of messed with my head in the beginning. Even as I settled into throughout the story, I was always silently correcting Scarlet’s grammar in my head. Despite that, though, it did a good job of establishing the character of Scarlet and who she was. As I was reading somewhere else prior to reading this book, the author didn’t narrate so it sounded like a regular, third-person point of view – she wrote it so that you knew it was Scarlet’s story, and she was the one telling it.

When I first finished this book, despite any grammatical misgivings and such, I decided I really, really enjoyed it. The further I got into it, the more invested I got into the story. Looking back on it now, over a month since I read it (I’m really bad at getting reviews written on time), I’m not sure if I would still give it a 4.5 stars, but it would definitely be at least a 4 star. The characters and the stories interested me. Sometimes I feel like the characters would be slightly wishy-washy in their actions, especially regarding the love triangle – one moment one of the guys would be a jerk, then he would be caring, then he would act like nothing happened. It didn’t really bother me, though, which helped me enjoy the story even more.

The ending left me a little confused as to whether or not there’s going to be a sequel. As of now, I don’t think there is, but I feel like the ending could leave that as a possibility, and one that I certainly wouldn’t mind.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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