Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Title – Author: Scarlet – A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Series/Standalone: Series – Scarlet #1
Format – Source: eBook – Bought

Most know Will Scarlet as one of Robin Hood’s band of thieves, quick with knives and unfailingly generous. But few know that Will Scarlet is really just Scar, a girl with a past she’s trying to hide at all costs. When the terrifying thief taker, Lord Gisbourne, comes to Nottingham, Scarlet knows her time is up. But her loyalty to Robin and his people make her realize that her fight is just beginning.

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Dear A.C. Gaughen,

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I bought Scarlet on a whim awhile ago when it went on sale on Kindle. Sure, I thought to myself, why not? I used to love the Disney movie (it’s totally normal to be attracted to a cartoon fox, right?), so I should enjoy a YA retelling. Then I clicked download and promptly ignored the book. There were other, shinier books to read and I do love shiny things. But then I saw a trusted blogger friend mention it on Twitter and I thought, hey, I have that book! So I decided to give it a try. And here’s why I’m sorry, wonderful author. I wasted all of that time not reading Scarlet when I could’ve been singing its praises from the rooftops in my naturally off-key voice.

I should start off by letting you know, A.C. (I feel like I can call you that now that your book is so close to my heart and just looking at the title is making me want to cry from feels and my heart kind of aches in a good way), that it’s been a long time since a book has gripped me so hard. Like I’m talking bald eagle, symbol of freedom and strength and hope, talons in my heart. I can’t stop thinking about it. I finished it about two weeks ago and it’s still crashing around my mind. I can’t get over how much I love it.

How did you come up with such a wonderful character as Scarlet? Rough around the edges, secrets to hide. Dangerous, but with an actual heart of gold. Loyal and loving and fierce. Scarlet is good in her core, but she still makes mistakes. And that’s one of the reasons I love her so damn much.

Then there’s Rob. Beautiful, headstrong, protective Rob who has done terrible things. Who matches Scarlet so perfectly that it makes me want to toss around words like fate and destiny. If they don’t end up together, so help me, I will…I will…shake my fist angrily at the sky! I ship them so hard. SO HARD. I feel like I’ve been sailing this ship so long I have scurvy and have also become a pirate by osmosis. Do you see what you’ve done, Ms. Gaughen?? I sound delirious from all this book love.

I know there are other characters (and I loved them all) and I think there was a plot in there somewhere (there was, and it was awesome and action-packed and I cried), but I can’t focus on anything but Scarlet and Rob. So really what all this rambling has been about has been to thank you, dear author. For writing a story that consumed me. For writing characters I could love fiercely and completely. For giving me a story that was exciting and sweet and cruel and sad.

I love Scarlet. 

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Scarlet is the best.

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10 – life-changing and perfect – Severus Snape



19 thoughts on “Book Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

  1. This was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2013. The only thing I regret is that I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it! Once Lady Thief comes out I plan on buying both, though. The cover is fan-freaking-tastic!

  2. At least now you’ve read it and can be properly excited over the sequel’s release, right? Another benefit of reading this so late is that you don’t have a long wait before the sequel releases.
    I have a feeling the first paragraph of your letter/review will be more or less completely applicable to me when I actually take the time to read this one. I bought the ebook over a year ago, I believe. I wasn’t a big fan of the Disney version of Robin Hood, but I’ve read tons of great retellings of this story over the years. And I know I’ll like this one, if I can just give it a chance.

    1. I’m so happy I don’t have to wait long for the sequel! I’m dying to read it. I love retellings and I’ve read some great ones too, Scarlet included. I know a lot of people have tired of them, but I’m still a big fan.

  3. Oh this makes me SO happy! I just bought this one in another Kindle sale but haven’t felt like I just HAD to read it. You’ve definitely convinced me otherwise. This sounds fantastic – and I’m really excited it’s a series because I’m all about those 🙂

  4. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who crushes on a certain outlawed fox though, admittedly, I was a big fan of Will Scarlett in the Mel Brooks version of Robin Hood. I SQEE so hard for him. But I digress. Your excitement and enthusiasm got me so worked up for this book that i immediately went and purchased a copy. Yeah. Reading it, ASAP!

  5. I read this one back when it first came out, but I’m pleased to see that more people are reading it now! It makes my heart happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much, particularly the aspect I loved too – which is, of course, Scarlet and Rob.

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