Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
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.
A big thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!
Two words. Robin Hood. Yes that's right, you guys you heard me correctly - the ROBIN HOOD!! Now I've always been a hardcore fan of the Robin Hood tale and I would read pretty much anything that mentions him and his band of merry-men in a book In fact, after I finished reading this book, I then had the instant urge to go rewatch all of those Robin Hood movies that I've watched from my childhood and nerd out all out again (of course I did that by the way because I am, you know, a nerd like that). For A.C. Gaughen's debut novel, SCARLET, she takes everything we know about Robin Hood to a whole new level by recreating the traditional myth of Hood's right hand man and basically making a 'he' into a she. But here's the thing about our main heroine: Scarlet isn't exactly your typical damsel in distress waiting for her knight in their shining armor to come save her from her trouble - no, she is actually a sneaky thief with a heart of gold and is a worthy member of Robin's main crew and if anyone get's in her way . . . trust me . . . you better watch out for her knife because she's good with them. Too good.
I'll get straight to the point here and say I absolutely, wholeheartedly adored this book, more than I ever expected to from what I began it. I mean I literally wanted to start re-reading SCARLET all over again when I finished the last few pages because I loved the storyline so much and I didn't want to leave this world of Gaughen's, one that she has managed to create so splendidly beause I'm dying for a sequel even with no sequel currently in the works. But personally for me, what made this storyline shine a lot more was not having Robin Hood taking the reins of the adventures of his merry crew, but rather having a woman do it in his stead and this whole 'girl empowerment' thing that took over the story just put a big and bright smile on my face. Trust me folks - it was soooooooooo good!
When it comes to our main heroine, Scarlet, she was someone I could straightaway relate to. For one example, she was just as good as any other man in the book and whom happens to be tough as nails, fiesty in all shapes and forms, is in every way determined in helping those of the most unfortunate, and she even has a very distinctive voice of her own era which only made her that much more real and appealing to me, so props to the author for making me love and wanting to be Scarlet herself. She's honestly one of my favourite heroines from this year of 2012 - not because she's totally kickass (okay that's part of it), but it has more to do with her being a little rough around the edges and how her fierce loyalty to everyone continued to inspire me . . . so yes, I'm forever Team Scarlet!
As much as the supporting characters made me giggle like a schoolgirl (and heck even the villain made me giggle because he was so good) but what surprised me with this book was the relationship between our Scarlet and her Rob aka the Robin Hood. While both of them can try their hardest in denying each other's feelings for one another, but their emotional and physical attraction for each other is just always there as they interact and I guess that's why I have always loved them - together or not together - because they were so frustrating, lovable and were total perfection all wrapped up into one. I mean, the chemistry with these two . . . it was sexy as hell . . . that is for sure! So as you begin to read this book, it's so obvious that these two characters care about each other in friendship (and more than that of course) and while I wanted these two crazy kids to get together ASAP but I had quite enjoyed reading about their slow relationship by savoring the sweetest of all moments that they had shared together, even their arguments too, since the slow burning romance is what made me believe in them more and what made me believe in the legend of the Hood and of Scarlet's own unique adventures. God . . . why were Rob and Scar so perfect together? WHY?!?! I want my own Robin Hood!
Overall, SCARLET had literally blew me away! What with an opened ending in this book, I seriously hope the author, A.C. Gaughen, takes her story into serious consideration because really . . . with no plans of a sequel right now, I really, really, really am cheering - no, praying - for the author to write a darn sequel because you can't - just CAN'T - leave a book that is so awesome and so epic such as this one with an ending like THAT. No seriously . . . you CAN'T do that to me!