Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
What I Liked: 1) The idea of a girl being a part of Robin Hood's band of Merry Men. I thought the girl of the story was always just Maid Marian. But Miz Gaughen has added the character of Will Scarlet, who of course is a girl they call Scarlet. She's small and agile, but she never really commits to the band. She always says how she can leave whenever she wants, yet she never seems to want to go. Throughout most of the book, Scarlet is mostly a mystery. She very rarely lets any details about herself slip. This bothered me for a while, but then once I read the ending and figured a few things out, it all made sense in the end. 2) Robin! Who doesn't love Robin Hood? I know I do. But because Scarlet was the more secretive of the characters, it almost made Robin look like an open book. And he was such a sweet guy. He has a very protective response to Scarlet, despite her constant insistence that she didn't need his help or protection. I would have had a hard time rebuffing his advances!! 3) The twist. I was thoroughly surprised by the twist of events at the end. Once we find out some more details about Scarlet, things become (surprisingly!) clear. I LOVE it when books do this to me, basically flip me on my head when I'm reading. 4) Plot. The plot was my favorite part of this story. It moved with a consistent flow, allowing the reader to stay deep in the (forest around Nottinham!) story. There are also many elements that I love, action, a budding romance, and some mystery! Something for everyone!
What I Didn't Like: This is a personal problem, but I had a hard time connecting with Scarlet and the way she spoke. My brain is hardwired to need to correct what it perceives as grammatical errors (seriously, I even use full words, capitalization and grammar in text messaging). So for me, this was a big distraction. It actually ends up being a pretty significant part of Scarlet's personality though, so I can't fault Miz Gaughen for her choice. But be warned that if things like that trip you up while reading, that will probably bother you.
Overall Thoughts: For those of you who love retellings of classics, I'd definitely take some time to check out A.C. Gaughen's Scarlet. She's taken an old favorite and created an entirely new and rich story while still maintaining the essence of the story (ya know, rob from the rich to feed the poor). Robin is a dreamy, strong character and Scarlet is one MC whose back story will keep you wondering until you reach the end. I had a little trouble with stumbling over Scarlet's interesting vernacular, but all in all it is a great plot with interesting characters. If you like retellings, make sure you add this debut to your TBR list!
My Rating: 3.5 shots
This book was read as a part of the Debut Author Challenge 2012!