About the Book- Scarlett Undercover
A voice-driven mystery perfect for fans of Veronica Mars.
Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks — and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.
Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.
Our Review- Scarlett Undercover
Ok if you ask me why I picked up this book, then the honest answer is because of the cover. There was something about the cover that totally pulled me to it. Then I read the line “perfect for Veronica Mars fan” in its synopsis and I decided, Yes I am totally reading this. So now that I have read it …where do I stand? Probably at the junction where I am thinking that I could have survived even without reading it. Don’t get me wrong, the book isn’t that bad but isn’t that good too.
One of the things I struggled with is to whether treat this book as a middle grade book or a young adult book. Why would that matter? Well it matters a lot. Because that’s how I know what to expect from it and also probably overlook its pitfalls, because It Is forced to act a certain way to keep up with the genre. Unfortunately the book is dwindling not knowing whether to make the story plot a bit more mature or keep it at low suitable for young readers. This whole confusion led to confusion in plot development too.
The thing with the book is that it is pure surfacial. Meaning every incidents just happens and passes through without going into depth and more substance. Things are conveniently happening like you are stuck in an alley with killer on foot and magically weapons appear for your safety kind of convenience. This is ok if it is a middle grade book because you can’t complicate much so as the intended audience can enjoy it but then again you are making the character act and behave like she is past her 30s and a professional detective. Which is weird because our character is barely legal to step in some of the places that is mentioned in the book without adult supervision. So now do you agree with my dilemma without knowing how to see and treat the central character
Sometimes the characters and events in the book acts like lts on dope. Like you are saying complicated stuff with a casual tone of grabbing an ice cream from the corner store. There is no head or tail before you introduce surprise element. Its like I am having breakfast and my mom just starts giving random instructions like , clean up room, take out trash, feed the cat, make sure to wash my plates, oh and drops a bomb that I am a heir to some far away kingdom ( what !!! Can a Girl dream ? Oh and also not an actual instance from the book…. But you get the picture). Things that matter would just magically pop up and float away before you even realise what happened. So yes that’s the major issue I had with the book.
Although I have to say that one thing the book achieved was to bring out the cultural aspect of a teenage American muslim girl growing up in US and how there is a struggle between a regular teenage girl and at the same time have the responsibilities of sharing an practicing age old customs and traditions especially in today’s world. That was pretty nicely portrayed and makes up the actual good part of the book
Scarlett Undercover could have been a really good Veronica Mars alternative if it had been true to which age group it was placing its central character in and making the character behave and perform like that age. You can’’t make a 15 year old (wait ! How young was the character again? ) acting like an adult detective and walking into precincts, bars and abandoned building as it is a pretty normal thing. It just makes it all the more confusing. Secondly none of the plot developments sticks, its as I mentioned, slips fast through the surface even before you can make any actual sense of what is happening