Davonna Juroe’s Scarlette is a young adult gothic romance novel that follows a naive protagonist in a dark and distressing world. Through a strikingly described setting, an eerie plot, and characters befitting the novel’s genre, Juroe creates a nail-biting adaptation of Charles Perrault's Little Red Riding Hood.
Scarlette, the protagonist, suffers at the hands of her abusive mother, yet she is still a character who does not shy away from the idea of love. She is immature at times, but gothic romance fiction features naive girls ready to faint at the sight of spooky shadows and mysterious noises.
There are various male characters vying for Scarlette's attention, which plays well with the double meaning of her name. Scarlette suggests fiery passion, lust, and power. Scarlette embodies all of these associations with her name by striving to find the truth, following her flawed heart, and disregarding her effect on others around her.
Scarlette is set apart from other werewolf novels, mainly thanks to the historical facts that Juroe includes in her novel. What makes Scarlette even more fascinating is that it is set in an era when witchcraft is abhorred, and the supernatural is thought to be more than just a myth.
The writing is beautiful. Description splashes the pages with color, and the slow budding romance between different characters adds a sigh-worthy zest to the story.
Scarlette's pace does slow down at times, but Juroe manages to capture her reader’s fading interest with the sublime. The paranoia of small villages, the grandeur of balls and ball gowns, and the dangers of love, all inhabit Juroe’s novel.
Juroe’s skill is evident in her writing, since the reader may often feel like s/he is reading a classic gothic romance novel, rather than something created for the modern teenaged audience.
Scarlette is a dark novel and is recommended for historical romance lovers, as well as readers interested in stories about werewolves. Also, fans of gothic romance fiction will most likely devour Juroe’s novel.
Scarlette will infect the reader with its dark plot and deadly mystery, making him/her eager and ready to follow Scarlette on her quest to discover the truth.