A Review by Keep it Hood
OMG so where do I begin with Lani Wendt Young’s new book Scarlet Lies! Can you believe I read this whole book in one night as I was hooked and couldn’t let it go as I just always needed to know “what’s gonna happen next?!”
Now everyone knows I’m not a romance-ey , lovey dovey type of girl ewwww LOL, but when it’s a story that, as I kept reading I felt like I was the main female character in this book and every emotion and rollercoaster ride Scarlet went through felt like it was all me – that was enough for me to get hooked as I was curious to find out Scarlet’s outcome.
Scarlet being the plus-sized girl who doesn’t believe in love and knows guys don’t go for the “bigger girls” because we know they are all a.holes like that LOL. Her fantasies of love and men are exactly that: just fantasies, and this is a trait I relate to with Scarlet the most in this book. As much as we try to convince ourselves we don’t have a heart, we know “real love” is just a fantasy and guys go only for the size 2 looking models, that, “I’ll never have a chance of love” mind frame. We know that if we get our hopes up in something, and it fails on us in the end we always get disappointed and ask ourselves, “Why did I pour my heart out like that in the 1st place?” is the reason I got hooked on this book, and it was like Scarlet is me and what I go through when it comes to the whole “love” topic because she’s a massive skeptic like I am but inside we have the most sensitive heart, but prefer not to show it LOL. These quotes from the book just sum it all up for me:
“Hey, I thought you romance writers were all about giving people their fantasy happily ever after?”
“Fantasy being the operative word,” I correct him. “I write romance because I know that kind of stuff doesn’t actually exist in real life.”
“Scarlet, are you a cynic?”
“No, I’m a realist. I think you’ll find any romance writers are. We dream up these absurdly cute storylines where two people can make it through the most ridiculous situations and we throw in beautiful romantic gestures and lines that make you sigh. But not because we believe that stuff happens in real life. No. Because we know it doesn’t. It would be nice if it did, sure. If that shy wall flower got the wickedly dashing pirate and tamed him, or if the billionaire fell in love with the plus – sized chick that eats too many donuts.” I laugh at the ridiculousness of it. “Not happening. We write these stories because they’re an escape from the real world. And my personal theory? The better you know how shitty that real world can be – the more captivating the escape you can write.”
“Wow”. Jackson’s giving me a thoughtful look. “I never thought of it that way. So you reckon romantic gestures and lines don’t happen in real life?”
“Oh no they do. But only to certain kinds of people. And most of the time, it doesn’t last anyway.”
The chapter where Scarlet meets “Wolfman” or should I say Jackson “the oh so dreamy I wish all guys were like him in real life” Emery LOL on the plane & even though his 1st stop was Hawaii, my gut just knew that she was somehow gonna cross paths with him again, and what do you know – he ends up being at the same wedding as Scarlet’s younger sister!
Scarlet Lies is a story about a middle child a.k.a. black sheep of the family daughter – who after years of not going back to Samoa to avoid her past demons, has no choice but to return for her younger sister’s wedding. Her younger sister Naomi the past Miss Samoa winner, the size 2, “look at me-my life is better than yours” sister is getting married and the last thing she wants to do is just be at this wedding altogether. Something happened on the night of her 21st in Samoa and facing her demons is something she isn’t prepared for…..
I love how this story is based in Samoa and how Lani describes the do’s and don’t’s of travelling to Samoa because the image in my head is all flashbacks of my own trip to Samoa for the very 1st time. The images of the beaches, how the moon and the night stars shine bright as you hear the waves or as you’re walking home on the streets/seawall, the description of the hot, sweaty nightclubs LOL, family gatherings in the faleo’os laughing, mocking, faikakalaringz, village kids running around as us city folk are dying of heat and sweat and praise God when we find air conditioning anywhere! LOL.
I have to admit something here though LOL, the last chapter as everyone is out for Naomi’s hen’s night at the clubs and her late night “rendezvous” with Jackson ummm why is this exactly what happened on my nights out in town in Samoa?! LMAO ok not specifics LOL – but omg the flashbacks of the people *coughz* I met and how every scenario/image in my head was not Scarlet but ME and my own night adventures in Apia bwahaha – oh the memories and how much fun it was to relive and read this part of the book!
When it came to the end of the book I couldn’t believe it! I screamed and said “Noooooo! This can’t be happening! I need to know what’s gonna happen next!” (so dramatic I know LOL) and again I couldn’t believe I had read the entire book in 1 night! There will be 2 more volumes of Scarlet stories and I eagerly waiting for them to be released! I loved loved loved this book and the bonus that I feel like this novel hits home for me in EVERRRYYTHING it is about, I just can’t wait to explore and read more about what’s next for Scarlet.
To Sum it all Up
The Positives: What Worked
- Love how the storyline progresses, that it’s in Samoa. The visual flashbacks I was having myself of my own trip and specific places Lani mentioned in the book reminded me of being in those exact places when I was in Samoa. The beaches, the heat, the nightclubs/nightlife & Samoan scenery was beautiful to visualise and reminisce in the book
- Real life family drama we allllll relate to. I found myself shaking my head in agreement 10 million times as I was reading the book haha, and seeing my own family dramas and nonsense and how relatable this book can be to any and every young mid 20s woman who picks it up.
- The length of this book was perfect. I liked how it was long enough to build suspense in every chapter, but that it didn’t draaaaaag… and once you get to the end of it, you can’t believe you have to wait for the next series! LOL. But the storyline got straight to the point, and wasn’t a “35 chapter” type of novel that I needed to be 15 chapters in to get hooked – I was hooked right away.
The Negatives: What didn’t Work as Much
- Yeah the only negative I can find in this novel, well for me personally lol, is that nearly every detail is compared to fancy desserts LOL. I found myself skimming those parts real quickly because I wanted to get to the “dreamy, sexy, sensual I know I will never have these in my life with a guy like Jackson Emery” moments right away hahaha. Yeah so for me was too much of that description in the book for my liking.
How I would describe this book in one sentence:
Fairytale beginnings every woman dreams of, with a touch of Island Romance & Family matters that make us crave for more.