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Sacred by Elana K. Arnold

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

by Elana K. Arnold


By: Elana K. Arnold

Release Date: November 13, 2012

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett’s pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: “Stop.”

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can’t or won’t explain, he’s drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can’t deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett’s body slowly awakens at Will’s touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he’s been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.


Review: I admit I didn’t like this book very much at first, but it ended up really growing on me.

I had my doubts because I really didn’t like Scarlett in the beginning. She was just way too depressing for me. Yes, I understood that her brother just died, and I know what grief feels like, but I just wanted to shake her and scream at her to wake up. And I didn’t know why she was such a witch to Will. I could see why his untimely presence can be a bit unnerving, but she had no reason to be so angry at him, particularly because she wasn’t written as the character who dealt with grief by being mad at the world.

But once she got over whatever the “problem” it was that she had with Will, I found myself really, really liking the book.

You won’t believe how many books I have read with a similar premise – the cliched car wreck leaving a kid without a parent(s), a girl dealing with a death, her family basically checking out until something catastrophic happens to wake them up. And let me tell you, it usually annoys the hell out of me because those are too conveniently easy scenarios that writers stick in because they can’t think of a more creative way for that setting.

However, it worked in this book, in my opinion. I don’t know very much about Jewish culture, but Arnold has found a way to apply some context to the cliche scenes. I could tell she put some thought into it and crafted her story around that premise. I found that I had become so emotionally attached to the characters in this story, that it really moved me.

The same goes with the overdone scenario about boyfriend who’s a jerk and there is a mysterious guy who shows up in town to save the girl. Yes, it was cliche, but I actually liked the story. But the thing was, it didn’t just end with her being saved. He had some issues too.

My only complaint about that was that I thought his problems were too glossed over at the end. Yes, the focus was on Scarlett, but to me, that was part of her healing process was helping Will in return, and I would have liked to see a little more than just the easy, quick, glimpse of the solution that Arnold wrote.

So yeah, I hope readers who felt the same way I do about the beginning would give the rest of it a chance because it did end up being a pretty good story.

Go to Katy’s review on Goodreads.

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