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Sacred is a YA contemporary/paranormal novel by Elana K. Arnold.

Living on Catalina Island, off the California coast, tends to be quiet. For Scarlett it’s been even quieter since the sudden death of her brother. Shutting out her boyfriend, her grief-stricken, medicated mother, concerned father and close friends, Scarlett feels lost in her pain.

No one seems to be noticing Scarlett’s decreasing health or alarmingly fast weight loss.

Except for Will Cohen.

First having met during one of Scarlett’s solitary horseback rides, Will has a magnetic pull that Scarlett can’t deny. And it’s not just that he’s gorgeous with startling green eyes, it’s that when he looks at her, she feels like he knows.

He knows the pain she’s in, somehow. What she’s doing to herself.

Will has secrets of his own, though, that may threaten to tear the tentative healing he triggers in Scarlett…

Sacred was… different.

It started slow. Kept being slow for a bit, and then the intensity of Scarlett’s agony, her increasing self-abuse, and the realistically melancholy tone began to grow on me. I began to care for Scarlett and appreciate the lyrical, contemporary writing.

When the lightly paranormal element tied to Will started to come in to pay, I was interested. The way it played into Scarlett’s healing was kinda cool.

But then it nosedived, in my opinion. Suddenly cheap, not-fully-explained wrenches are thrown into their relationship. I couldn’t understand why the novel would take such a weird, bizarre turn like that when it had so far established itself as a gritty, genuine, grounded story.

Then it also became, for me, extremely pushy and preachy. Scarlett’s introduction into a religious vision of Jewish mysticism took over the narrative and read more like a non-fiction book. It really threw me off, and didn’t come across well to me at all.

In the end, I sadly felt Sacred was very rocky, sort of boring, unstable and (as much as I hate to say this!) pointless. There’s going to be another book called Splendor, a sequel, coming out this summer. I really don’t know why, or what would be continued here.

Unfortunately, I won’t be reading it.

Remember, I am ONE bibliophile with ONE opinion. Please do read it for yourself and disagree with me fully, if you do! My opinion here is honest, but I do NOT want to dissuade you from reading it yourself.

So, go ahead and check out Sacred.


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