Book Nerd Vlog Post
In no particular order…
Hog Boy (BURNING). He loves knock-knock jokes… the dirtier, the better.
Martin Cohen (SACRED, SPLENDOR). He is a wonderful listener.
James (BURNING). His big brother Ben doesn’t think he can take care of himself, but he’s tougher than he looks.
Andy (SACRED, SPLENDOR). He will probably play college baseball, and maybe even the major leagues.
Pete (BURNING). He’s the best-looking guy at Gypsum High.
Will Cohen (SACRED, SPLENDOR). Come on. Too sexy for words.
Romeo (BURNING). He’s engaged to Lala White, and he can’t wait until the wedding night.
Adrian (SPLENDOR). Lily met him during her family vacation to Amsterdam. Trouble ensues.
Ben Stanley (BURNING). He didn’t get where he is by luck, or chance. But he feels guilty, anyway.
Gunner Montgomery-Valentine (SPLENDOR). Gunn comes to Catalina Island as an exchange student. Wait until you meet him.
Splendor, the stunning sequel to Sacred, is a story about changing friendships, family, romance, passion, the study of Kabbalah, and self-discovery.
Sometimes the answers we seek aren’t ours to find. . . .
Scarlett loves her boyfriend, the dashing, mysterious Will Cohen. But now he’s gone east for college, and Scarlett is stuck home on Catalina Island. Senior year should be a breeze, but between dealing with her parents’ separation and her wild best friend, Lily, things are off to a rocky start. And then there’s Gunner. Dangerous, dark, ferociously attractive Gunner. Lily’s potential boyfriend, Gunner . . .
Scarlett distracts herself by spending time with her horse and delving into ecstatic mysticism, a way to practice Kabbalah. Through this practice, she hopes to learn to control her emotions, and begin to make sense of her place in the world. But Scarlett’s world is increasingly unrecognizable.
Are Lily and Scarlett becoming too different to stay friends? Is Will still the love of Scarlett’s life, even though she has feelings for Gunner? Does being in love mean only being attracted to one person? The more Scarlett questions, the fewer answers there seem to be.
Praise for Splendor:
"As in Arnold’s earlier Sacred, teens will gravitate toward Scarlett and her problems. Arnold has painted a very realistic picture of teenage girls and their conflicting emotions. . . . Fans of the first novel will appreciate continuing Scarlett’s story and finding some closure with this sequel. Readers unfamiliar with Sacred will still be able to enjoy Splendor.”—VOYA
Praise for Sacred:
"Will appeal to many teens, especially fans of the Twilight series."--Booklist
"Filled with tension and angst. . . . Readers will be looking for the next installment."--School Library Journal
"A poignant novel of loss and grief, but also of hope."--VOYA
The mysterious Brit, Gunner, certainly didn’t make things better for Scarlett. His arrival to Catalina Island ruffled the feathers a bit and even made the distance between Scarlett and Lily that much farther. Although it was easy to dislike Gunner from the beginning, his presence certainly made a likable storyline. Apart from Scarlett’s struggles to move on after her brother’s death, readers will learn about her practice of Kabbalah. I thought this element in the story gave depth to the story and it was an educational bonus.
Elana’s writing is simply admirable. She puts her main character in the forefront and leads her readers deep into her thoughts. To be able to transport one’s mind into a character’s takes a skill-set that not many authors have. All the things happening in her life complicated Scarlett’s journey to self-understanding. I found Elana’s delivery of this fascinating story is fluid as she successfully mixes contemporary teen fiction with spirituality.