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Sacred Hardcover – November 13, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Sacred Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Scarlett's life is divided into two eras after her brother's death. Before Ronny Died, Scarlett was a secure, happy sophomore with a popular boyfriend and parents who ran a bed-and-breakfast on the island of Catalina. After Ronny Died, she is estranged from her best friend and boyfriend, struggling with an eating disorder and depression, and largely ignored by her grieving parents. Her only remaining love, horseback riding, leads her to a chance encounter with Will Cohen, who becomes her new passion. The mystery surrounding Will is more than what would typically surround an attractive stranger in a small island community. Will is not only attracted to Scarlett, but he also coincidentally shows up whenever she is in danger. Just as their relationship develops and she begins to emerge from her depression, Will inexplicably breaks up with her. After Scarlett has a riding accident, his unique abilities become clearer and will likely be developed further in the planned sequel. This story has many elements of popular supernatural romances. However, what sets it apart is the source of Will's gifts, rooted in mystical Judaism, which makes it seem more plausible than its supernatural counterparts. The attraction between Will and Scarlett is filled with tension and angst, their exploration of literature, God, and the purpose of life is interesting, and the plot moves along at a compulsively readable pace. Readers will be looking for the next installment.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MDα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Scarlett Wenderoth’s life was abruptly turned upside down after her older brother’s unexpected death. Consumed with her anguish and largely ignored by her grieving parents, Scarlett copes by taking her beloved mare around the small island where she lives. While out on a ride, she meets a boy she has never seen before, Will Cohen. Recently moved to the island with his father, a university professor and rabbi, Will is an enigma. Seemingly older than his years, Will has an uncanny knack of appearing at the exact moment that Scarlett needs help, even when she needs to be saved from herself. A tender relationship begins to develop, but it is threatened by a revelation from Will that the very gift that brings them together may tear them apart. The novel tackles a myriad of topics ranging from exploration of faith to self-harm to sexual assault, and at times, the multitude of issues seems greater than one character should have to shoulder. Still, the ineffable bond that draws Scarlett and Will together will appeal to many teens, especially fans of the Twilight series. Grades 8-11. --Eve Gaus

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385742118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742115
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
4.5 Stars

'Sacred' is a beautiful young adult novel full of hope and romance. It follows Scarlett Wenderoth as she struggles to contain her grief after the death of her older brother. Scarlett's life has been roughly divided into Before Ronny Died and Since Ronny Died - and the parts that have been happening since his death have been really hard on her. Her parents are consumed with their own grief and trying to keep the family B&B running. Scarlett's only tether to life is her mare, Delilah, and her best friend Lily. Scarlett begins to lose weight at an alarming rate and her parents don't seem to even notice. She feels alone with her only outlet being Delilah. On one of their rides, she meets a mysterious guy named Will - who seems to ease Scarlett's grief and makes her feel safe. Scarlett and Will's relationship grows deeper and she finds herself feeling alive again - until Scarlett discovers that Will is hiding a secret that might bring everything they have to pieces.

This was a fantastic young adult novel that revolves around first love and romance, but also deals with some deep issues such as death, loss, grief, family, self discovery, and trust. The characters are unique and very realistic. I especially liked Scarlett - she was a great lead character with her flaws and obvious issues, but she also showed character growth and the ability to have courage and to move on with life after a devastating loss. Will's character was a perfect fit to go along with Scarlett. He's an interesting and mysterious guy a first, but definitely has layers of his own once we get to know him. The setting was perfect for the novel - the small island of Catalina off the coast of California provided the perfect sense of isolation yet community that the characters needed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book as a Christmas present for my granddaughter. When it arrived, my wife suggested I preview it before wrapping, just in case it wasn't suitable for a 13 year old. My intention was to quickly skim through the book, looking for the usual landmines (too much sex, too much violence, etc.). I hate to admit this, particularly considering my age, gender and normal reading preferences (Jo Nesbo, Patrick O'Brian, Ian Rankin, Charles Todd), but I was immediately hooked by the story, and instead of skimming, I read it from cover to cover. Maybe I'm a YA at heart.

I found Scarlett's story compelling (it's no accident that her nickname is Scar), and Ms. Arnold's writing thoroughly enjoyable. Since I'm a novice to the genre, I didn't know what to expect, but what I found was a story that is satisfying on multiple levels. Certainly the elements are there for a teenage girl: horses (don't all teenage girls want a horse?), romance (Andy vs. Will), trouble at home (parents who are almost completely dysfunctional--or more accurately, nonfunctional), a BFF who is rich, charming, loyal, and a great dresser, and, for good measure, there's a touch of the paranormal. Mix this together with the usual angst of life as a high school student (something we can all relate to), and you've got a story that will appeal to most teenagers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an adult fan of YA lit I so appreciate books that not only appeal to their target audience, but speak to the hearts and minds of us grownups, too. Sacred is a smart, satisfying read with a mystical thread running through its pages rather than spilling over with vampires and zombies. Sacred's heroine Scarlett is broken when we meet her on page one, yet manages to navigate the stormy waters of her life WITHOUT a rescue from Mister Right. To say more would risk spoiling Sacred's secrets for you, but no review of this book would be complete without a mention of how refreshing it is to read the story of a girl with a backbone. Kudos to Ms. Arnold for creating characters that will remain with you long after you finish this beautiful story.
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By Blahoooooo on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finished in two days, this is a great read. I'm waiting for the sequel and curious what might be coming in the storyline. I love the characters, and the feel of the book. Perhaps it's because the story is about people who live on an island, (Catalina Island, off the shores of California), there is a breezy feeling to the storytelling. It starts with very sad circumstances and the main character is deeply troubled. In spite of the heavy (adult) topics and emotions that unfold in this book, the story moves with grace and a sweetness that reminds me this is definitely a young teenager dealing with her life, not a jaded adult. That sweetness carries through the book making it very hopeful, though I'm not sure if my hopes will be shattered in the next book. If the next book is as good as the first, I think both adults and teens will enjoy this story.
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