Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Teen, Ages 12+
ARC copy used for review.
Personal Ranking 3 out of 5
Scarlet has spent her whole life on Catalina, a small island with an even smaller population. After her brother dies unexpectedly, Scarlet's family falls so deep into their grief that it seems like they may never find their way out of it. Getting thinner and feeling more isolated, the only thing that brings her any joy is when she is riding her horse. But, one day, when a mysterious boy appears in her path her world begins to change. First by befriending Will, and then falling for him, Scarlet begins to allow herself to begin healing. But Will has a secret, and Scarlet feels that it will unravel them and herself along with it.
What is so beautiful about Sacred is that all of the main characters are so damaged, but each one manages to begin to find peace. Some by self discovery, others by shock, but all paths lead to acceptance. After the sudden death of her brother, Scarlet feels alone and then the further abandonment by her parents as they struggle with and lose themselves to their grief. Then Scarlet meets Will, a damaged boy with a tragic past and secrets of his own. It is only by letting Scarlet in that Will is able to open up to the new possibilities and finally embrace his unique gift.Scarlet has never felt a connection to anyone like the one she feels for Will. When she realizes that healing is a choice that she has to make in order to begin, she lets Will's love for her and his father's teachings guide her path.
Religion doesn't often play such a huge role in a story like this, but it is as much a part of Will's life as it becomes a path for Scarlet's healing. Will has a gift, and as he learns to accept it instead of view it as a curse, he realizes that he has a unique opportunity to help others. Splendor, the sequel is due out next summer, and I can't wait to see how Scarlet and Will grow and mature as they embrace life, and each other.