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3.2 4
by Elana K. Arnold

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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,


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

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This sequel to Sacred (Delacorte, 2012) captures only a fraction of the intensity and characterization found in the first book. Scarlett, now a senior in high school, is dealing with the separation of her parents, her boyfriend Will's departure to college on the other side of the country, and her friend Lily's need to push boundaries. In the midst of these changes, the teen forms a relationship with Sabine, a student of Kabbalah. Favoring the company of Sabine's family over her own disconnected household, she turns to her new friend for guidance about her recurring, prophetic dreams involving Will. Distracted by her studies and by her pregnant horse, Scarlett overlooks the seriousness of Lily's rebellion and destructive relationship with Gunner, the sexy newcomer to their Catalina Island high school. The intense, almost supernatural connection between Will and Scarlett is not fully explained in this book, so teens will need to have read Sacred to understand Will's gift for detecting danger before it happens. The book explores Kabbalah, a school of thought founded within the context of Judaism, in a way that is informative but often heavy-handed. The potential connection between Scarlett's dreams, Will's psychic abilities, and Kabbalah are barely touched upon, significantly diminishing the palpable tension felt in the first book. Fans who enjoyed Sacred will tolerate Splendor out of curiosity.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2013:
"A fluidly written character study that finds Scarlett coming to terms with her spirituality, her relationships and her future."

, October 2013:
"Arnold has painted a very realistic picture of teenage girls and their conflicting emotions....Fans of [Sacred] will appreciate continuing Scarlett’s story and finding some closure with this sequel."
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Scarlett lives on Catalina Island and is interested in many things. Scarlett's life has been topsy turvy since her brother's sudden death the year before. Her mother, unable to cope with the loss, moved back to the Los Angeles area. This left Scarlett with her father, who deals with the death in his own passive way. Scarlett's best friend Lily is dealing with her own growing pains and is wilder than she has ever been. When school starts and a mysterious Brit named Gunner moves to the island, Lily stakes her ground although she is afraid that Scarlett also has eyes for Gunner. That is impossible. Scarlett has been in love with Will for years; the relationship is just a little hard now that he is back east at an Ivy League school. Scarlett still visits Will's father who suggests that she meet up with Sabine, who also lives on the mainland. Sabine is into studying the Kabbalah and turns Scarlett on to ecstatic mysticism. By the way, Will has the ability to sense when things are going to happen, and he sees himself as a bit of a super hero. Also, Scarlett is a big Agatha Christie fan, loves spending time with her horse, and has been dreaming that she is Will. There is so much going on in this book that it is hard to figure out what is the true heart of the story. It felt like the writer had seven or eight books in mind and then decided to just melt them all together into this one story. This has all of the prerequisite young adult plot twists, but then there is also pig dissections and horse inseminations in graphic detail. The character of Scarlett was all over the place, making it hard to follow her interests or to pick one to care about. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
VOYA - Jennifer McIntosh
Scarlett Wenderoth has had enough heartache after barely surviving a bout with depression and anorexia trying to cope with the sudden death of her older brother from a brain aneurysm. Unfortunately, life has other plans for Scarlett. Her mother has finally recovered from her grief but has left her father and moved off their tiny island; her best friend, Lily, has decided to be even wilder and crazier than she can handle; and her boyfriend, Will, has left Catalina Island to attend Yale on the opposite side of the country. Scarlett's senior year of high school is not starting out well. She tries to focus on her pregnant horse and her new study of Kabbalah, but life has one more heartbreak in store for her. As in Arnold's earlier Sacred (Delacorte, 2012/Voya February 2013), teens will gravitate toward Scarlett and her problems. Arnold has painted a very realistic picture of teenage girls and their conflicting emotions. Scarlett is able to empathize with Lily's mom and she sees how her mom deserves more patience and respect from Lily, but she is unable to see this with her own mother. 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, but not quite as much. Reviewer: Jennifer McIntosh
Kirkus Reviews
Arnold's follow-up to Sacred (2012), though still somewhat hobbled by its predecessor's flaws, presents an artful and satisfying coming-of-age arc for protagonist Scarlett. In a gutsy move, the novel opens with an explicit description of the artificial insemination of Scarlett's beloved mare, Delilah. Delilah's pregnancy becomes Scarlett's touchstone for her senior year, the developing foal a metaphor for Scarlett's slow, continuing rebirth. As the Catalina summer swings into fall, Scarlett has come to some peace with the death of her brother, though her family remains broken. Her boyfriend, Will, is off to Yale, but her best friend, Lily, has returned from Europe for the school year. Scarlett has cause to worry about both of them: Will is determined to use his psychic power to predict violence to save lives, and Lily has become even wilder, dangerously so, than before. Caring for her mare keeps her grounded; she sees to her spiritual side by studying cabala with a Jewish mystic on the mainland. While Arnold is fettered by the narrative construct she established in the first book, she downplays its more melodramatic aspects by focusing closely on narrator Scarlett and her emotional journey. The result is a fluidly written character study that finds Scarlett coming to terms with her spirituality, her relationships and her future. This honest, contemplative sequel rises above its weaknesses, just like Scarlett herself. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

ELANA K. ARNOLD completed her M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction at the University of California, Davis. Splendor is the sequel to Sacred.

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Splendor 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't know if i'm gonna regret reading this book or not.i dont want to be dissapointed by reading this book, because i did not want the protagonist ending up with the knew bad guy and i dont care how gorgeous he is or how badass he can be. I just dont get the reason why authors have to find it necessary bringing up new guy for the protagonist to fall for. Can anyone pls hint me on who she ends up with. And i freaking hate love triangles. I had better not bother in finishing the first book if she is gonna end up with the guy. I'd like for her to end up with the guy from the first book though
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
This book both broke my  heart and gave me a sense of peace and calm.  Splendor by Elana K. Arnold broke my heart because the author throws this twist near the end that I honestly didn’t even see coming.  I believe my jaw dropped and I whispered a panicked “what?” Will is off to college, and Scarlett is still on Catalina Island finishing her senior year.  But a new school year also brings new students…and in this case it’s a British bad boy, Gunner, who favors his clover cigarettes, and is the desire of every girl at school, including Lily and, surprisingly enough, Scarlett. This is the year where ties are tested.  Lily and Scarlett’s friendship due to Gunner, Will and Scarlett due to …Gunner, and Scarlett and her father due to…here’s a hint…it’s not Gunner. So how does Scarlett deal with all her drama?  Spending time with her newly pregnant horse, Delilah, and spending time with some newly made friends and studying Kabbalah.  But it’s with these studies that Scarlett learns something completely new about herself…and whether she accepts this new found gift or ignores it, one thing is certain.  Scarlett is seeing things in a new light, but also seeing other parts in a darker shade of grey. Just like in book 1, Sacred, there is again an element of something semi-supernatural in Splendor by Elana K. Arnold.  We witness another event with Will where his need to protect those who cannot protect themselves, but this time, things become darker.  And Scarlett finds out something about herself that I honestly, didn’t quite understand.  That, in itself, was what I found intriguing.  Being able to learn about this ability in the same way that Scarlett learns about it. There was quite a lot of talk about religion during Scarlett’s lessons in Kabbalah, which I know should have been interesting to readers, but for myself, I found that it had me losing interest.  I wanted more of the interactions with the characters.  More conversation, more…something.  But instead, I found myself drowning in talks of spirituality and religion. But apart from that, it still had the same elements that Sacred had, and that was enough to keep my attention.  We see Scarlett struggle with her feelings for Will while trying to fight her attraction to Gunner.  We see just how important her best friend Lily is to her, and we witness just how much of an impact and how important Lily is to Scarlett. Fans of book 1 will come to enjoy the Splendor by Elana K. Arnold.  Those who are interested on learning more about Kabbalah, will really appreciate the information provided in this book.
LenPhelps7 More than 1 year ago
Splendor by Elana K Arnold is a fantastic YA book with a very interesting story that had my attention from the very beginning.  Scarlett Wenderoth is a beautiful young girl whose life has been turned upside down when her older brother, Ronny passed away. It was a very emotional rollercoaster ride for Scarlett and her family and things were never the same since. Scarlett still lives with her father on Catalina Island in a Bed & Breakfast that they own, while her mother lives on the main land. Will Scarlett be able to forgive her mother for leaving them? Is there a chance of Scarlett and her mother reconciling their mother and daughter relationship?  This is the beginning of Scarlett’s life journey. She will be a senior in high school when school starts and her boyfriend, Will Cohen, will be leaving to go to College on the East Coast. She will try to go on with her life the best way she can with everything that has happened. There will be a lot of changes in Scarlett’s life. She will have a new interest in Kabbalah that she doesn’t know a whole lot about but is willing to learn. She will meet new people that will help teach her and help her understand it. Will their love for each other be enough to keep their relationship together and survive the long distance from each other? What will Scarlett think about Kabbalah and will she stay with it to learn more?  As I was reading, I could feel all the emotions that Scarlett was feeling about what has happened in her life, her relationship with her mother and with her boyfriend Will.  Elana K Arnold has done a fantastic job. Splendor is the sequel to Sacred. It is the first book that I have read by Elana and I am looking forward to reading Sacred to find out how Scarlett’s story began. It is a must read and I definitely recommend my friends to check it out.  
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'Splendor' is a beautifully written young adult novel full of hope, faith and love. It continues to follow lead character Scarlett Wenderoth as she deals with life's obstacles and struggles. Her boyfriend, Will, has headed east for college; she started her senior year of high school; her parents have separated; and her best friend Lily is being wild as always. On top of all that, there's Gunner - the handsome and dangerous guy that might become Lily's boyfriend. Gunner has Scarlett questioning her love for Will and what exactly it means to be in love with someone. To clear her head and think things over, Scarlett turns again to her horse and also to Kabbalah - a form of mysticism - to help clear her mind and harness her emotions. But the more answers Scarlett attempts to find, only more questions seem to appear in their place. This was a enchanting young adult novel that revolves around several deep issues such as friendship, loss, grief, family, self discovery, faith, and love. The characters continued to be incredibly realistic and unique. Scarlett continued to be a great lead character with her flaws and obvious issues, but she showed more character growth in the novel and continued to search for answers to life's many questions and problems. There were new issues in the romance department with the introduction of Gunner's character, which I felt made things more interesting and yet more complicated at the same time. I enjoyed watching how Scarlett dealt with her feelings for both Will and Gunner and how things played out between them. I felt that the setting was again perfect for the novel - Catalina, a small island off the coast of California, provided the perfect sense of familiarity for the reader as well as the characters and it was also a beautiful backdrop to the story as a whole. The plot had a lot of difficult situations and questions that needed answered, but it was filled with hope, faith and love as we continue to watch Scarlett grow into the young woman she's meant to be. The novel's writing was beautifully done so much so that I was immediately drawn into the lyrical prose and the vivid details and descriptions. The pace was natural and flowed effortlessly throughout the book. I'm eagerly awaiting the next novel to see what Scarlett will have to face next and how she'll get through it. Highly recommended for fans of YA fantasy and contemporary fiction! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.