November 13, 2013

Splendor Blog Tour: Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Splendor official blog tour! Today I have a guest post by the author along with my review of the book and don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post to enter the tour wide giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the tour banner!

Splendor (Sacred #2)
Author: Elana K. Arnold
Genre: YA
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press


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
Top 10 Favorite Things with Elana

Favorite author (dead or alive): Phillip Pullman

Favorite Chocolates: Bordeaux, from Sees Candies, and Trader Joe’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Favorite books that inspired you to write: Twilight inspired me to write SACRED.

Favorite songs to listen to while writing: I don’t listen to music when I write… but often my kids are watching SpongeBob in the adjacent room, so I hear a lot of its theme song! Does that count?

Favorite destination to live: Somewhere tropical, but without too many bugs

Musicians/bands/groups: James Taylor, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles

Favorite movies of all time: The Princess Bride, The Bourne Identity, Anne of Green Gables (the PBS miniseries)

Favorite TV program/series: Mad Men. I’m obsessed.

Favorite movie moments: When Jason Bourne takes that girl by her face and kisses her for the first time; when Anne Shirley swears to be Diana’s bosom friend; every second of The Princess Bride

Favorite Super Villain: Hmm… I don’t think I have one… Squidward, maybe?

Favorite gadgets: The washing machine and the dishwasher. And my laptop.

Favorite dream destinations: The Italian Riviera, the French Riviera, the Caribbean, Hogwarts

Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing some of your favorite things with us Elana!

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!
ELANA K. ARNOLD completed her M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction at the University of California, Davis. She grew up in Southern California, where she was lucky enough to have her own horse–a gorgeous mare named Rainbow–and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. She is represented by Rubin Pfeffer of the East/West Literary Agency. Sacred is her debut novel.

 You can purchase Splendor at the following Retailers:
(3) Winners will receive a Copy of Splendor by Elana K. Arnold.

 (3) Winners will receive a Scarlett ART Bookmark by James Vallesteros.

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  1. Thanks so much for your review, and for having me on your blog! :)

    1. You're very welcome Elana!! Thanks for stopping by! :)