I have often been accused of having an eating disorder. At 5’9” 115lbs, I guess it comes with the territory. In Sacred by Elana K. Arnold, Scarlett suffers a tremendous loss after her brother dies. With his death, not only does she lose her brother, but now her mother disappears into her bedroom for days at a time, and her jock boyfriend and clique don’t know how to treat her anymore. She is sad, abandoned, and extremely tired. When her brother died, so did her appetite. She begins the slow tailspin into anorexia until a mysterious new guy, Will, enters the picture. He seems to have a sixth sense for when disaster is about to strike.
So why does he keep showing up around Scarlett?
I could really relate to Scarlett in that, faced with a hard situation, her desire for food completely vanished. I have the unfortunate affliction that, when faced with a heartbreak or a hard time, I turn away from food. It’s not because of a desire to lose weight, but more of a lack of care about myself during that moment. I turn away from sustenance because it seems like small bananas compared to what’s really bothering me. *shrugs* I know.
Arnold really did a great job with the prose and the flow of this book, and I like the way that Scarlett and Will’s relationship developed. Everything wasn’t “love at first sight-Prince Charming” perfect. I like realism interjected in my love stories. (Does that make me cynical?) It was also nice to learn more about Jewish culture/mythology, which is rarely mentioned in YA Fiction. This book definitely kept me interested, but it wasn’t a thriller or a page turner.
In a country filled with obesity, it was nice to hear about the other side of the story. Some people starve during times of distress–I know the idea of “comfort food” is completely foreign to me. It’s not always linked to vanity, sometimes when the heart shrivels up, the stomach follows suit. We all have different ways of dealing with things, I suppose. And we also have different ways of triumphing over obstacles.
4 yellow notebook pages of 5