"The Sacred Scarred: A Modern-Day Christian Twist on Beauty and the Beast" by Joanna Alonzo is a great fairy tale retelling with a beautiful Gospel message! I love the parallels in the story between this book and the original Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, not just the Disney version. Ms. Alonzo also puts her own unique spin on the tale with a very strong faith element. The first half of the story is more like a modern young adult novel, whereas in the second half, the writing seems to change and the story takes on more of a fantasy aspect (which I personally enjoy more). Aside from the fact that the first and the second halves of the book feel slightly disjointed in their style, I think this first novel of Ms. Alonzo’s is very well written. The end is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
The characters are one of my favorite parts of the story, especially the change that takes place in our main characters. The heroine, Calysta, is not beautiful or perfect in the beginning of the story, but is very broken, as is Brendan, our beast character. The characters strive to make Christ first in their lives as the story progresses, even before pursuing a romantic relationship. This story also has some very well done side characters. The characters’ relationships with God inspired me in my walk with Christ to be more passionate for Him.This book has an amazing message of God making the broken beautiful and bringing beauty from the ashes!
Content and Rating: I give this book four stars. It is definitely more on the edgy side, as far as being a clean read. There is a lot of this edgy content in the beginning to show how messed up our main characters’ lives are before they transform and find Christ (e.g. making out, talk about cutting oneself--with detailed description).
I want to thank Joanna Alonzo and Almond Tree Publications for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
The link to purchase the book is here
Click here for Joanna Alonzo's website
Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.