Book BFF: Lela Santos

Book BFF was created by Larks Andrea, Paula, and Jen to showcase some of our favorite ladies & was originally inspired by Book Boyfriend. We'd love it if you'd join us featuring your favorite Book BFFs and leaving links so we can check out your posts. We will be alternating between Book Boyfriends and Book BFFs on Thursdays.

This week my Book BFF is Lela Santos
from Sarah Fine's SANCTUM

Lela's Appearance:

Not much was provided for Lela's appearance yet she was pretty vivid in my mind through her characterization.  She described herself as not waif-like and can do 'man push ups'.  She believes she is Puerto Rican and has unruly, curly hair.  But to one Guard Captain of the Suicide Realm, she is so beautiful.

Who Do I Picture as Lela?

Well...she IS on the cover of the book and the model suits Lela's character just fine.  I also tended to picture Naya Rivera as our favourite heroine.  Maybe a cross between the two?

Facts About Lela:

* Lela Santos has been in the foster care system since she was four years old.

* She had been abused (physically and sexually) at the hands some of her foster parents.

* Lela spent some time in juvie (the RITS) for almost killing one of her foster parents.

* She lucked out when Diane became her foster mother.  The first one to truly be in Lela's court.

* On her first day of her new high school, she met her future first best friend, Nadia Vetter.

* Lela stuck up for Nadia during a shady exchange with one of the school's drug dealers.

* Lela used to smoke.

* Nadia was the catalyst for Lela turning her life around.

* Lela not only got accepted into the university she applied to but received a scholarship.

* Nadia noted that Lela's room was a bit cluttered and that she had a weird obsession with photography (Nadia gave her camera for her last birthday).

* She is FIT...she works out to keep up her strength.

* Lela had learned how to fight and take care of herself thanks to her tough upbringing.

* She has a natural and efficient instinct for fighting.

* Malachi was the first boy she kissed.

* Lela's selflessness and determination was both admired and a source of exasperation for Malachi.

Quotes From/About Lela (all quotes from Goodreads):

I wanted the chance to give him something, to give him the best of me, as pathetic as it was, damaged and broken, warped at the edges, hardly worth having. I decided that if I had the chance, if he asked, if he needed, it was his.


“...Were you in the military?"
"Are you kidding me? I was in high school."
"High school," he said quietly. "You’re American. And a civilian?"
"Uh, yes. An American civilian."
"Lovely. A straight answer. Keep it up. Did somebody train you?"
"No, nobody trained me. Unless you count the Rhode Island child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Why?"
Malachi held up his hand and ticked off the reasons with his fingers. "You stole a Guard's weapon. If I'm not mistaken, it belonged to a Gate Guard. Which means you managed to do it on your way into the city. You escaped Amid even after he had you in hand. You slashed his leg in just the right place, preventing him from chasing you. Under extreme duress, injured and cornered, you threw a knife and hit a target-"
"It's not like I hit something vital."


A faint rattling pulled me from sleep, which was a relief because I’d been caught in yet another nightmare. After what Rick, my now-former foster father, had done to me, one would think he’d be the one haunting my dreams. And he had something to do with it—he’d revived me the night I tried to kill myself. In the moments before he had, I was certain I’d been standing at the gates of hell, about to be sucked in. Unfortunately, when Rick revived me, I’d brought a piece of hell back with me. That was what I dreamed about. Every night. A dark, walled city. Wandering, lost, trapped. A voice whispering to me, You’re perfect. Come back.


He absently stroked my hair, winding it around his fingers, smoothing it against my back. I relaxed into him, and he laid his cheek on top of my head. It felt good. Better than good. Normal. Safe. Clean and right and whole... and not at all what I expected when I decided to come to hell.

Why Is Lela My Book BFF:

If you have earned Lela Santos's trust, you have one of the most loyal friends for life.  There is nothing she wouldn't do for those she truly cares about.  She puts others' needs before her own without much concern for her own future happiness.  She wants those she loves happy first.  How could you not want a friend that would literally go to Hell for you?


  1. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! It was so perfect... it's one of those that you think the author WROTE FOR YOU.

    Or that's how I felt ^_^

    I'm reading Fractured... next? Or maybe after the next two I'm supposed to read. It's really long! :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I know what you mean, Alyssa! This was such as well-written and unique story! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and enjoy your next read! :)


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