Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from "an author to watch" (Booklist).Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she's about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap--one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery--she decides to take a chance.Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High--perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna's journal tells a different story--one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane's jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.Reading Julianna's journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live--and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.
Despite being the contemporary lover than I am, I hadn't read any of Jessi Kirby's books until I decided to pick up Golden after it was recommended to me by a friend. And I loved it. Golden was everything I was told it would be an there wasn't a singly page of it I didn't love.
Parker Frost has always done what was expected of her. She goes to school, gets good grades and is about to be the Valedictorian of her graduating class. But when she finds Julianna Farnetti's senior journal, Parker decides to investigate what really happened 10 years ago, and in the process, start to really live her own life. With the help of Kat, her best friend, and her crush, Trevor, Parker starts to uncover who Julianna Farnetti really was. Turns out her small town may have had it all wrong and Parker isn't sure anymore how everyone sees her is who she really is.
Before reading Golden, I had been a bad contemporary lover in that I had never read any of Jessi Kirby's books. But, thankfully, I have now rectified that situation. Golden was everything I was told it would be. The story had a powerful message that, in a way, almost felt understated. It was a story about living life and doing so the way you want, not the way others think you should be. And with Golden this message was in not one, but two stories. That's what I loved about Golden, I got two stories for the price of one. Not only did I get to read Parker's story, I also got to read Julianna's story through her diary. And even though I saw the end of Julianna's story coming, it didn't stop me from appreciating it and the message it carried. And more than that, I loved seeing how Julianna's story impacted Parker's own story.
In many ways, I could relate to Parker. Just like her, I mostly did what everyone expected me to do without really questioning it. Because of that, I really enjoyed seeing Parker come into her own as the story went on and she found out more about Julianna's story. And I loved that it all led to her standing up for herself and taking a chance on Trevor. Because Trevor wasn't exactly who I expected him to be…he was better. Despite the fact that he came across as a player, I quickly realized that there was more to him than that and he really cared about Parker and what happened to her. And if you want my opinion, Parker and Trevor were a perfect match.
I'm happy to have finally read one of Jessi Kirby's books. Golden was not just what I hoped it would be. It was also a powerful and touching story that stayed with me long after I finished reading.