Saturday, June 1, 2013

Golden by Jessi Kirby [Review]

Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Publication.Date  May 14th 2013 (Hardcover edition)
Published By:  Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
WebsiteJessi Kirby 

Golden on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy won via Goodreads' First Reads program.
Where to get:

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.

"There are a few other things I've decided to take a chance on in these two days of my one wild and precious life."
"I can see him standing on the balcony under the stars, diving into the freezing lake, falling in love with a girl he could never have."
"I close the journal but leave my finger in the space she left off. All of a sudden this story feels different in a way I don't expect, and I am not sure I want that. Shane and Julianna were the golden couple."

     I really don't know if my words will be able to do this book justice but I will give it a try. Golden is a beautifully written story about taking chances and finding out what we want in life. The characters in this book are so easy to relate to. I think that many high school students will really be able to take some great lessons away from this novel.

     Parker Frost is 17 years old and always does what is expected of her. Her mother is controlling and so hard on her. She puts insane amounts of pressure on her to succeed. But when Parker comes across the journal of a local girl who disappeared with her boyfriend 10 years ago all Parker wants to do is find out what really happened to her. She enlists her best friend Kat and her longtime crush Trevor to go with her on a road trip and follow the clues she has put together from reading Julianna's journal.

     I wouldn't really call this book a mystery but it did have a bit of a mystery quality to it. I loved seeing Parker put together all clues and thoughts from Julianna. Parker is really someone who follows the rules and does what is expected of her. She does what her mothers wants and never seems to do anything for herself. She ends up so wrapped in the mystery of this journal and becomes so passionate about finding out what really happened. I loved seeing this side of her. Her mom irritated me I could not believe how much pressure was put on Parker. I wanted to cheer when Parker finally decided to do something she wanted even if it was a bit reluctantly.

     This book was the perfect read for me as I am a huge fan of love stories. There were love stories galore. From Julianna and Shane's relationship to Parker's crush on Trevor to the mystery guy Julianna writes about in her journal. They were all such sweet relationships. Even though there are so many relationships in this book they were not the main focus and this was nice to see.

     Golden is a book about finding out what you really want in life. In fact there is a quote that is used throughout this book that asks just that.
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver

     This is a book that shows us it is okay to take chances and go after what we really want. We don't always have to do what will make others happy. What we need to do is what will make ourselves happy. I highly suggest that you pick up Golden. It is full of mystery, romance and life lessons.

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