How did I get it?:
I bought it!
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.
Golden is the first book I’ve read of Jessi Kirby’s but it certainly won’t be the last. I was completely engrossed in the story and didn’t take long to devour it. It’s a short read at under 300 pages, but it, to me, is a completely worthwhile read. It packs a lot of punch within its pages and I thought it was a heart-warming, decent read about finding out who you really are.
Golden follows Parker who is weeks away from graduating high school. Parker’s life is mapped out for her, mainly by her mother, who wants Parker to be the best she can possibly be. Parker has a great GPA, she’s valedictorian, always doing extra curricular activities that are approved by the college board, and she has never broken her curfew or got in any trouble whatsoever. She’s starting to wonder if having this sort of work ethic is actually making her miss out on opportunities. Parker has the opportunity to gain a scholarship to Stanford. The scholarship is in memory of the ‘Golden Couple’ who tragically died after an accident. Parker begins to wonder what their life would have been like, if it had not been cut short. During a task for a teacher, Parker finds one half of the couple’s journal. She begins to learn about Julianna’s life, which makes Parker assess her own life. Is Stanford something she wants, or something that her mother wants?
I absolutely adored this book. It really made me think. I often regret missed opportunities, so when I was reading about the task the teacher Mr Kinney set the students it really struck a chord with me. Mr Kinney used the quote “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” to encourage his students to write in their journals what they planned to do with their lives. He then had the journals sent back to the students a year later. In a way, I’m glad that my teacher never made me do this. I’ve had many regrets, and I’m certainly not now where I wanted to be ten years ago. It made me feel incredibly emotional. But in another way it encouraged me to strive more for the goals I have.
I think this book has some great characters. Characters that are really relatable. Parker reminded me of one of my best friends from school. Her best friend Kat reminded me of another of my friends. I was intrigued by Julianna’s story, and wanted to know how the story was going to unfold. I kept on trying to put the book down to savour it a bit longer, but it didn’t stay down long before I picked it up again. Jessi Kirby’s writing is so beautiful and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by her.
Golden is a perfect Summer read, but I also think it’s perfect for every season. It has a likeable protagonist, but one that isn’t perfect. She’s real. The writing is so easy to read and the romance is heart-warming, but not overdone.
Would I recommend it?:
Of course!- 4.5 stars.