on May 14, 2013
Also by this author: Things We Know by Heart
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
Golden is Jessi Kirby’s third book. I’ve read her previous books and loved them so I didn’t expect anything different from this one. I was right, of course. Although, this one does have a different feel. It’s not as summery as the others, but it’s still a fast and beautiful coming of age story.
I loved Parker. I could really relate to her perfectionist, do-gooder attitude. She had grown up with her mother’s high expectations for everything and at the beginning of the book that’s all she knew. As she immersed herself in Julianna’s story she started finding pieces of herself she was missing. I loved how their stories lined up. As the reader you really get to different stories in one book. It was an added bonus.
There’s romance, but like Jessi Kirby’s other books it’s not the main story line. It’s really about Parker finding out what she wants to be and do. You get a lot more romance from Julianna’s story and it’s a very sad and heartwarming one.
My one itty bitty complaint with Golden was that Parker seemed so naive at times. I’m not sure how she expected the things she did. I suppose she was just swept up in the romance of it all. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was definitely something I noticed.
I really enjoyed Golden and you will too. Especially if you’ve read and loved Jessi’s other books. This one definitely needs to be in your stack for the beach or any long summer day.