Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Page Count: 277
Buy The Book: Amazon | Book Depository
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 was a beautifully uplifting read which I came across by chance."Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
My initial thoughts before reading the book and from what I understood from the summary was that it would be a quick read that would end up on my list of 'just-okay' books. My judgemental conclusions came back to hit me across the face. The book was pretty golden if I say so myself.
I know this is weird, but the book felt like a breath of fresh air. It wasn't exactly as though the book had a totally original plot line. It was the beauty of the writing that drew me in, the way the mystery was woven in and carefully unravelled as well as how well I could relate with the characters. It was a mixture of all these things that made me love it.
It's one of those few coming of age books which really made me reflect and actually think (tonnes of bonus points for being thought provoking, I'm still thinking about it right now!).
Of all the characters, I related most to the main character Parker in a number of ways. It was great to see her grow so much throughout the span of the book and I feel as though I could take inspiration from her growth as a character.
The story of Juliette gives Golden a whole other dimension. Reading the accounts from another girl's life along with going through with Parker's showed the troubles they were both facing but also focused on how they came to overcome it. It was definitely an emotional rollercoaster, not everything goes right, not everything goes wrong, I was on edge all the way through the book. It touched me in a way I can't quite explain.
I totally recommend you pick this book up, there is absolutely something in this book worth liking and maybe you'll end up loving it as much as I did.
I'm definitely going to be reading other books by Jessi Kirby in the future.