Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Golden

Author: Jessi Kirby
Published: May 14, 2013
Hardcover, 278 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

A pair off lovers die tragically one night and become the golden couple. Their names set in stone on a sign at the edge of town. They are known to everyone, they are who everyone strives to be. Parker Frost looks to them as most others do, the reason why the school has a great scholarship. She is ready to graduate and take that scholarship and get out of there. But when Parker gets ahold of Juliette's journal, she discovers that this couple may not be as golden as everyone thought and suddenly she wants to discover exactly how the lovers ended up at the bottom of a lake. So she decides to do something she'd never think of doing, this girl who has never skipped school, never disobeyed her family, goes on the road to piece together the story of Juliette and Shane that Juliette's journal is really telling her. Mix in Robert Frost poems at the beginning of every chapter and slight hints of his work throughout the novel, and this book wraps itself into a beautiful mystery full of lost love, new love, and finding out who you really are.

This is the perfect story of a girl on the cusp of life. She has everything planned out but decides that she wants to do something before she sets off on the plan. When she comes across the journal, she knows this is her key to going off the road she's planned to travel all her life. And the more she finds out about Juliette, the more she wants answers. Parker will remind you of yourself in many ways. A girl following the rules because she knows that's how she'll get the most out of life. But how long can you follow the rules until you realize that you're not living? I love that she took this risk, that she read Juliette's words and wanted to know more. Because as soon as she opened Juliette's journal, I was hooked. I wanted to know more about her life, her relationship with Shane, and of course about the mystery guy she met one night and can't get out of her head. Juliette is as much a character as Parker or her best friend Kat, or her crush Trevor. She breathes through the pages of her journal, begging Parker to find out what happened it her. And I needed to know too. I would have done the same in Parker's situation and I loved uncovering the mystery behind Juliette's death along side her. 

I devoured this book. The writing was beautiful and the mix of poetry added to the dreamy quality of the whole thing. Parker finally starts living life by taking the road less travelled. This is great, quick, adventure of a girl finding out who she is by finding out who someone else really is. There is bonding, romance, and a question about who we really are and how our perception of people changes the more we know about them. This was the perfect read about life on the verge of starting and people on the verge of living.

“One often meets her destiny on the road she takes to avoid it.” 

“But sometimes life gives us those rare moments where we do see chance as it’s happening. And in those moments, we have a choice. And sometimes we have to take a risk. And it’s scary. It makes us vulnerable. But I know now it’s worth it.” 

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