I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Golden by Jessi Kirby
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 13th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
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.
“Tell me, what do you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life.”
Parker Frost has always lived her life with the future in mind. She has always studied hard and received good grades in hopes that she can attend Stanford after graduation and become a doctor. There has never been an alternate path for her, no detours or side streets to take, she has only had the one goal. When she stumbles upon an old notebook that sheds light on the town mystery, she thinks she knows the answers but she couldn’t be further from the truth. When this revelation comes to light, Parker starts to wonder what she would do with her one wild and precious life and begins to question if the path she’s on is really the answer.
Life can be so very distracting at times. You can find yourself so caught up in everything when there comes a day you stop and look around and have to truly wonder how you got to that point. Worse, is when you realize you’ve been on the wrong path the entire time. Parker is a strong and vivid character that was incredibly easy to empathize with.
The town mystery felt at first like a separate part of the story entirely except you realize that Parker’s life choices begin reforming as the pieces of the mystery begin coming together, both intertwined. She begins realizing the immensity of making your own life choices because this is your one wild and precious life. You don’t have another.
This was a beautifully written coming-of-age novel about a girl who decides to take chances when she never has before. Golden is an inspiring novel of hope, of not being scared to take the leap, and realizing that not everything is golden.