Golden by Jessi Kirby
Summary: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.
There has been such an incredible amount of hype for Jessi Kirby’s Golden, and I am happy to say that it is not unwarranted. It is a touching and beautiful novel, and I found myself immersed in Parker’s story of self-discovery.
Stereotypical good girl and class Valedictorian, Parker is about to graduate high school without having broken the rules or taken a risk. But when she discovers a clue to solving a town mystery, Parker finally finds the courage to take a risk.
Parker is a character that you’ll easily connect with, and maybe see in yourself. She’s the perfect example of a goody-two shoes – never breaking the rules, getting perfect grades. But perfection comes with a cost.
I’ve got this tiny pang of regret when I think of how much I have probably missed out on in the last few years because I was too scared to take a risk, or too shy to speak up, or too worried to be bold. It is my one wild and precious life, after all.
She always does whatever other people want her to do, but she never really takes the time to do what she wants to do; and it eventually that takes its toll on her. I loved watching Parker open up and take risks, and I found myself cheering and rooting for her throughout the story.
For me though, I wasn’t able to completely relate to the story on an emotional level. I loved Parker and I loved the story, but I just felt there was a little something missing – a little something that would have transformed the book from good to great.
This is a beautiful, well-written contemporary novel that combines the coming-of-age factor of New Adult with the youthfulness of Young Adult. While my emotional connection to the story wasn’t quite there compared to other bloggers, I did enjoy it and find it worthwhile.