- Title: Golden
- Author: Jessi Kirby
- Series: No
- Source: Received for review from Edelweiss
- Release Date: 5/14/2013
Description from Goodreads:
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.
I received this book for review from the publisher via Edelweiss.
I’d heard of Jessi Kirby several times and had actually heard the title of Golden quite a bit as well, but it wasn’t until I read April from Good Books and Good Wine’s review that I actually decided to request it on Edelweiss and give it a read. Also, my friend Jac (For Love and Books) started it a day or two before me and was absolutely sure that I would love it. So I went into it with high hopes.
Golden started off pretty well because from the very first sentence, we are told that Parker is trying to hold on to a small secret in a town that can’t keep a secret. Of course, you immediately know that a town that can’t keep a secret is bound to actually hold a few, so I was curious. Also, we very quickly get to the main point of the novel because it doesn’t take long for Parker to find Julianna’s journal, and therein starts the main story arc.
I found Parker to be a bit frustrating, as she is the typical good girl. She has spent most of her life doing what she is told and what is expected of her, so when she even thinks about branching out to do something unexpected, she has a really hard time coming to terms with it. However, with Julianna’s journal in her hands, Parker finds herself beginning to do more unexpected things, starting right when she decides to take the journal in the first place. However, she grows a lot throughout Golden, and I actually found her to be quite likable by the end. Her friend Kat was definitely her opposite, but someone that I felt really added a lot to Parker’s life. And the best part? There is exactly one swoon-worthy boy in Trevor. However, Parker is still a little annoying in her interactions with him, but as someone who has never had a boyfriend, it’s not really surprising.
The best part of Golden for me was Julianna’s story. I thought it was interesting to uncover her secrets and realize that she was not quite the person that everyone thought she was. Even reading her journal was an interesting experience for me, since I was curious about the events leading up to her death. I actually expected a Jodi Picoult’s The Pact-like twist in her story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Jessi Kirby did not go in that direction.
There were some surprises and interesting turns-of-events that I didn’t see coming and that I thought were handled very well and really added to the story. It was amazing that the sequence of events would lead to where it did. And there were also a couple of unexpected characters.
I thought that the ending was great. At one point, I was really frustrated with where I thought Golden was going, and I was not happy about it at all. However, the ending surprised me in a really good way.
Overall, I thought that Golden was definitely one of the better contemporary novels I’ve read. It was really good, it had me flipping the pages, and at no point did I consider putting it down. However, it was missing something. I can’t even put my finger on what might have been missing, but I just didn’t love it. I did like it a lot, though, and would definitely recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of contemporary. It comes out on May 14th, so grab your copy!