Published May 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|288 pages
Where I Got It: Nook Store
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads 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.
I absolutely love Jessi Kirby! I did after reading In Honor, and reading Golden has cemented that!
So, I was expecting something a little bit different with Golden…like the town mystery being something that happened in the last year or two, not something that happened ten years earlier. Still, I liked how Parker came across Julianna’s journal and the senior project of writing in a journal mailed 10 years later. Actually, that’s such a cool project, and it would be really interesting to see what 17-year-old me wrote…well, interesting but also a little scary and weird.
I really liked Parker as a character and I can definitely relate to not taking the road less traveled. It really is easier for her to do things that make her mom happy instead of what will make her happy, but that’s something she discovers in her quest to uncover the mystery of ten years earlier. What happened to Julianna and Shane is really something she latched onto, but discovering what really happened…she learned a lot about herself.
And naturally, I couldn’t help but cry at the end, because Parker’s story…I just loved it. I don’t know what it is about reading book where the main character goes on a journey of self-discovery but they are very near and dear to my heart. And Golden is no exception, because I liked that she finally told her mom how she felt about the expectations placed on her. I also liked Julianna’s story, and how well it matched Parker’s story. We see her journal entries, which were really nice to see. I do wish they were their own chapters, instead of mid-chapter, because I felt like they stood on their own really well. Other than that…I loved how their stories intersected.
To Sum Up…
I just totally loved Golden, and Jessi Kirby is definitely one of my favorite authors! While I wasn’t expecting the town mystery to be a decade earlier, I still liked the parallels between Parker’s story and Julianna’s story, and how Parker did something completely unexpected. Golden gets 5 stars!