Monday, 13 May 2013

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Buy: Amazon
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.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Every once in a while you run across a book which really makes you think.
There were a couple of things that attracted me to this book, for starters there were some really great reviews about this one and I am kind of a fan of Frost so I was intrigued about what the author was going to do. Although this book doesn’t focus on Frost it does talk about some of his ideas. The good reviews made me want to see how much Jessi had grown. I read In Honor a while ago and I wasn’t particularly impressed but I really wanted to give this book a chance.
It’s amazing to see how much she has grown. There is so much more depth and meaning to her work.
The way she writes is amazing; the whole book had this fantastical feel to it. I was just sitting there trying to read the whole book in one go because I didn’t want to stop.
Parker is one of my favorite female leads. She is relatable and down to Earth. She has her own issues but she isn’t a broken human. Most of us normal people here have issues, they affect us and define us but they don’t necessarily break us. One of my favorite things in this novel was to see her grow from the awkward person she was to someone who was willing to take more risks. She didn’t have a complete personality transplant by the end of the book but it was great to see her stand up for things that were important to her.
Kat was a great friend. The author could have portrayed her as a boy crazy girl or someone who pushed Parker so much that Parker couldn’t stand it. Kat could have easily been someone I hated but I didn’t. The author did a great job with her. She was supportive and always trying to get Parker to let loose a little because she was always strung so tight. She stood by with Parker through her crazy plans and tried to push her in the right direction.
Trevor was an interesting guy; I wish we got to learn more about him but this book isn’t about their relationship. The focus isn’t on who Trevor is but the role he plays in changing Parker.
Parker’s mom has always made choices for her and pushed her to do things she might not have chosen on her own. Most of the things Parker has done were because she wanted to please her mom. I wish we could have seen more development in their relationship but I don’t necessarily mind the fact there wasn’t. Change takes time and I believe eventually her mother will understand as well.
Now the actual plot isn’t so much of a mystery as more of a story about how the choices you’ve made can change things. There is some mystery of course with Parker piecing everything together but the real plot revolves around Julianna and her choices and how those lead Parker to think more about her own choices.
Julianna is a girl hidden behind the labels she has been given and what people expect from her. Everyone believes her and Shane to be the golden couple, and once upon a time they were but now Julianna starts to doubt the reality of their relationship when she realizes that she has no real friends and her life revolves around Shane.
Had the main character been Julianna instead of Parker I might have not understood the love triangle of sorts going one, but through Parker, I got to look at things through another angle, her choices made a lot more sense and I was able to see how confused Julianna was because she wasn’t sure what was the right and the wrong choice.
In the end this book is about finding yourself, about breaking that barrier between what people expect from you and what you want.
The romance in this book is well done, from the small romance between Trevor and Parker to the whole Shane/Julianna /Orion triangle. The romance on Julianna’s side is rather bittersweet though, Orion isn’t a better than Shane or vice versa, it’s about who is better for Julianna because they do both love her. I just wish things turned out better for Julianna.
The ending is kind of open and I am not sure how I feel about that, on one hand I should be happy because I believe things did turn out the way I wanted them to but we don’t know for sure.
I recommend this book to everyone who loves a good contemporary novel that goes beyond just a romance.


  1. Someone mentioned this book at the book fest I went to this weekend, and I was going to look it up but then I forgot so I'm glad I saw your review post! This looks like a very thoughtful read and the premise of it is very interesting. Great review, I love how you explored all the different aspects and characters!

    1. I think the best part about it is that I found it relateable which made the read so much more interesting for me. I could relate to the emotions the main character was feeling and what not. Hope you give it a shot!

      Thanks :)


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