Author: Jessi Kirby
Date(s) read: July 21, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher (ARC)
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.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for a copy of this for review!
Throughout life, we read stories. Some stick with us and others we forget about, but sometimes there are stories that are just so incredible that we find ourselves wanting to talk about them and recommend them to everyone. For me, Golden was that story.
I was so nervous to start this one because everyone seemed to love it, which usually leads me to hate a book, but I fell in love with Parker in the first pages. She was one of those head-strong girls who was always doing the right thing and never really getting out of her comfort zone. She was taking the path that was laid out for her and didn’t seem to want to veer away from it.
Until she finds the journal of Julianna — a girl who had died ten years ago.
I loved that this story wasn’t just a story about finding the right path for YOU — based on the choices that YOU make, rather than the ones that are made for you — but also a story about searching for a story that might not be remembered correctly. I loved the mystery based on Julianna’s journal and how Parker was determined to get to the bottom of it and really understand this person, because in understanding Julianna, she could understand herself.
I completely ate this book up and read it in one sitting. It couldn’t be helped. The characters are so well written, from Parker, Julianna, Parker’s friends, and to Parker’s mom (who seemed to be the one pushing Parker in a possibly wrong direction). Parker kind of led that life that I led when I was younger and it felt wonderful to live vicariously through someone who had the guts to do something her way (not that I regret anything, but I always felt like I did things the safe way in my teens — nothing wrong with that, but nice to read about characters who veer away from that.).
There were hints of travel throughout the story, visions of the past, romance, and friendship. It really was a whirlwind of a read and one that I know I’ll be recommending from now on. Highly recommended!