May 10, 2013

Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden by Jessi Kirby
May 14th, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

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.

So, the day I finished reading this book I happened to be going out for Tex Mex and margaritas. I know...if you follow me on Twitter this is not breaking news. But, what is new is that I talked about this book with my husband for about 45 minutes. I gave him a brief run down like you see above and when I was done with the general plot, he asked what happened next. I can literally count on one hand how many times he has asked me to continue talking about a book. So, I went through the whole thing about Parker finding the journal of a dead girl that was the sweetheart of the town, and how the relationship between her and her boyfriend wasn't so perfect, and how Parker's future was hanging in the balance. I went through it all and he kept asking questions and in the end we both had two margaritas, a plate of tacos, and talked about what we both wanted from our girls when it's their turn to go to college. Were we asking to much of our own kids? Are we letting them truly make their own decisions  Deep stuff, kids. All from Golden.

The mystery behind Julianna and her boyfriend's death was fascinating and really held my attention, but the relationship between Parker and her mother was just as intriguing! We all want our kids to succeed, but this woman was beyond controlling and pushy when it came to Parker's academics. That poor girl could never satisfy her mother. The A wasn't good enough - nothing was. I think a lot of teens are going through a similar situation at home where they struggle to meet the growing demands of their parents and their expectations to be the absolute best. The side story of Parker and her years-on-end crush felt realistic and in line with a girl who barely has time to shower let alone daydreaming about some cute boy. Everything was really well balanced.

This story hold more than just one note. Highly recommend!

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You can find Kirby at her website