Review: Golden – Jessi Kirby

Review: Golden – Jessi KirbyGolden by Jessi Kirby
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: May 14th 2013
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three-half-stars

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.

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Golden was a different kind of book for me. I had been really excited to read this one and was thrilled when the library happened to have a copy laying around. But sadly I was disappointed to not like it as much as I had hoped to. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot and thought it had a great message, but something wasn’t right for me. I don’t know if it was the main character Parker, or her over the top with all the fun BFF, Kat, or the romance of it that felt off, but something just didn’t click right for me to love this book like I loved In Honor.

Golden is about Parker Frost, a high school Junior that has done everything she was told to do. She has studied hard, had no social life and did everything her mom had told her to do. When she is selected as a finalist for the Cruz-Farnetti scholarship Parker thinks everything she has worked for is coming true. But as the scholarship gets closer and closer she starts to realize she never really lived her life in high school. She never missed a curfew, or went out on a school night. She never skipped school or missed an assignment. And she never got to kiss her crush Trevor. And when the deceased Julianna Farnetti’s diary ends up in Parker’s hands she gets to decide if she wants to stay in her safe comfort zone or if it is about time to take a chance.

I liked Parker…for the most part. I mean I got where she was coming from when it came to listening to her mother and scared to get off of her path. But I didn’t like how she was so back and forth. She never really made any kind of decision at all and when she had opportunity in front of her she was kind of whiny about it and that bothered me. I really did get that she was scared, but I think there was a better way to show that then all the back and forth, push and pull, especially between her and Trevor. It was fun in the beginning but by the end it was driving me a little crazy. With that said, I liked the message behind the story even if Parker did bother me sometimes. By reading Julianna’s journal she was able to learn that it is okay to take a chance even if you fail or if it doesn’t work out. Taking chances are what makes life life because things aren’t supposed to be easy or mapped out. That part of the book I really liked and is what I think Kirby got right.

Golden definitely wasn’t my favorite Kirby book that I have read, but it wasn’t a painful read that I would sway people away from picking up. It had a great story and good characters for the most part. It was also really well written. I just liked this book, but some loved it. Pick it up and decide for yourself where you fall on that scale.

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