Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Love, Diaries
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Age: 8th grade and up (and adult)
I've decided to post "Book a Day" reviews this summer: a new book each day starting today! Some of these will be books that I posted on my Summer Reading suggestions, but many will be ones that I am also reading this summer. And since my goal is always to read more than one book per day, I'm hoping to have enough reviews to accomplish this all summer long!
The first title I want to post about is Golden by Jessi Kirby. First, let me just say that this is one of the 25-30 books in my "to read" pile that I just didn't get to before school got out. And now I am VERY sad that this did not make it onto my Summer Reading list. Because it is a GREAT BOOK! Wonderful! And a perfect book to read this summer. I have already recommended it to several neighborhood girls (and their moms).
From the publisher:
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.
Each year, Parker's English teacher gives soon-to-be graduating seniors a journal to record their thoughts on the question, "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" And then he collects and stores the journals, mailing them back to students 10 years after graduation. Parker, as his TA, is tasked with tracking down addresses and mailing the journals from ten years ago. And that's when she discovers the journal of Julianna Farnetti in the stack.
Julianna and her boyfriend Shane were the golden couple of the town, until the night they perished in horrible car accident that plunged them into the river, leaving the whole town to grieve and create monuments in their honor. Parker cannot help herself and starts to read Julianna's journal. And in doing so, she starts to question not only her own motivations and plans for the future, but she wonders if the accident really happened like everyone thinks. With clues from the journal, she sets out to prove what really happened the night the golden couple died.
I cannot say enough about how much I really responded to this book. I am sure it had a little to do with all the Robert Frost references (one of my favorite poets; and The Road Not Taken, which obviously plays a huge role in this book, is my all-time favorite poem). But I also liked Parker and her telling of this story. Her BFF Kat, who she enlists into helping, is such a great friend and I love how the girls balance and support each other. The mystery of what happened to Julianna and Shane is compelling and I will say that this storyline did NOT end how I thought it would.
I think that almost any high school student (and adult) can relate to the "what if" dilemma that Parker faces. What if I had made different choices? What would my life be like? Is it too late to change the road that I am traveling down?
Do yourself a favor and go check out this book NOW! And then go back and pick up the author's first book, Moonglass for another good "summer" title. You will not be disappointed!