Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

golden

GOLDEN
Jessi Kirby
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14, 2013

From the back cover:

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.

GOLDEN is, in a word, AMAZING. I have never read a Jessi Kirby book prior to this one, but the synopsis intrigued me enough to enter Simon & Schuster’s giveaway via Goodreads. I am so glad I won! Not only does this book have an awesome premise–a secret journal, an unsolved mystery, and a protagonist who’s searching for answers and herself–but the writing is breathtakingly beautiful, the story is perfectly told, and the ending will leave readers with a knot in their heart.

GOLDEN is all about destiny and choices and living life without regrets. It’s a theme we all can relate to, regardless of age, and from the moment I read the quote at the beginning of Julianna Farnetti’s journal – “Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” – I was hooked. This is the kind of book I love to read, one that challenges you and makes you think and leaves you changed at the end.

I have become an instant Jessi Kirby fan and cannot wait to check out her other books. GOLDEN earns a space on my keeper shelf. It is one of my favorite reads of 2013 so far, and a book I will return to and re-read often.

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