Thursday, August 15, 2013

Golden

I so wanted to like Golden  by Jessi Kirby. I read many glowing reviews and was enchanted by the concept. It is an engrossing book and I couldn't put it down, but it also made me extremely angry.

Synopsis:
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.


I could relate to Parker from the start. I was quite a bit like her in high school. Okay. I was almost exactly like her in high school. (Although I had the benefit of an awesome mother. Parker's mother is  far from awesome.) I understood her need to break out of that good girl shell a bit. I had the same desire as graduation loomed before me. Kirby conveyed those feelings realistically and it was easy to get wrapped up in Parker's story, her words, and her thoughts. Her best friend, Kat, and her crush, Trevor, contribute standard but fun elements to the story. 

I probably could have loved this book if not for the story within a story. This is about Julianna, the golden girl who died too young. There are so many elements of this story that made me so angry and I can't really explain this because of spoilers. I could have overlooked this more, but Kirby tied Julianna's story up too tightly with Parker's story. I really felt like Parker could have should have taken a different lesson away from all that. This just left a bad taste in my mouth over the whole experience.

I seem to be alone in my feelings about this, but if any one else wants to discuss I'm declaring the comments a spoiler-friendly zone!

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