Review: Golden

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

Golden by Jessi Kirby 
Format: owned, paperback 
Rating: 5/5 stars 
Part of a series? No, it's a standalone. 

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.

If you didn't already know, I love Jessi Kirby. She's one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors and totally an insta-buy now. That being said, Golden has been on my radar for a long time. I've wanted to read it since way before it even came out in 2013, but I just never got around to it. But now I have bought it (and read it and hugged it and loved it and cried on it), and I'm kicking myself for not doing so sooner. 

Golden has everything I loved about Kirby's previous novels and then some. I love the way she tells stories. Her writing is delicious, and it just makes me want to keep turning the pages. Like her other books, Golden was relatively short (just under 300 pages), but it really packed a punch. My feelings were destroyed in these two hundred and eight eight pages in the most beautiful way. 

The book follows Parker on her adventure to basically climb out of her bubble and find out who and what she wants to be. Her BFF Kat's life motto is "carpe diem", so that's what she's trying to do. And she really truly does. Parker is an incredibly well-developed character. You can see how much she's changed from the first page to the last page, and it was really inspiring to me to see her journey in becoming the person she was meant to be. Cheesy, but it will make so much sense if/when you read it. 

On top of all that character development, there was a beautiful friendship and not one but two romances that I absolutely ate up. Oh, and remember that 'and then some' that I talked about earlier? Yeah, there's a mystery in there, too. A mystery that I was able to guess many aspects of, sure, but not an un-enjoyable one. I can actually say that there wasn't a point in my reading experience where I wasn't enjoying myself. And I think that says a lot. 

Pretty sure it was Katie from Polished Page-Turners that said something like this in her review, but it made so much sense that I had to use parts of it for myself: Golden has the perfect mix of heavy and light which is what every contemporary should have because that's how life is. It is such a lovely book, and I can see myself rereading it again and again. 

Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble