Summary (from Goodreads):
“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.”
This review won’t do Golden justice. I’m going to go all book rambly, and gush a lot and it may not make sense. So what I’m going to ask you to do is just stop reading now and go buy Golden and read it.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
When I read Jessi Kirby’s first book (Moonglass), I knew that I had found a new favorite author. Her second book (In Honor) cemented that. This book completely blew me away and made me seriously hate myself because I had waited so long to read it.
This is one of those books that turns me into an evangelist, wanting to grab everyone and demand that they read it. You may think it happens a lot (I do tend to discuss books on Facebook and Twitter on a very regular basis) but books like this come along maybe three times a year, if I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to enjoy most of what I read but a love like this is rare.
Part of it is because I am very similar to Parker. I had a plan for my life, too, and I’m still trying to follow it. And I spend a lot of time trying to do what I know I should do, what’s expected of me. I’m not very comfortable taking risks, but this book makes me want to change that.
And it’s about choices, which is a recurring theme in my life right now. Obviously, we’re aware of some of the big choices (where to go to college, which job to take, etc.) and the potential consequences, but this book also highlights the random ones, the ones that we don’t realize are huge until later, when we have the benefit of hindsight. Which is such a cool thing to think about, you know? Everything you do could potentially change your life. (Well, exciting and scary.)
But more than serving as a call to arms to ditch the plans and do unexpected, brave things, this book is a testament to love. Love is messy and generally inconvenient because there’s a decent chance it will royally mess things up.
John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That’s true of love, too.
So I hope this review made sense. It probably didn’t. Read the book anyway.
Highly, highly recommended. If you never listen to me about another book, listen to me about this one.