Saturday, June 8, 2013

[ARC Review]: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Author: Jessi Kirby
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Pages: 288
Read in: 3 days

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.

* A free print copy was provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review* 

Golden was an accurately-written, coming-of-age novel that revolved around a senior in high school named Parker Frost. Parker, simply put is an overachiever  Perfect grades. Perfect attendance. Perfect manners. Perfect family. Perfect daughter. Perfect friend. As the novel progresses, she's able to acknowledge that her strives for perfection are a cover for a growing fear of failing and disappointing the people she loves and cares about. An unexpected project she's given by one of her well-respected teachers leads her to Julianna Farnetti, the town's once-beloved golden girl, who mysteriously drowned in a lake, one night, along with the town's golden boy. This leads to a spiral of events in which Parker is thrust into a rebellious "road trip" adventure with her best friend and her crush, Trevor, in hopes of discovering what really happened to Julianna Farnetti, that night. 

You know I'm in love with a book when I personally submit an ARC request for it, a couple of days before its release. I really admired the substance Kirby, put into her characters and the plot. Before I even knew Parker's name, I had a feeling I was going to like her. From the perspective of teenager, I can honestly say that I found Parker's overall mentality, to be relatable and well-thought-out. Her growth and development throughout Golden is practical. I liked the transition she made into a determined, and insightful, independent young lady despite the high expectations she had previously held herself to. I'd like to point out that the transition was not abrupt. She faced obstacles. She had  doubts. But in the end, she found herself.

I thought the way Parker found Julianna's diary was a bit too convenient. She finds the diary, discovers everything about Julianna, and (BAM!) "We're going on an adventure, guys!" That was the only aspect of the novel, that didn't sit too well with me.
I'm a total sucker for happy endings, however, I thought Golden's ending had a nice creative touch to it. There's no happily ever after, but it's implied. It ends on an inconclusive note, in which we're giving an idea off what happens to Parker, her best friend, and Trevor, but nothing's definite. An expect-the-unexpected -sort-of-ending. I'm pleased to say that Golden completely surpassed by expectations.  I think I'm beginning too realize that Kirby likes to do this to me a lot. Each of her novels, tend to be better than the last. I've read all of Kirby's novels - officially! My review for In Honor, to come. Woohoo!!

                      Website / Facebook  / Twitter / Goodreads
Jessi Kirby is the author of MoonglassIn Honor, and the forthcoming Goldenwhich will be released in May of 2013.  She is also a former English teacher and librarian, wife, mom, beach lover, runner, and lover of Contemporary YA, strong coffee, and dark chocolate.  In that order.


  1. Well, this is the first time I hear of this author but the book sounds so INTERESTING. i am an over-achiever, so I think I will be able to identify with the main character

    GREAT review, as always

    Your reader,


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Glad, I could hook you! :) Thanks!

  4. I am officially reading this book! I love that you found the character development to be gradual and actually believable. Although I'm sort of bummed that it doesn't have a HEA. Great review, and I'd just like to say that your blog is absolutely gorgeous!!!