Golden by Jessi Kirby

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Simon & Schuster | Hardcover, 272 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

It started with a legend of the town’s golden couple. Two kids with a brilliant future perished in the dead of night. Their bodies were never found. Years passed and the town hasn’t forgotten.

Seventeen year-old Parker Frost was the perfect child any parents could ever ask for. She’s got her priorities straight, brilliant grades and a steady head on her shoulders. When a late TA assignment has her mailing students’ journals written ten years ago, she couldn’t believe her eyes when she stumbled upon Julianna Farnett’s – one of the missing kids.

She’s never done anything outside of the rules. So when she decided to finally break one, she goes and steals the journal. As soon as she starts reading, however,  Parker couldn’t help but feel like the missing student was echoing her thoughts. Everyone thinks that her future is set. But they don’t know how fake she feels sometimes. They don’t know how much she wants to break out of the mould that everyone has her in. Her curiosity regarding the missing students escalated into an intense desire to find out what happened. And as she found herself immersed in Julianna’s thoughts, she slowly uncovers the truth. Nothing is as it seems. If there’s one thing she can benefit from her one and only rebellion, it’s to find the courage to face a future of her own choosing.

This book was gorgeous: tender, heartbreaking, and divine. Kirby’s debut (Moonglass) wasn’t really a memorable read for me but this one – this one made me want to start over as soon as I was done reading it. Parker Frost was such a mature character. And while her love story left me a little unfulfilled, Julianna’s story more than made up for it.

The mystery surrounding the death of Julianna and Shane was the focal point of the novel. It was altogether nostalgic, mystifying and suspenseful. The author had me in grips and willing Parker and her posse to solve the mystery hastily. The novel, as a whole, has a wistful tone. It was full of longing and unhappiness but a nonetheless joyful resolution.

Through Julianna’s journal, Parker finds herself; what she really wants to do, and never letting golden opportunities pass her by. I love how she found the gumption to speak out, to act and not let her mother dictate how she should live her life.

Over all, brilliant story with passionate characters and beautiful writing.