Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

May 20, 2013 Review 9

GoldenPages: 288
Published: May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Series: N/A – Standalone
Source: Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

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.


My Thoughts & Review

I went into Golden with high, I mean HIGH expectations. I expected to be swept off my feet, bawl my eyes out and just feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest… none of that happened. Now let me explain…

I loved the main character Parker. I thought she was one of the most realistic and raw characters I have seen in a book in quite some time. Her emotions and actions were just so true for that time in her life. She was irrational at times but it led her to a good place and the struggle she had with finding herself I think is something that a lot of people will relate to. The coming of age aspect of this novel was done exceptionally well. I also really enjoyed her best friend, Kat. Their relationship was done very well in my opinion. Kat had such honest emotions with the fact that Parker would be leaving for university and she would be remaining in town. The friendship between Parker and Kat was probably one of my favorite things about Golden.

The plot, for me, was so predictable. I just seen everything that was going to happen coming well before it did. I’m not sure why… and I’m not sure if I was supposed to but it really kept me from loving the story. I obviously won’t go into the details because these are major plot points that we are talking about but… ah, it frustrates me that I wasn’t surprised. The story about Julianna and Shane is just heart wrenching. It’s a really, really sad part of the book. I didn’t openly cry but I felt this ache in my chest the more Parker read Julianna’s diary. To think that someone so young had her fire snuffed out… oh, it’s just so sad.

My other love for Golden was the writing. I adore Jessi Kirby’s writing style. She brings you entirely into the story and carries you along with it. It’s like music. Between her writing and the characters Golden was saved for me.

Now don’t mistake that this isn’t a wonderful story, it is. And I did like it but I think my high expectations crushed this one for me, which is unfortunate. I wanted to love this. It’s well worth the read, especially if you love contemporary. And believe me … there are a ton of AMAZING reviews for this. Take mine with a grain of salt.


My Rating 3 Stars

9 Responses to “Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby”

  1. Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

    THANK YOU for this. I enjoyed this book, but I was not IN LOVE with it like everyone else was. I’m just glad to know that I’m not the only one out there who felt that way.
    I agree, the writing was just gorgeous and I really liked Parker and so many aspects of the book, but I just never got the point where I was in love with the story. I liked the mystery, but like you, I felt like I was able to predict some things here and there and while that’s not always bad, I don’t think I was outright shocked by any reveals. Maybe that wasn’t the point? I’m not sure.
    My expectations were crushed by that tiny mention of Robert Frost in the summary. I really expected the mystery to include something about Robert Frost being connected to the family so I was just bummed that that didn’t pan out!
    It’s hard to put into words, but it was just good for me… Not quite great.
    Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide recently posted..Gayle Forman Read Along: Sign-Ups!!My Profile

    • Lauren

      Brittany I am so glad to hear you have the same feelings! I felt like such an oddball when finishing it. I was almost scared to post my review because I thought I would get too many gasps and scorning lol. Thanks so much for commenting 😀
      Lauren recently posted..Stacking the Shelves (47)My Profile

  2. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads

    I’m glad I read your review! There’s nothing worse than having a book not live up to your high expectations, hey? I felt that way after I finished Eleanor + Park. It was really, really good, but I was expecting to be blown away, and it wasn’t quite THAT good. But I still have a copy of Golden on order, and I’m excited to read it, since so many of my favourite bloggers loved it. I’ll just keep your review in mind and lower my expectations a little 🙂

    • Lauren

      I think you will like it Melissa! I did really like it it just didn’t blow me away. I’ve stopped reading reviews until after I finish the book since Golden 😛 I want to read Eleanor & Park but I’m sure I won’t like that as much as everyone either… I’m getting pickier I think haha. I can’t wait to see what you think!!
      Lauren recently posted..Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi GlinesMy Profile

    • Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads

      I just read Eleanor + Park, and wasn’t as blown away as I expected to be. But I think I learned something about Rainbow Rowell through this experience. She’s not a plot driven writer; her books are more about really intense character development. I think it would have helped if I’d known that in advance 🙂
      Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads recently posted..Marko Monday [2]My Profile

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