Source: Pulse It
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Edition: ebook, 278 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
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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.
Golden is a book that really resonated with me. It’s one of those really rare life changing books that sticks with you no matter how much time has passed.
The main character is Parker Frost, a high school senior and a repressed poet. She lives under the thumb of her driven mother and the pressure of being the next scholarship recipient, and while I don’t have over bearing parents and I didn’t have some board watching my every move I can relate. Senior year was so absorbing for me I barely even remember it…there was no prom (I did go to a military ball), no incredible trips or parties…it was just school. So in that way I connected with Parker quite a bit as she unknowingly begins on her journey to finding herself and the the truth behind the golden couple. She blossoms as a character and by the end of the book I was completely proud of her for her steps to being the person she wanted to be. Her best friend Kat, and Travis are also fantastic friends for her. They push her to open up more and though they support her every decision they want her to be happy. They had their ups and downs but overall they were a great support system for Parker.
The journal is kind of a character in itself really. It sheds light on a couple that everyone idolizes because they died untimely deaths and have been painted as saints, and it beings to flesh out their past and how things truly were. I loved this whole mystery aspect and I loved the lessons learned from it.
The biggest thing about this book is not only does it tell you to live life to the fullest, it plants that seed in your mind. For weeks after reading this one I still had the quote ‘tell me what will you do with your one wild and precious life?’ bouncing around in my head. I’ve heard that quote before many times, but for some reason this book just hit it home.
I’m honestly incredibly happy that I read this one and that I didn’t pass over it like I was tempted to do. It’s so much more than it seems and I really recommend it to those who like stand-alone contemporary.