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.
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Golden was a very sweet coming of age story. It tells the story of Parker, who begins to question her life choices as she comes across a journal of a girl who has been missing for ten years.
I loved the premise of Golden, especially the mystery aspects. I really wanted to know what happened to Julianna and Shane and I was touched by their story in the same way Parker was. Like Parker, I really wanted a happy ending for Julianna despite the widespread belief that she had died along with Shane in a tragic car wreck that forced their bodies to the bottom of a lake.
I liked Parker and the secondary characters as well, although I felt her love interest was bland. I think the romance for her actually could’ve been written out altogether. The story isn’t about Parker finding love, but about forging her own identity as she prepares to graduate high school.
The writing and pacing was great and I never found myself bored with the story. The emotions of the characters jump off of the page, especially the sections that feature Julianna’s journal entries.
The ending tied everything together nicely and I was pleased with Parker’s emotional growth. I was glad to see she stood up to her mom, but I didn’t necessarily agree with the idea that she never truly lived because she took advanced classes and spent most of her time studying. However, I did really enjoy the book and would certainly read more from the author.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!