[BOOK REVIEW] Golden by Jessi Kirby

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★★★★☆

4/5 stars —

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.

Parker Frost is a pretty typical good girl—smart, does what she’s told, and doesn’t breaks rules… Well, at least she didn’t until she stole Julianna Farnetti’s diary and started reading it. And hence, Parker is thrown into a heart-racing road-trip filled with suspense, romance, and mystery.

Golden by Jessi Kirby is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year so far. From page one, I knew I was going to like this book—and that’s not something I say often—and I was sucked into it from the first line of the novel. Throughout the whole novel I was compelled, and as I turned the last page I wished there had been more. It was so beautifully written, not pretentious, but not basic or simple, either. The characters were intriguing and likeable, and I enjoyed slowly unraveling the mystery of what happened to Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz.

Jessi Kirby is definitely an author to watch out for.

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