Golden by Jessi Kirby
Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life — Mary Oliver
The story follows Parker Frost, a girl who has never taken the road less travelled. She’s valedictorian and the quintessential good girl, the girl that stays home and studies, that never takes a risk, that never goes out, that never lives, she merely exists. She is so focused on her future, that the present slips out of her fingers. That is until she finds the journal of Julianna Farnetti, Julianna and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. When Parker comes across her journal she does the unthinkable. She steals the diary and reads it, and she finds out that what she and the rest of the town has always believed in isn’t true, not even in the slightest. Julianna’s journal tells a different story and Parker decides that its time to uncover the truth, to take a chance on something she really believes in. But sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality, and the reality may not always be what we hope for.
Two story lines, from two very different characters at different places in the social hierarchy that makes up high school come together to make up this book. One is Parker’s, the other Julianna’s. The readers get to see Parker evolve from a girl who’s obedient and uncertain, with her whole future planned out to a girl who learns to live her life, to stand up to others, and to a girl that take risks. She learns and lives through Julianna’s journal, a journal which tells a different story to what everyone has been led to believe.
Golden is a story of being stuck at a crossroads, at a place of uncertainty. The uncertainty of growing up and moving on, that uncertainty of change and that fear of leaving important things behind and being left behind. That uncertainty of the unknown and the inexplicable questioning of if you’ve done the right thing, made the right choices, made the right sacrifices. In the end the book really is based around the saying, carpe diem. It tells us to seize the day, to live in the moment and do the things that you love. To take chances and ultimately to own your life and not let other people define your dreams for you, to live with no regrets.
And now I don’t know what comes next. I can’t know, until I’ve walked the road I’ve chosen. I slow at the thought. I don’t have a plan, and there is no map for this. It’s terrifying, but there’s a spark of exhilaration that gives me hope that the choice I just made could turn out to be right, and this feels infinitely better than the weight of regret
Jessi Kirby’s new book Golden is an amazing coming of age story which has been one of my favourite reads of 2013. I absolutely loved it and it was a book that really made me reflect on basically everything in my life. It was so beautifully written and had so many written lines of genius that I just loved to bits. The characters and relationships in the book are amazing, there is no insta-love. I mean to say that there is actually a development of some kind of relationship and the love aspect of the book, although prominent, takes a backseat to the amazing message of the novel. This book made me go through so many emotions. Did I think when starting the book I would cry, smile, laugh and basically act like an incoherent person when writing a review for a book I loved, not really but hey thats what happened. Golden really is unforgettable and I think it will be one of the best reads of 2013 for me.