Golden by Jessi Kirby
Release date: May 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
“One often meets her destiny on the road she takes to avoid it.”
Golden was the first book I read in 2015, and it was a perfect way to start my reading year.
Our protagonist, Parker, is a young woman many of us can relate to. A – dare I say – “golden” child. This small-town valedictorian, Standford-bound, Scholarship-contender life has always been in a constant, forward moving path. A goal stacked in front of another goal with little concern for what she really wanted out of life, for the fun or the excitement. Parker is a hard worker, she doesn’t take risks and she does what she’s supposed to do. Until one day, she doesn’t.
One day Parker finds the journal of Juliette, a former golden girl with a bright future ahead of her who tragically died nearly a decade prior. When Parker doesn’t do what she’s supposed to, and tears open the journal she is faced with the reality that things are not always what the appear to be and that risks are sometimes worth it.
This book has multiple moving parts that held my interest for the entire story. For one, Juliana’s journal was very compelling and my favorite part of the story. Second, Parker’s scholarship and speech and how her goals for herself shifted in the course of the book made for a quick and interesting read. Finally, though equally compelling was Parker’s relationships as they shifted and progressed with various people in this story including her best friend, her mom and her crush.
Parker’s story is one we don’t see often, but she is a character that you relate to. The journey she went through is unique, but her end point is one we can all hope to find. This story is heartbreaking but wonderful, hopeful and a coming-of-age/finding-yourself story like no other. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
If you’ve read Golden, or any other novel by Jessi Kirby (or find them to be on your TBR) let me know what you think about it down in the comments below!