12 June 2013

Book Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Author: Jessi Kirby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
File type: Ebook
Release Date: May 14th 2013

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.

The Road Not Taken is the only poem that I have read by Robert Frost and never have I loved and understood the meaning of it better than today.

When I was in 11th grade, I had three subject streams to choose from. And the whole situation was very crucial because whatever decision I took, it would directly affect and shape my path and choice of profession. There was the science stream which basically consisted of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, English and an additional elective subject. There was the maths and commerce stream, which had business studies and accounts in it. It was basically for those who wanted to pursuit a career in the world of business and management, which wasn't for me. And then finally there was arts which consisted of Political science, History, media studies and psychology along with English, which was for me, all the way. I easily took arts, but I knew that my well wishers wanted me to take a more 'logical' approach by taking the either of the other two. And THAT was very stressful. Later, when I decided that I was taking arts, there was an option between mathematics and psychology. Many people advised me to take Mathematics because that would mean a wider spectrum of job opportunities and that it opened many doors. I understood very well what they meant, but I never was good at maths and eleventh and twelfth grade maths was a totally different ball game. My parents have always been supportive but when it came to this, they urged me to take maths into consideration and ditch psychology. But I loved psychology and it was pretty interesting. And when the final day came, I decided.

There have been people around me who've told me that even after getting a good result in my tenth grade finals, my decision of taking arts was stupid. I don't know whether they were trying to help me by telling me what was right or whether they were trying to set me straight because honestly, it was all very stressful and I was afraid. I was afraid of my future. I was afraid of my decision. I started doubting myself. I had many sleepless nights because of this and like I said, it just got more weird. There was this one question that always lingered in my mind, which quite frankly plagues my mind even today, that by ditching the other subjects did I just run away from the hard stuff? Did I choose what I chose not because I love it but because they're much easier than the others?

And this is where Parker's story comes in. Parker has always been a rule follower. She's the quintessential good girl with a perfect record and set future. High school is at it's end and she has a speech to work on, yet there is something that keeps poking her. There SOMETHING which isn't right. Something that isn't satisfying. Something that leaves her restless. And that's when she stumbles across Julianna Farnetti's journal which was almost ten years ago. The catch? Julianna Farnetti and her boyfriend, Shane Cruz died ten years ago in an unfortunate accident where even their body couldn't be recovered. They were the 'it' couple. They were the GOLDEN COUPLE. And their death was felt by the whole town. Parker, then starts reading Julianna's journal and she realizes that things are never as they seem. And with a mystery embedded amidst the pages of the journal, Parker is on her way to find herself.

Parker's insecurities, fear and doubts brought back the memories of my past. Frankly, it hasn't been that long but the state of confusion, indecision and insecurity was one that struck home. While Parker didn't want to let her mother down, I didn't want to let my parents down. In a way, this was like a walk down the memory lane for me. And I loved every bit of it. Sometimes you just look back in life and remember several decisions that you've had to make and how they've affected your life. While there are some that you regret, there will always be the ones that have made all the difference and you just never realize. Do I regret my decision? No, I don't. Am I unsure? Of course I am. Do I doubt myself? There's actually no point. I've already done what I had to do and nothing can change that, but ma I satisfied and happy? Yes. I am. Life is unexpected and it's all about taking chances. Who knows where I'll be and what I'll be in the coming ten years. All I know, is that right now? I'm doing what I'm doing and I'm content. In life, I'll come across several forks where I'd have no choice but to make a decision, and from what I've learned and will continue to learn is that when the time comes, I'll be facing all of it head on.

And this is what I love about Golden. I love that it managed to make an impact. Jessi Kirby's writing has always been poetic and I've found myself drooling over her writing style, which just flows. But from what I experienced in Moonglass and from what I've experienced now? I think Ms. Kirby has come a long way.

I won't say much about the other characters because I don't really know what to say. All I can say is that, they were all memorable.

Golden is a story about friendship, family, first love, sacrifice, growing up, self-satisfaction and self-realization. It's about hope. It's about looking forward to life. It's about enjoying it. It's about understanding that in life, there will be those phases of ultimate gloom but also of those with immense sunshine and light. It's about taking chances and learning from your mistakes. It's about living. It's about letting go. It's about life.

And I loved every bit of it.

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."
-The Road Not Taken,Robert Frost.


  1. Ah Devyani where should I start! First with Robert Frost that poem is one of my favorites too. I totally understand you. I ask myself after what if I picked to study Math instead of English. I mean I'm really happy where I'm right now but I can't help but wonder did I just pick the easier way.
    This book is already on my to read list and I'm planing on reading it this summer. Great review! :)

  2. Exactly! I remember how my friends who took Math and science, were wallowing in depression because it was so tough! But they were people who took those classes with the as-soon-as-I'm-out-of-college-I'll-get-a-job-with-a-fat-pay brainless idea. Those who did love what they were doing did exceptionally well. And I too wonder sometimes if I made it too easy for myself but then I'd see if I'm happy right now and that works out. Plus, we're awesome. So. :D

    I read The Road Not taken when I was in 9th grade because it was in our curriculum and at that point I just wanted to get over with it, but ever since golden, I've been going through Frost's poem like an addict. :P

  3. Cool review! I liked Moonglass by this author, so I can't wait to read this one too. <3

  4. Loved your review. This book sounds amazing and I'd love to read it asap. One of the nicest covers I've seen to.

  5. I usually don't read contemporaries, though I've been interested in reading Jessi Kirby's novels for a while now. This one in particular sounds pretty good! I'm glad that you absolutely love it. I'll have to check it out sometime because I love books that make an impact!

  6. What a great review! I want to read this book because the story looks promising, and the cover is gorgeous!

  7. Aww thank you, you all! :D

    Cali, if you liked Moonglass then I'm sure you're going to LOVE this one!

    Ashfa, Oh yes the cover is gorgeous. It was the first thing that drew me towards the book. :)

    Krystianna, I feel that it'll make an impact on anyone who reads it because don't we all have dilemma's in life and this one's whole basis is a dilemma and I'm sure you'll love it! You have to try this one, it's Kirby's best work, so far.

    Najwa, I hope you'll get to it soon. It is quite a lovely book. :)

  8. I totally agree with you, this is an amazing book. Kirby had a poetic flow to her writing style.. :)Lovely Review Devyani!!

    -Ini @ Ini's Ravishing Reads