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Golden [Hardcover]

Jessi Kirby
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.02
Price: 9.08 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2013
Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel that "Booklist "called "rich in its characterizations, deep in its reflections about teenage life, and compelling as a mystery" in a starred review. 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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (14 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442452161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442452169
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,035,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The novel is rich in its characterizations, deep in its reflections about teenage life, and compelling as a mystery."

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Golden? Not for me. 20 July 2014
By Kat
Format:Kindle Edition
I really wanted to love Golden because it had so many glowing reviews from people with excellent taste in YA Contemporary novels. And at the beginning I was pretty positive, but unfortunately it was a little bit cliched for my tastes and at times a little bogged down.

Parker is a good girl – focused on getting good grades and doing what is expected of her, although she’s also at a bit of a crossroads in where she wants to go next. All of this is great, and makes her easy to sympathise with and understand, but it felt a little cliched to me – although perhaps it’s also that these tend to be the usual characteristics in the YA novels I’ve read in the past.

I really liked the mystery element of Julianna and Shane – and at first the journal entries had me completely sucked in. But that’s also part of the issue I had with Golden – Parker is so torn about whether to read the journal or not that it started to irritate me – if you want to be nosy, just do it and don’t have an internal debate – move that plot along, lady. And that’s probably my biggest issue – the pacing really didn’t work for me – it started with a bang, then a huge lull and the ending, well, it just felt a bit too convenient.

Parker’s best friend Kat was also a bit cliched – she’s the polar opposite friend with a mouth and a bit of a bad attitude – I enjoyed her to a certain extent and then she just felt like the ‘recommended character addition’ rather than actually forming a relevant part of Parker’s story.

The highlight of the book for me was definitely the writing – it’s easy to read but also quite beautiful without being over-the-top – and it’s what kept me going through the lulls and cliches right through to the ending.

Although my experience with Golden wasn’t fantastic, I can see how other readers, who can feel an affinity with Parker, enjoy beautiful writing and the rather meandering mysery would really enjoy it.
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Golden is one of those books that I've wanted to read for a while, but it took me a really long time to actually get around to buying it. I now wish I had bought it a long time before, because this book took me by surprise. Not because I didn't think it would be good, because I actually really did think it would be good. It took me by surprise because the story took a different approach that I was expecting it to.
I liked that this book was really predictable, it had enough hints and clues along the way to keep me really interested, while at the same time not giving the whole story too early.
Overall, I thought that the pacing was spot on.
The characters were fantastic. I liked everyone in this book, and I really enjoyed watching their interaction and the way the story developed around them.
I especially liked that Parker's story wasn't just centered around Julianna's journal. Instead, Parker had some issues with her mom that were worked out in this book, and there was an interesting dynamic between Trevor and Parker as well.
The only negative I really have, is that I would have liked to of seen just a little bit more of that relationship between Trevor and Parker. I really liked them together, so I just wanted a little more than there was.
Overall, this was a great book, and I really enjoyed it. I'd highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, will stay with me forever 13 May 2013
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I knew from page one that this book was a *me* book. A feeling of sweet relief washed over me as I read Kirby's beautiful prose and I knew I was home. I've stepped out of my "box" a lot lately. Reading books that have challenged me, that I've enjoyed, ranted and snarked about, cried and have lost sleep over.

It's been a long time since I've read a book that I knew in my heart would change me and stay with me. That I needed to hold in my hands and hug to my chest. I raved to my best friend last night that I found a book that was "so us" and she laughed and nodded her head emphatically in agreement that this was a book written for those of us who dream of taking the risks instead of crossing the line into the unknown.

Hope is something I find hard to hold onto sometimes, I retreat into myself and struggle to keep the brave face on straight. In this book, Parker, like me is facing change, being pushed out of her comfort zone and forced to take risks. Golden was like the comforting squeeze from a friend's hand holding mine as I too face challenges and uncertainty right now albeit older than Parker but facing the same terrifying feelings that I'll be left with more regrets and not precious memories. Last night as I wiped the tears from my face and said goodbye to Parker, I felt hopeful that I too would find the courage to do what I wanted with my "one wild and precious life."

Parker was without a doubt one of my favourite MC's in a long time.

She was real. Remarkable yet normal, beautiful yet ordinary...she's your best friend, she's your sister, she's you.

Parker is weeks away from graduating high school and her life has been mapped out for her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book reminds you why you love to read. 21 Sep 2013
This book, guys. This book. It's beautiful. It's stunning. It deserves all the praise it's gotten. I want to just bathe in the beauty of Jessi Kirby's prose, the subtle perfection of the romance, and the touching importance of the message. I love this book. Please go buy it. That is all.


Of course not. I want to give this book a real review but I feel like my words won't do it justice. Just like the best contemporary novels out there (and keep in mind that I'm not a big contemporary reader), this is a story that has to be experienced. That's what I like most when I find the right contemporary reads: they find a way to touch my heart that no other genre can manage. It's the realism and the relevance. It's how you can read a book and relate to it so much because the main character explains things you've felt before or are feeling now, that you thought you were alone in before.

And that's what Golden does. Golden is an ode to my high school self (and to a lesser extent who I still am today). I had my entire college education more or less planned out to a tee when I was 16 years old. I never lived in the moment. It was all about achievements and accomplishments that would get me to my future. If you're someone like me, you have to read Golden. You just have to. The message will strike a chord within you and probably make you cry like a baby a lot a bit.

So much coincided to truly make that message resonate with me. First of all, Parker is an awesome main character, and pretty much me written into a book. She's a hard worker by nature and really thoughtful, but torn between who her mother wants her to be and who she wants to be herself. Second, it was a brilliant cast of characters all around.
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