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Golden Hardcover – May 14, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442452161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442452169
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Parker Frost, 17, is about to graduate high school feeling that all she has to show for it are her grades and being a finalist for a scholarship that will pay for a full ride at Stanford. Her best friend, Kat, her opposite in every way, pushes her to do something out of her comfort zone, but Parker has difficulty challenging her mother's expectations. When an English teacher asks her to help return senior-class journals to students who graduated 10 years earlier, she stumbles across the one written by Julianna Farnetti. Julianna and her boyfriend, Shane Cruz, were the town's golden couple; they were killed in an accident right after graduation, and the grief surrounding their deaths still permeates the small town. Reading the journal is Parker's first act of rebellion, but other small acts follow, including not writing her speech for the scholarship, lying to her mother, ditching class, and making tentative steps toward the boy she's had a crush on for years. The journal leads Parker to discover unexpected truths about Julianna and what happened to her, bringing closure not only to the young woman's story but to Parker's as well. The protagonist is a well-drawn and sympathetic character. Her struggles to find herself will resonate with many teens, and the faltering romance will draw readers in. Sure to be popular.-Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, ILα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Each year Parker Frost’s English teacher asks his senior class to journal a response to the question, What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? He then sends the journals back to his students a decade later. Parker knows what she’s supposed to do: go to Stanford, hopefully on a scholarship in remembrance of Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz. The golden couple died in a car accident, their bodies swept away into an icy lake. Tasked to send out journals to former students, Parker is shaken that one of them is Julianna’s. She can’t resist reading it, and what she learns shocks her. Then clues appear that make it seem possible that Julianna didn’t die that night. Kirby takes what could have been a predictable mystery and turns it into a duality: the perusal of Julianna’s fate, and Parker’s attempts to find her truest self in the swamp of her mother’s hopes, her own fears, and the lure of the boy she’s liked since middle school. This isn’t perfect in the details; those that aren’t easily addressed, like the whereabouts of Julianna’s family, are skimmed over. Yet overall, the novel is rich in its characterizations, deep in its reflections about teenage life, and compelling as a mystery. Grades 8-12. --Ilene Cooper

Customer Reviews

The plot in itself is quite unremarkable, but I did like how the story flowed.
Francine Soleil
One of the things I loved most about this book was how it showed just how little appearances can really be trusted.
Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next
I liked Parker and the secondary characters as well, although I felt her love interest was bland.
Heather's Book Chatter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Golden by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

What I Liked:

This book was... so very close to perfect. In so many ways. I knew what I would be reading - a contemporary novel with a mystery twist and a sweet romance. But I feel like this book had all of that and so much more! Ah! It was so good, people!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellepaul on May 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Golden is most defiantly a 5 star book and one that will be enjoyed by everyone who reads it. This is a YA Contemporary novel that will intrigue you with a good mystery and keep you interested as you connect to characters that are very dimensional.

Parker Frost is a senior in High School in a small town. This year she assists the English teacher with a project that he gives the seniors during the last semester of his class. They are given a notebook which they have to journal in their thoughts, about who they are, etc. in them before they turn them back into him. Then ten years later he mails them back to his students.

That is where Parker comes in. She is tasked with helping him address and mail the notebooks from ten years ago. That was the year that two teenagers disappeared and are presumed dead. Parker comes across Julianna's journal and starts to read her thoughts. She begins to uncover secrets that will changes the lives of a two people as well as her own.

One thing that really stands out to me is how well this book was written. The tone and the pace were very well devolved and thought through. It made for such a wonderful reading experience! This is a YA book that I can recommend to anyone because I think it is a must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on May 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I went into Golden with high, I mean HIGH expectations. I expected to be swept off my feet, bawl my eyes out and just feel like my heart was ripped out of my chest... none of that happened. Now let me explain...

I loved the main character Parker. I thought she was one of the most realistic and raw characters I have seen in a book in quite some time. Her emotions and actions were just so true for that time in her life. She was irrational at times but it led her to a good place and the struggle she had with finding herself I think is something that a lot of people will relate to. The coming of age aspect of this novel was done exceptionally well. I also really enjoyed her best friend, Kat. Their relationship was done very well in my opinion. Kat had such honest emotions with the fact that Parker would be leaving for university and she would be remaining in town. The friendship between Parker and Kat was probably one of my favorite things about Golden.

The plot, for me, was so predictable. I just seen everything that was going to happen coming well before it did. I'm not sure why... and I'm not sure if I was supposed to but it really kept me from loving the story. I obviously won't go into the details because these are major plot points that we are talking about but... ah, it frustrates me that I wasn't surprised. The story about Julianna and Shane is just heart wrenching. It's a really, really sad part of the book. I didn't openly cry but I felt this ache in my chest the more Parker read Julianna's diary. To think that someone so young had her fire snuffed out... oh, it's just so sad.

My other love for Golden was the writing. I adore Jessi Kirby's writing style. She brings you entirely into the story and carries you along with it. It's like music.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Jessi Kirby is the author of MOONGLASS, IN HONOR, GOLDEN, and THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART available April 21, 2015. She is also a wife, mom, middle school librarian, runner, and beach lover.

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