Golden is a compelling examination of what really matters in life, and a good story that offers a welcome alternative to the myriads of messages urging teens to follow the conventional paths to success after graduation. Each chapter begins with a line or two of Robert Frost's poetry (Parker is perhaps a descendant of the great poet), which lends a literary, reflective tone to the narrative. The mystery of the novel doesn't exactly lie in the question of what happened to Julianna Farnetti, but what Parker will do with her knowledge of Julianna's last days, as chronicled in her journal. The lessons that Parker takes away from Julianna's experiences and her ultimate fate are powerful, and inspire Parker to make decisions about her life based on what she wants, not what her mother or society expects. The story moves quickly and can be both surprising and emotionally cathartic for both Parker and the reader. Golden is a great book for teens who are feeling the pressure to conform to the big expectations demanded of them in academic and professional careers, and offers a positive message about the “road less traveled by.”
Cover Comments: I think this cover is very beautiful! I love the sunlight and the golden haze, and the gold stencil drawings are really pretty.
Digital galley provided by publisher.