The Compulsive Reader: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Golden by Jessi Kirby

Parker has always been a focused student. Her academic goals are important to her (and especially important to her mother) and now just weeks before graduation, she's so close to achieving everything she planned for. That's when Parker finds the journal—the journal of Julianna Farnetti, the town's golden girl who died under mysterious circumstances ten years earlier. Parker knows she shouldn't, but she can't help but read the journal. What she discovers will change what she thought about Julianna, and her own life.

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.


LinWash said...

I also think the cover is beautiful and perfect fits the title! I'll look for this.

Unknown said...

This sounds like a really great book, especially for summer reading. Also, I absolutely love the cover :) Can't wait to read this one!

Amanda said...

The more advance reviews I read of this book, the more and more jealous I become. Contemporary YA is not my go-to genre, but there's something that sounds so compelling about this novel. This is one novel that I'm definitely counting down the days until its release. I love that it seems to ask the bigger questions and that it incorporates poetry. And, yes, I agree the cover is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good contemporary read! I still need to try out this author but this book is just so tempting!!
thanks for sharing your thoughts :)