Golden by Jessi KirbyGolden by Jessi Kirby


byJessi Kirby

Hardcover | May 14, 2013

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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.
Title:GoldenFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:May 14, 2013Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442452161

ISBN - 13:9781442452169


Rated 5 out of 5 by from An amazing coming of age novel! When I saw this book for free from Pulseit, I was overjoyed since I had heard amazing things about this author. One of her books had a blurb from Sarah Dessen, not only that but the summary drew me in. This book is amazing with a capital A. I'm not even kidding. The writing was raw, beautiful, honest, and completely outstanding. Jessi writes it with so much passion. The journal entries in this book did seem sort of unbelievable. They almost felt too perfect - not like it's a bad thing.They were just too formal, like they were writing a persuasive letter. The main character Parker was your normal seventeen teenager. She was one of those girls who hid behind the scene, but that sort of changed when she decided to read one Julianna Farnetti's journal. As she begins to unravel the truth, she starts to see things differently. Parker was a great narrator. The thoughts she had about the couple, I was also thinking the same. I also adored the tension between Trevor and Parker. Their relationship slowly builds as the plot progresses. The ending was predictable, like really predictable which was sort of a turn off. I knew exactly what was coming. Though it was predictable, I couldn't ask for a better ending. Golden is filled with love, tragedy and mystery. You all need to pick up this book now! And I mean, now!
Date published: 2017-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story about learning to live for yourself When I first saw this book, I didn't know much about it. The cover was nice but I just didn't feel very interested... and then the reviews started coming out and I realized that this book was not what I was thinking it was going to be about. I didn't really read the synopsis much, I just kind of assumed it was a contemporary book like many others out there (well my mistake for assuming something... I should know better by now). When I started reading this, I was really intrigued, I loved how Jessi Kirby introduces this idea of writing a journal before you graduate and receiving it 10 years later.. I would love to be able to look back on my life like that. I wish I had something like that to be able to look back on the past and see how the path I chose changed me. But anyways back to the actual story... When Parker finds Julianna's journal she wants to read about this amazing love story that she grew up with. Parker loves things like that, Romeo and Juliet and The Notebook are continually mentioned throughout this book. But what Parker finds is a different story and one with a mystery attached to it. I felt very connected with Parker in some ways... I was never one to really cross the line when I was in high school, I didn't do a lot of things other people did (though I was not as studious as Parker is). Parker was such an amazing character though, this book is about her finally learning to let go and do something for herself, and Julianna's journal is what finally pushed her there. Parker really grows throughout the book and learns a lot about herself and what it means to take a different path than expected. I loved the little bit of romance for Parker in the book, but it didn't overshadow what the book was really about. This book is really about learning to live for yourself. This is a book that I think everyone needs to read, it's not like a lot of contemporaries out there (at least none that I have read). This book has found a special place in my heart now, and I would love to read more from Jessi Kirby after this story.
Date published: 2013-10-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpectedly heart-warming It started with a legend of the town's golden couple. Two kids with a brilliant future perished in the dead of night. Their bodies were never found. Years passed and the town hasn't forgotten. Seventeen year-old Parker Frost was the perfect child any parents could ever ask for. She's got her priorities straight, brilliant grades and a steady head on her shoulders. When a late TA assignment has her mailing students' journals written ten years ago, she couldn't believe her eyes when she stumbled upon Julianna Farnett's - one of the missing kids. She's never done anything outside of the rules. So when she decided to finally break one, she goes and steals the journal. As soon as she starts reading, however, Parker couldn't help but feel like the missing student was echoing her thoughts. Everyone thinks that her future is set. But they don't know how fake she feels sometimes. They don't know how much she wants to break out of the mould that everyone has her in. Her curiosity regarding the missing students escalated into an intense desire to find out what happened. And as she found herself immersed in Julianna's thoughts, she slowly uncovers the truth. Nothing is as it seems. If there's one thing she can benefit from her one and only rebellion, it's to find the courage to face a future of her own choosing. This book was gorgeous: tender, heartbreaking, and divine. Kirby's debut (Moonglass) wasn't really a memorable read for me but this one - this one made me want to start over as soon as I was done reading it. Parker Frost was such a mature character. And while her love story left me a little unfulfilled, Julianna's story more than made up for it. The mystery surrounding the death of Julianna and Shane was the focal point of the novel. It was altogether nostalgic, mystifying and suspenseful. The author had me in grips and willing Parker and her posse to solve the mystery hastily. The novel, as a whole, has a wistful tone. It was full of longing and unhappiness but a nonetheless joyful resolution. Through Julianna's journal, Parker finds herself; what she really wants to do, and never letting golden opportunities pass her by. I love how she found the gumption to speak out, to act and not let her mother dictate how she should live her life. Over all, brilliant story with passionate characters and beautiful writing.
Date published: 2013-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect Read! I loved this book!! Need more Jessi Kirby books! This book blew my mind with the story and the characters. I have read another book by the author and that was awesome as well. This is definitely one of my favorite books, it was beautiful and heartbreaking. When I first read what the book was about I knew I had to read it since I am now a fan of Jessi Kirby's fantastic novels. What I love most about this book was the characters and the plot. Golden was writing flowed perfectly that I finished it in Two days. As a reader you got to know the characters throughout the entire novel, and Jessi really nailed this book! Parker is a great character! I really liked how real she can be and is a fan of Robert Frost. Parker is a storyteller which makes you connect with her story, as she struggles with finding another person's story, Julianna's who is story is so important that you can never forget what happened to her. Julianna and Parker are the same in a way and they both shine through their writing. For her senior year Parker opens the journal (she is helping her English Teacher as a TA) where we learn about Julianna through during her senior year that was a project that contains answers to what happened to the towns Golden couple. Parker starts to realize a different story of what really happened that night before Julianna and her boyfriend drowned. While both girls re-discover themselves and become honest with who they want to be and become. This story drew me in and I am happy that I read this book! Jessi Kirby is definitely a great storyteller. The secondary characters were made the Golden even better. There is Kat who is Parker's best friend who is understanding and is there for her the entire way, the the potential love interest, Trevor. He sounds like the perfect boy and Parker does have a crush on him. Kat was a great character who can push Parker and act in the moment compared to Parker who is the safe one. The chemistry between Trevor and Parker were priceless and they really connected with her, they flirted, and really got to know each other better. Trevor believes in her which shows that the sparks really fly. What Parker reads will change her life, and the risk of being qualified for a full scholarship that she wants. Jessi Kirby will not disappoint in her third novel. It is truly Golden and this book is a MUST Read!! It has everything about learning about what you want to do. It has mystery, romance and even lessons . I loved the Robert Frost quotes which made it even perfecter. It was a fast read, but I could read it over and over again. Pick this book up when it comes out!!
Date published: 2013-05-02

Read from the Book

Golden 1. “To a Thinker” —1936 There’s no such thing as a secret in this town. But I’m keeping this one, just for today. I fold the letter once, twice, three times and slide it into my back pocket like a golden ticket, because that’s what it is. A ticket out. Being chosen as a finalist for the Cruz-Farnetti Scholarship is my version of winning the lottery. It means Stanford pre-med and everything else I’ve worked for. Icy wind sears my cheeks red as I cross the school parking lot, and I curse Johnny Mountain for being right when he forecast the late spring storm. If the biting wind and swirling white sky are any indication, we may be graduating in the snow, which is not at all how I pictured it. But today I don’t really mind. Today the wind and I burst through the double doors together, and it carries me like someone who’s going places, because now it’s official. I am. Kat’s already at my locker when I get there and it gives me the smallest pause. We don’t keep secrets from each other. Her eyes run over me, top to bottom, and she smiles slowly. “You look like you’re in a good mood.” It’s more friendly accusation than casual greeting, and she punctuates it by leaning back against the blue metal of the lockers and waiting expectantly. “What? I can’t be in a good mood?” I reach around her and spin the lock without looking at the numbers, try to hide my smile. She shrugs and steps aside. “I’m not. This weather sucks. Mountain says it’s gonna be the worst storm in ten years or some bullshit like that. I’m so over the frickin’ snow. It’s May. We should be wearing tiny shorts and tank tops instead of . . . this.” She looks down at her outfit in disdain. “Well,” I say, trying to pull my mind away from visions of the red-tiled roofs and snowless breezeways of Stanford, “you look cute anyway.” Kat rolls her eyes, but straightens up her shoulders the slightest bit and I know that’s exactly what she wanted to hear. She stands there looking effortless in her skinny jeans, tall boots, and a top that falls perfectly off one shoulder, revealing a lacy black bra strap. Really, cute isn’t the right word for her. The last time she was cute was probably elementary school. By the time we hit seventh grade, she was hot and all its variations, for a couple more reasons than just her tumbling auburn hair. That was the year Trevor Collins nicknamed the two of us “fire and ice,” and it stuck. In the beginning I thought the whole “ice” thing had something to do with my last name (Frost), or maybe my eyes (blue), but over the years, it’s become increasingly clear that’s not what he meant. At all. Kat shuts my locker with a flick of her wrist as soon as I unlock it. “So. There’s a sub for Peters today, a cute one I’d normally stick around for, but I’m starving and Lane’s working at Kismet. Let’s get outta here and eat. He’ll give us free drinks and I’ll have you back by second period. Promise.” She’s about to come up with another inarguable reason for me to ditch with her when Trevor Collins strolls up. Even after this long, that’s still how I think of him. Trevor Collins. It was how he introduced himself when he walked into Lakes High in seventh grade with a winning smile, natural charm, and the confidence to match. His eyes flick to me, not Kat, and heat blooms in my cheeks. “Hey, Frost. You look saucy today. Feelin’ adventurous?” He dangles a lanyard in front of me, and a smile hovers at the corners of his mouth. “I got the keys to the art supply closet, and I could have you back before first period even starts. Promise.” He hits me with a smile that lets me know he’s joking, but I wonder for a second what would happen if I actually said yes one of these days. I meet his eyes, barely, before opening my locker so the door creates a little wall between us, then give my best imitation of disinterested sarcasm. “Tempting.” But between his dyed black hair and crystal blue eyes, it kind of is. I have no doubt a trip to the art supply closet with him would be an experience. Half the female population at Lakes High would probably attest to it, which is exactly why it’ll never happen. I like to think of it as principle. And standards. Besides, this has been our routine since we were freshmen, and I like it this way, with possibility still dancing between us. From what I’ve seen, it’s almost always better than reality. Kat blows him a kiss meant to send him on his way. “She can’t. We’re going to get coffee. And she’s too good for you. And you have a girlfriend, jackass.” There’s that, too, I remind myself. But I’ve never really counted Trevor’s girlfriends as legitimate, seeing as they don’t generally last beyond being given the title. “Actually, I’m not,” I say a little too abruptly. “Going to get coffee, I mean.” I shut my locker and Trevor raises an eyebrow, jingling his keys. “I uh . . . I can’t skip Kinney’s today. He’s got some big project for me.” Oh, the lameness. Kat rolls her eyes emphatically. “You don’t actually have to show up to class when you’re the TA and it’s last quarter. You do realize that, right?” “You don’t have to,” I say, matching her smart-ass tone, “because Chang has no idea she even has a TA. Kinney actually realizes I’m supposed to be there.” The bell rings and Trevor takes a step backward, holding up the keys again. “Best four minutes you ever had, Frost. Going once, twice . . .” I wave him off with a grin, then turn back to Kat, who’s now giving me her you know you want to look. “Never,” I say. I know what’s coming next, and I’m hoping that’s enough to squash it. But it’s not, because as we walk, she bumps my hip with hers. “C’mon, P. You know you want to. He’s wanted to since forever.” “Only because I haven’t.” “Maybe,” she shrugs. “But still. School’s gonna end, you’re gonna wish that just once, you’d done something I would do.” I stop at Mr. Kinney’s doorway. Now it’s me with the smile. “You mean did, right? Because I distinctly remember my best friend being the first girl here to kiss Trevor Collins.” “That was in seventh grade. That doesn’t even count.” A slow smile spreads over her lips. “Although for a seventh grader, he was a pretty good kisser.” I just look at her. “Fine,” Kat says in her dramatic Kat way that communicates her ongoing disappointment every time I plant my feet firmly on the straight and narrow road. “Go to class. Spend the last few weeks of your senior year pining over the guy you could have in a second while you’re at it. I’ll see you later.” She smacks me on the butt as she leaves, right where my letter is, and for a second I feel guilty about not telling her because this letter means that Stanford has gone from far-off possibility to probable reality. But leaving Kat is also a reality at this point, and I don’t think either one of us is ready to think about that yet. When I step through Kinney’s door, future all folded up in my back pocket, he’s headed straight for me with an ancient-looking box. “Parker! Good. I’m glad you’re here. Take these.” He practically throws the box into my arms. “Senior class journals, like I told you about. It’s time to send them out.” His eyes twinkle the tiniest bit when he says it, and that’s the reason kids love him. He keeps his promises. I nod, because that’s all I have time to do before he goes on. Kinney drinks a lot of coffee. “I want you to go through them like we talked about. Double-check the addresses against the directory, which’ll probably take you all week, then get whatever extra postage they need so I can send them out by the end of the month, okay?” He’s a little out of breath by the time he finishes, but that’s how he always is, because he’s high-strung in the best kind of way. The million miles a minute, jump up on the table in the middle of teaching to make a point kind of way. Before I can ask any questions, he’s stepped past me to hold the door open for the sleepy freshmen filing in. Most of them look less than excited for first period, but Mr. Kinney stands there with his wide smile, looks each one of them in the eye, and says “Good morning,” and even the grouchy-looking boys with their hoods pulled up say it back. “Mr. Kinney?” I lug the box of journals a few steps so I’m out of their way. “Would you mind if I take these to the library to work on them?” “Not at all.” He winks and ushers me on my way with the swoop of an arm. “See you at the end of the period.” Right on cue, the final bell rings and he swings his classroom door shut without another word. I linger a moment in the emptied hallway and peek through the skinny window in his door as students get out their notebooks to answer the daily writing prompt they’ve become accustomed to by this point in the year. Sometimes it’s a question, sometimes a quote or artwork he throws out there for them to explain. Today it’s a poem, one I’m deeply familiar with, since my dad has always claimed we’re somehow, possibly, long-lost, distant relatives of the poet himself. I read the eight lines slowly, even though I know them by heart. Today though, they hang differently in my mind—too heavily. Maybe it’s the unwelcome, swirling wind outside, or the fact that so much in my life is about to change, but as I read them, I feel like I have to remind myself that just because someone wrote them doesn’t make them true. I would never want to believe they were true. Because according to Robert Frost, “nothing gold can stay.”

Editorial Reviews

"Kirby’s third novel is inspirational and contemplative in its mood and tone. Multifaceted characters and dashes of mystery and romance come together in a successful mediation on the value of taking an active role in one’s life."