Author: Jessi Kirby
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Nothing gold can stay — Robert Frost
I have always loved this line. Having been a creative writing major with a focus on fiction and poetry I am pretty familiar with Frost. He’s actually one of the few ‘great’ poets that I enjoy. So when I saw this book and read that line, something just snapped and I was drawn to this book. And holy shit, it was just so perfect.
I read this book in a little over 24 hours. I started it on my lunch break, read it on my train ride home, and then ignored K for the entire night while I hid in my bed and read until it was time to sleep. The next day I had to work in the morning so I read on my train ride to work, then again on my lunch break, on my train ride home and finally finished it an hour after I returned home. If I could have not worked or not slept I probably would have because I was that sucked into this book.
Parker reminded me of myself (especially my high school self) in some aspects. Always doing what is expected, always doing what she’s told to do, what’s ‘right’, never taking a chance. Standing on the edge and looking what you want in the face and taking that safe step back rather than forward. So when she did finally take that step forward (as I did later on in University) and found herself not only moving closer to making her own choices… but rather hurtling towards them… I understood that feeling so much. The freedom, the excitement, the horror.
I also loved Parker’s best friend, Kat. She was everything that I’ve always wanted to be, maybe shades of what I’ve become since I left the USA. I loved her voice, and her relationship with Parker. It was so incredibly real, and I do miss having a best friend like that. Someone that I can tell everything to, fight with and come back together with. I do have friends like that, but we’re separated by hours and distance.
The way the story was written and woven together was so beautiful. The themes of art and poetry along with the images of gold made the writing a work of art. As I was reading I couldn’t help but marvel at how beautifully written this was.
About mid-way through the book I thought I had it figured out and I was shocked that Parker had come to the end of the journal. And then there was a twist that I had secretly hoped for and was so happy to receive. I found myself at this point wondering where this was going to go, and that added even more depth to my love for this. And this was when I realized that the two stories had converged and that it wasn’t so much the story of Julianna or Parker but the two of them. Woven together in a masterpiece of writing and art. Poetry and painting.
I loved the ending and the resolution of everything and even the little bit of mystery that was left over. The ending wasn’t sad by a long shot, but I found myself crying because I was that moved. It was just that beautiful and resonated so deeply.
I can’t wait to check out some of Jessi Kirby’s other books now!!!
I received Golden in eARC form from Edelweiss and wrote this honest review to say THANK YOU!