Golden by Jessi Kirby


Parker Frost, who may or may not be related to famed poet Robert Frost, is an overachiever. Completely opposite of her socially charged BFF Kat, Parker strives to, not only be the best, but be the best at pleasing her overbearing mother. Even if that means sacrificing her own wants, dreams, and desires.

So when she’s assigned the task of tracking down the addresses of former students and sending their English journals back to them, Parker knows this is a job she can handle. Parker knows this is one assignment that she’s won’t have to think about, one without hitch. That is, until she stumbles upon Julianna Farnetti’s journal.

Julianna Farnetti is the girl who’s smiling face beams from the billboard at the edge of town. She’s the girl who was swept away beneath the undercurrent of Summit Lake. She’s the girl who is now a local legend.

Since Parker knows that Julianna is long gone she simply figures she’d look up the Farnetti family, and send Julianna’s journal to them. But the more she thinks about the journal, the more she yearns to learn more about the girl she never knew. The more she thinks, the more she reads. Parker cannot help but feel as if the journal somehow found her instead of her finding the journal. She can’t help but feel as if fate is about to intervene.

And it does! Not only is Parker about to discover who she really is, but she’s about to discover the mysteries of life and death.

Golden, written by author Jessi Kirby, is a unique book that fuses various genres – it’s a realistic mystery with subtle hints of romance tossed in for good measure – to make for one great read.

Golden has a really interesting premise, one that even though has been done before, feels fresh and new; while trying to figure out what happened to the long gone local legend, a young girl inadvertently discovers who she is. This is a true coming of age story, with a mystery flair.

What makes this book and this premise seem so fresh and new is Kirby’s writing. To say it’s strong would be an understatement. Kirby proves to be a true wordsmith! Honest and lyrical, Kirby has created, not only a well written story, but a believable one. And beyond that, one with a mystery that will keep readers guessing.

Besides the plot, the characters that fill the pages of Golden are honest, flawed characters. Ones that feel more like new friends rather than flat, lifeless characters. Bottom line: they’re real, honest, and flawed characters who readers will identify and sympathize with. And this includes Julianna Farnetti, the character who even though takes up many pages space wise, but may or may not actually appear in the story.

What makes Golden such a great read is that, for me, it was an absolute surprise. In all honesty I had no expectations or hopes for Golden. It wasn’t a book on my to be read list. It was a book I picked up for a work related committee, and it’s one I’m glad I had the chance to pick up. Golden, for me, feels like the diamond in the rough.

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