Friday, May 17, 2013

|Review| Golden by Jessi Kirby

Title: Golden
Author: Jessi Kirby
Published  May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: contemporary YA 
Rating: D
Goodreads summary: 
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

I'll just say, this book is really just not for me. I really thought it would be because I like contemporary YA and I loved Jessi Kirby's debut but Golden was not a book for me. It all started with:
-Super smart main character with a boring life? check
-Fashionista, pretty, sidekick bff who's wild? check
-Unlikeable mom? check
-done with boring life & wants to do something main character? check
This made me groan and say "not again!" because I've read this book before. Multiple times. But I hoped that Jessi Kirby will make me forget all about that and wow me with her awesome writing and while her writing WAS awesome, I just couldn't get into the book.

I just did not care about Parker and her story. Sure I liked her, but I didn't care. Anyone can relate to Parker because everyone at one point was feeling confused about their life and wanted to do something more but the way this was addressed in Golden was so. damn. cheesy. I couldn't stomach it.

The book revolves around Parker finding a composition notebook of a girl who died but was never found. The composition notebooks is an English assignment, a journal that seniors write in and turn in to the teacher and in 10 years, the teacher will mail the composition notebook to the their owners so they can see how much they have changed and grown and if they have followed their dreams. This presented a mystery to Parker and I found the mystery pretty ridiculous and added to the cheesiness. I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Though at one point I couldn't stop reading because I had to find out more about the mystery but that was in hope that what will be revealed will make me like the book. But it never got better for me and I also didn't find it very realistic. However, I REALLY loved the composition notebook idea. I'm even considering doing one. It will be a before college -- after college thing because even though I'm a senior and this is the perfect time, I don't think I can wait 10 years to look at it again.

There was also an art vs. artifact tone to the book and a lot of characters wanted to be painters, poets and such. Yeah, no. You want to be an artist? super cool! But I'm over the art vs. artifact debate because it's usually portrayed as so black and white. Nothing is black and white.

More cheesiness: love at first glance, literally. First kisses in the rain. Talk of constellations and stars (god, I *hate* this one. You don't even know. I don't find it even one bit romantic. If a guy ever told me something about stars, I would laugh at his face. And I've done that before. He called me a bitch after. Umm, hell yeah I'm a bitch.) and what killed me: someone named Hope. I was done at that point. Add a weak romantic interest & romance plot, weak mom character and I just can't say that I liked this book.

This was NOT a terrible book! Not at all but my reading experience of it was not pretty. I don't think I can find a part of it that I actually enjoyed BUT I can say that it did present questions worth thinking about and I like how it was centered around this quote, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your own wild and precious life?" (--Mary Oliver) but I didn't like the execution. But like I said, the composition journal is actually really cool and other quotes and questions presented area always something to think about. But there is also so much cheesiness and soul searching I could talk before I have to throw up. Don't let me stop you from reading from Golden though. Everyone enjoyed it, why wouldn't you?

Rating: [D] Unfortunately, nothing really worked for me.

There is no such thing as a secret in this town.
"Well, could you give it a little gas, then? I'm starving." 
"How can you be hungry? You ate two breakfasts."
Trevor glances down at the speedometer. "I'm already doing eighty."
"I have a fast metabolism." Kat says. "Apparently faster than Trevor Collins here is willing to drive."
 There are a few other things I've decided to take a chance on in these two days of my one wild and precious life.

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