I am so tired of winter that I decided for the month of March I will only read books with covers that remind me of spring or summer. I started with Golden by Jessi Kirby, which worked out perfectly because this is an amazing novel about new beginnings. It is about Parker Frost, who is about to graduate from high school as the class valedictorian and is heading to Stanford University as a pre-med student. She has worked extremely hard to be in this position, but now that she’s here she’s beginning to realize that she’s following her mother’s dream for her and not her own. Parker’s best friend Kat tells her that she has to do something fun and unexpected before school is over. She ponders this one morning as she works on a project for her English teacher. Every year Mr. Kinney has his seniors write journals that he seals up on the last day of school and then sends to them ten years later. As Parker prepares the envelopes to be mailed she notices that one of the names is Julianna Farnetti, which shocks her because Julianna and her boyfriend went missing and were presumed dead right after they graduated. The story of their disappearance has become a town legend and the scholarship that Parker is in the running is named for them. Parker is drawn to Julianna’s journal because she wants to find out what the girl behind all if the stories was actually like. As she begins to read the journal Parker finds that she can relate to Julianna, who had similar feelings as her own graduation neared. At the same time Parker stumbles on a mystery which leads her to the unexpected journey that Kat wanted her to experience. Helped along by Kat and Trevor, the guy she has liked forever, Parker steps out of her shell and takes a chance on something new.
I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. Jessi Kirby takes characters that could be one-dimensional, like a boy-crazy best friend, and shows many facets of their personalities. She also has a beautiful style of writing and she incorporates two really wonderful elements into the book; Julianna’s journal entries create a story-within-a-story and Kirby starts every chapter with a line from a Robert Frost poem. This is a novel that I won’t be able to stop raving about. Since Golden is all about inspirations and fresh starts, it is the perfect spring book.