Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).The Story...
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.
Golden is a beautiful story about a girl who learns to live for herself instead of following the plans that others have for her life. Parker Frost has lived her life with one goal in mind; get into a good college and become a doctor. Every choice she makes, every class she takes has been to get her closer to that goal. Her future goals even control her choice to laugh off the attention of Trevor Collins, Parker's cute friend who is always flirting with her. It is now her senior year and her best friend, Kat, is pushing her to try something, ANYTHING, new.
Parker discovers the senior journal of Juliana, a girl who disappeared ten years ago along with her boyfriend, Cruz. During a large storm, Cruz's jeep went off the road and was found empty and upturned in a ditch. The bodies of the two teenagers were never found. Now Parker is up for a scholarship provided by the families of the lost teens.
Parker sees this journal as an opportunity to get a glimpse into the life of someone who has become a local legend. As she reads Juliana's journal, Parker learns that the decisions that we make everyday can make a HUGE impact in other people's lives down the road. With the help of Kat and Trevor, Parker discovers that things aren't always what they seem and she finds that the maybe Juliana and Cruz's accident didn't happen the way everyone had always assumed.
I loved the way the author was able to tell two separate love stories with continuity and to have them both make sense. It was great to watch Parker learn from the choices that someone else had made. It was great to see someone who was able to grow from the mistakes of others. Also, I like that Parker was able to see that her mother was controlling her life because she was unhappy with her own choices.
Parker and Trevor didn't have an epic love, but the patience and effort that Trevor showed was sweet and brought a significant level of swoon. Parker struggled with what to do about Trevor and eventually followed her heart and not her head. She finally decided that life was too short to let another opportunity pass her by.
5 out of 5 stars.