18 June 2013

Teen Tuesday

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers hardcover, 14 May 2013.)

Good girl Parker Frost sometimes wishes she could do something improper.  Not something bad, but rather rebellious and unexpected. She's always done everything she could to make her mother proud:  worked hard, excelled in school and made valedictorian.  She's even one of the finalists for a scholarship to the university of her choice.  

But before she graduates from high school, Parker wants to -- just once -- break the rules.  

A perfect opportunity falls in her lap when, as part of her TA assignment for English teacher Mr. Kinney, she stumbles across the journal of Julianna Farnetti.  Ten years earlier, Julianna and her boyfriend Shane Cruz were the "golden couple" of Summit Lakes High, but on the night of their graduation,  Shane's jeep slides off a mountain road.  Neither of their bodies were found, but the water was so icy cold that their deaths were almost a foregone conclusion.

Parker begins to read Julianna's journal, and discovers some major secrets.  Julianna had a relationship with an older guy, an artist who encouraged Julianna's own artistic aspirations.  Learning how Julianna's hesitation to defy expectations was the cause of a real tragedy spurs Parker to push the envelope.  

With the help of Trevor, whom she's had a crush on forever, and her best friend Kat, Parker follows up on some clues in Julianna's journal to find out who the older man might be, and what really happened to Julianna and Shane.

Not just a coming-of-age novel, this unputdownable book is a story about relationships between friends, girls and guys, and teens and parents, as well as a satisfying mystery.

FTC Full Disclosure:  My thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the e-galley.


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