Oh, Golden. Starting this review I already know that before TOO long passes, I will want to so many more things about Golden than this one review can touch on. I started Golden with carefully contained hopes: that it would move me, that it would be as great as other bloggers and friends maintained it was. I'd not read anything by Jessi Kirby before, so I'm thrilled to say that I really liked Golden. I found quotes that really resonated with me, and characters I identified with, and an overall message I whole-heartedly support. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
It's a question from a Mary Oliver poem that comes up several times throughout Golden. It's a question I've asked myself, in one form or another the last few months as my life changes and changes. It's a question that haunted me while I read Jessi's book, about a girl who isn't exactly who I was in high school, but who reminded me of me, in ways. I've spoken before about how the early parts of high school were rough for me; I did move past that, and I wasn't AS devoted to school work as Parker was... But I know what it's like to watch chances pass you by, and to taste that regret. So...Golden spoke to me, and made me so glad that Parker was changing, like I did. Parker's journey felt realistic, and made my heart ache and my eyes fill with tears.
Golden is a lot of things. Various bloggers will tell you which parts struck chords with them. Golden deserves every ounce of praise, every favorable review. Jessi's book is going to hit everyone differently. Here is what I can tell you:
I sat by my pool in the warm early afternoon sunshine and I read about Parker taking chances and embracing her one wild and precious life. Unraveling a mystery. Giving The Boy another glance. Taking a friend's advice. Making her own decisions. Asking herself what she wanted out of her future. Trying to bring about a happy ending for two people who deeply deserved it. And I was moved, really MOVED, and I cried.
Really, there's something for everyone - romance, a road trip, and a mystery. There's also character growth, and a bittersweet thread running throughout Golden. I've thought about Jessi's book on and off again since I finished it, and out of everything I COULD tell you, I think the fact that I'm struggling SO MUCH with this review and trying to find the words to define what Golden meant to me...well, I think and hope, y'all, that that says it all.
Final thoughts: Golden is a book you don't want to miss. It's happy, sad, brave, tragic, and hopeful all rolled into one amazing book.