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....more
The reason this gets 3 starts and isn't as good as Just Listen and The Truth About Forever is beacause there was too much telling and not enough showiThe reason this gets 3 starts and isn't as good as Just Listen and The Truth About Forever is beacause there was too much telling and not enough showing.
Dessen just had a scene then sipped a week and skipped the next couple of pages explaining what happened in that week and that got really annoying and it made the romance fall a little short, it feels like what Remy and Dexter have isn't really developed but otherwise this book is very much enjoyable.
I especially loved how Remy isn't a typical cliche main character who is a goody two shoes perfectionist that never done wrong in her life. Those characters in one word piss me off. And sure Dessen has perfectionist main characters but she makes it work but then again they can go only so far and honestly these girls have story too (better stories!) so I enjoyed that alot.