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  • Thoughtful story about being true to one's self

    What if? Doesn't everyone ask this question at some point in their life? What if I went left instead of right? What if I told the truth instead of lying? What if I said yes instead of no? What if? Golden is a story that is part love and friendship, part mystery. It's about Parker, who on the outside, is the quintessential good girl trying to live up to the ideals and expectations of her mother. Just below the surface, however, is the Parker that wants to break free and make her own choices. I found her character and the relationship with her mother very relatable. Don't we all struggle at times with trying to live up to someone's (even our own) expectations? I really enjoyed Parker's relationship with Kat. She was a fantastic best friend and I loved how supportive Kat was throughout the story. She definitely made Parker a stronger and better person. I was a little meh about her relationship with Trevor. He was sweet at times and I liked their interactions, but I'm not sure I really bought the whole super hot crush secretly has a crush on you too bit. Trevor could have easily been just a good friend instead of a love interest, but I understand the underlying message of carpe diem. My favorite part of Golden was the sealed journals assignment. It's such a simple and powerful idea. The only "rule" is to record everything over a 2 week time period and follow the prompt "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" The journal was such an amazing way to weave Juliana's story into Parker's. I found myself dying to know what Juliana had written and learn more about the mystery behind her and Shane's deaths. I got sucked into Golden very quickly and had a hard time putting it down. Although some things worked out a little too perfectly for me, overall, it was a thoughtful book that I will remember for a long time.

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