Hi, friends! As you might remember, I was raving about Golden by Jessi Kirby just a little bit ago. (You can read my review here.) I’m so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour this week and to share the excerpt below. Plus, you can enter to win copies of Golden and all of Kirby’s books! Love it!
Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).
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.
I haven’t completely made up my mind not to tell her about the journal yet, but I’m not sure she’ll understand at this point. I couldn’t fall asleep last night until I’d decided to go find Shane and Julianna’s tree. It doesn’t totally make sense to me, why I need to see it so much, but I can’t ignore it. Especially now that I need to see it so much, but I can’t ignore it Especially now that I know the story behind the carving. It’s more evidence that love like theirs actually happens beyond books and movies, in real life. Life that’s close to home.
As silly as it seems, it makes me feel like I somehow have a connection to it. To them. I want to see their tree the same way people want to see things that once were connected to famous people[especially once they’re gone. Little slivers of their personal pasts, like photos no one has ever seen, or letters that surface years after their deaths. Or journals. Maybe because they are the things that somehow make them more real to us. Or maybe because all of them add to the myth of the person. It’s hard to say which, but I need to find that tree. even if it takes me all week.
When I round the corner to Senior Hall, it’s empty except for one person. Trevor Collins. Of course. My newfound boldness wavers the tiniest bit when I pass him and catch the mix of laundry detergent and the cologne he always wears thatI always want to ask about so I can buy if for my future boyfriend. It’s clean and sexy with a little bit of spice to it, which is how I imagine him to be. The future boyfriend, not Trevor. I know him well enough to know better than to imagine him that way. I don’t say anything when I pass, but go straight to my locker, set the box of journals down, and spin the dial like I don’t notice him there. That’s when I feel him turn and look me over.
“Morning, Frost.” He says it like he knows I’m pretending not to see him, which I’m sure he does.
Jessi Kirby is the author of Golden, which will be released in May of 2013, Moonglass, In Honor. She is also a former English teacher and librarian, wife, mom, beach lover, runner, and lover of Contemporary YA, strong coffee, and dark chocolate. In that order.
Win a Jessi Kirby prize pack featuring Golden and each of her books!