Thursday, June 20, 2013
by Jessi Kirby
Published: 5.14.13
Source: Simon Teen PulseIt

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.

This book was fast, cute and touching. While it is somewhat short, it tells an incredible little journey of discovery that's not hard to dive into and connect with. It reminded me so much of the movie "Letters to Juliet", which for the record, I haven't seen. And while I've never read anything by Jessi, this book completely enthralled me.

So let's talk characters. Parker is that smart chick with the good grades and the title of valedictorian. She's also the good girl who's never done anything wrong or crazy. Until now. One thing I really liked about her was the realistic side of her growth. As she reads this journal, it was so interesting to see how both of the girls journeys paralleled each other. I felt like it added depth, and insight into not only Parker, but also Juli. Parker was honest with herself and I just loved that. She's trying to become who she wants, and it takes a while for her to get there. It's not with the snap of her fingers, and she doesn't spend lots of worry time, dragging it out. It's a lovely pace and just *sigh*... it worked.

While I'm talking characters, I owe a few words to her best friend Kat. Thank you Jessi Kirby for not messing up a perfectly good friendship with a stupid dramatic fight. Thank you for having a spout, but not a battle. It's a refreshing change. Kat is fun, quirky and just a lovely edition to the cast. She brings a spark and feeling of frolickyness that you don't find in the other characters. She's just so different that I had to make up an illegal word to describe her!

I've been in the biggest contemporary kick of my life lately, and while this book is full of growth and becoming who you are, there is also...romance! Although, I'm honestly not sure what I think of it. I like Trevor..and yet don't like him. First we have the fact that he's a boy tow. He's popular with the ladies and may or may not have had flings with many of them. Sure, it means he's hot and attractive, but that's not exactly appealing to me. To have a crush on the guy is one thing. But to crush on him and still want him, knowing his girl history..wouldn't be the most reassuring. Yes it helps that he wants you....but do you get where I'm coming from? Maybe I'm just weird. But the romance was cute. Don't get me wrong. It so was.

So yup, this book was golden. It was sweet, fresh and a wonderful new contemporary voice. My one complaint is that the ending is a little too rushed. Or maybe, I wanted more closer on a few key points. She does a good job of wrap-up..but I wanted MORE. Ah well, you don't always get what you want, do you. SO YES. Golden this book was. I recommend it to fans of contemporary looking for a light beach read when you have a couple free hours to spare.

Content: Milderate
[some language including the S word throughout. A couple mild kisses. Innuendo.]
4 Stars
Well amigos, you know what I think. Now it is your turn to tell me what you think. Link me to your review if you have one! Happy Thursday! XOXO,


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