Author: Jessi Kirby
Release Date/Publisher: May 14th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Finished: October 8th 2013
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.
What I thought:
I have to admit that I liked this book, but I had trouble figuring out what to say about it for a few days. It definitely brought me on a fun journey though and I really loved seeing everything with Parker develop.
Parker is the type of girl who always listens and does what she’s told, stays in to study instead of going out and so on. But when that journal of a long deceased girl falls into her hands, she can’t resist the temptation to take it and read it, which is something she would normally never do. From here her steady change starts as she goes on a personal and actual journey to find out more about the girl who wrote it, Juliana.
While worrying about a possible love connection and if that would work out she also has a speech that her mother is presuing her to get done for a university grant. Then as she reads the journal her whole idea of the dead golden couple falls apart and she starts to wonder what’s really important, and if it’s worth missing out on the real things in life.
I really liked how the book ended, and the whole message of just going and doing something worthwhile in your life was so great. If you’re looking for a wonderful contemporary read that will have you thinking about taking that next leap in life, then pick this book up!