21 Following


Golden - Jessi Kirby Golden hit all my YA sweet spots. Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost is about to graduate from high school. She's valedictorian, on the way to Stanford, and is up for the local memorial scholarship that would offer her a full ride on the way to becoming a doctor just as her mother has always planned. But to nail the scholarship, she has to deliver a speech detailing just why she deserves it - and what she's going to do with it. Parker knows what she's always planned on doing, but is it what she wants to do? When Parker's BFF Kat, as always, insists that she take a few risks, Parker is actually poised to listen this time.

"Tell me, what is it you plan on doing with your one wild and precious life?" When Parker finds the journal of Julianne Farnetti, part of the lost couple honored by the memorial scholarship, while mailing out the English journals of this year's 10 year reunion class, she is drawn into Mary Oliver's question. What was Julianne's answer? What will Parker's be?

As Stefon would say, this book has everything: poetry (Parker may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, and a line or title of one of his poems opens every chapter), a mystery, an awesome BFF, self-discovery, romance, a road trip, a big movie-style speech at the end. The Mary Oliver quote that, along with Robert Frost's poems, inspires the narrator of the story, gets to the heart of what I love most about YA literature - the wide open possibilities of the life you set out on after high school, the choices you make that make you, and the crazy idea that while it may be your first chance, it's not your last one. This book nails it. Now I'm going to go read some poetry.