Golden

 

Golden

Golden by Jessi Kirby

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How many people have gotten older and forgotten about the things they hoped for and dreamed about when they were young? Or given up without ever taking a chance, or settled in life because it’s easier, or they’re scared, or whatever other excuses? How many people need a reminder of who they once were?

Parker Frost will soon graduate high school and she would graduate without every doing anything risky. Valedictorian of her class and up for a scholarship from the Cruz-Farnetti scholarship, she’s supposed to spend her remaining days as senior composing the speech that will make her win the the scholarship – ticket to the standford, premed and the life she thought she wanted.

But then, she finds Julianna Farnetti’s journal. Shane Cruz and Julianna Farnetti is the golden couple… until a stormy night where they plunged into a river…and gone forever without even a body to bury. After then, their families opened a scholarship program to help teenagers with their future, a life Shane and Julianna weren’t given a chance to.

But Julianna’s journal somehow tells a different kind of story than being the ‘golden’ couple. With the secret Julianna keeps before the accident, Parker knows there’s more to the story. With that, she was ready to do a risky thing and set out to an adventure with her best friend, Kat, and her long time crush, Trevor.

Golden, for me, is one of those typical coming of age story. Typical goody-two-shoes girl but then fate comes along and she starts to “live her life” and have fun. This book extremely reminded me of John Green’s Paper Towns – finding clues and then a road trip and a certain mystery. The romance is also typica. Parker always had  feelings for Trevor but never really acted upon it until her “risky” adventures.

Yes, the book is typical but it is still very enjoyable. I happen to love these kinds of books in spite of me expecting something more. I still found myself immersed into the book and involved with the characters. The book even got me thinking about my life choices and what I want to do with my “one wind and precious life”. And I guess that’s one of the things I like about a book- it makes you feel and it makes you think. The characters are very relatable. I think most of us were in that point when we have the rest of our life ahead of us and we are facing a decision that may change it forever. We are on that point where we dread that maybe some time in the future, we may look back at this moment and feel regrets and not gratitude. That’s exactly what Parker is going through.

Overall, I think it’s a good read. It’s not a “scream while reading” and “put-down-the-book-and cry” kind of a good book but a calming feeling kind of book.

Eleanor & Park

 

Eleanor & Park

 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 3 of5 stars

What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that?, he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.

 

Eleanor and Park is actually a typical teenage love story. Two people living their opposite lives meet in a way that happens everyday, in a way that could have happened to anyone- in their case, the school bus. Slowly, through their mutual interests drawing them together, they realize that the person is so much more and they fall in love. However, life is just not that simple – Eleanor’s life is not simple and their love is actually “forbidden”.

I really liked the narrative of this book. The story was told the way teenagers would have told it. Inside Eleanor’s POV, I could hear a teenage girl in love talking about her first love and how it’s the only thing that matters in my life now. Let’s face it – we were all there. Eleanor, in my opinion, was a bit selfish and all her attention was on Park. When I reflected it to my reality, I realized that it’s just how we are – we think our first love is the best thing that ever happened to us – and the best thing that would ever happen to us. Rainbow Rowell was able to portray the minds of a sixteen-year-old guy and a sixteen-year-old girl in love.

The light-heartedness of the narrative, for me, overpowers the heavy concepts which made it very easy to read. If you are looking for something to make you smile and giggle, then this might be a great read for you. But, that’s all the book has done for me so if you’re actually looking for something that will change you, this might not be it.

The ending haunts me though. I really wanted more. It was not enough for me. It was too vague. I’m the kind of person who seeks closure so I’m not really fond of open endings.

Moreover, I feel like there’s something lacking here – something that makes young adult romances above the others. This book’s elements are something that I have seen before. There’s nothing that makes me really laugh out loud, or pause reading to cry or to scream.

This book is just like an acquaintance, you enjoy the company for a while but it’s not someone you’d call to have dinner with or share exciting news with.