Received: Received a copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date: May 14, 2013
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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.
When I first saw this book, I didn't know much about it. The cover was nice but I just didn't feel very interested... and then the reviews started coming out and I realized that this book was not what I was thinking it was going to be about. I didn't really read the synopsis much, I just kind of assumed it was a contemporary book like many others out there (well my mistake for assuming something... I should know better by now).
When I started reading this, I was really intrigued, I loved how Jessi Kirby introduces this idea of writing a journal before you graduate and receiving it 10 years later.. I would love to be able to look back on my life like that. I wish I had something like that to be able to look back on the past and see how the path I chose changed me. But anyways back to the actual story...
When Parker finds Julianna's journal she wants to read about this amazing love story that she grew up with. Parker loves things like that, Romeo and Juliet and The Notebook are continually mentioned throughout this book. But what Parker finds is a different story and one with a mystery attached to it. I felt very connected with Parker in some ways... I was never one to really cross the line when I was in high school, I didn't do a lot of things other people did (though I was not as studious as Parker is). Parker was such an amazing character though, this book is about her finally learning to let go and do something for herself, and Julianna's journal is what finally pushed her there.
Parker really grows throughout the book and learns a lot about herself and what it means to take a different path than expected. I loved the little bit of romance for Parker in the book, but it didn't overshadow what the book was really about. This book is really about learning to live for yourself. This is a book that I think everyone needs to read, it's not like a lot of contemporaries out there (at least none that I have read). This book has found a special place in my heart now, and I would love to read more from Jessi Kirby after this story.