Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tell Me, What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life?

"I don’t ever want to be someone who needs to be reminded. 
I want to be someone bold, who takes risks and has no regrets. 
I want to have a life made of beauty and love and chance."
--Jessi Kirby, Golden

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 278 pages
Publication Date: May 14th, 2013
Source: Borrowed from library

Goodreads Description

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.

My Thoughts

Book karma strikes again. In case you’re just checking in, I believe in book karma. Books that find you at a time in your life that you need them most. Or at a time when you need to be kicked in the ass a little. Or at a time when you need to be reminded of what you want in life. Or a little bit of all three. This was a book of a little bit of all three. Personal note: I’ve been feeling really restless with my life and job. I’ve always debated doing travel nursing and living in a different city for a few months at a time, working at a hospital that needs staff. Perfect way to see the country without committing to moving completely. Scary as hell. I keep debating back and forth…

…and then Golden found me.

Golden reminded me so much of Just One Day (see review here) that once I got the vibe and message of the story, I was hooked. So much of the writing felt like it was speaking directly to me. The discussion of fate and choices and missed chances and going after what you want in life was just inspiring. It spoke to me about the decisions I am making in my life and reminded me of the things I want out of life. I used to be just like Parker. Play by the rules. Never do anything exciting or wrong. I was definitely a 'play by the rules' girl. As I’ve gone through my twenties I realized I’m not that person. I want excitement. I want to find beauty in nature and in the world around me. I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell—yes, I so totally went there.

Reading about Parker and her choices and missed chances and regrets helped me connect with her character in a way that is unique and special as a reader. It makes the story so much more. She is not a perfect person. She makes mistakes but she feels deeply and comes to realize that she needs to break out of her shell and do things that scare her. Take the road less traveled—yes, so totally went there, too. Her growth throughout the book is not won easily and it made her feel so real.

The writing of this book is beautiful in a poignant, tragic, but also hopeful way. The book definitely had a melancholic feel to it but I loved it. Life isn’t perfect. We don’t know where the roads we take will lead us. But we have to keep moving on. The underlying mystery that Parker is trying to piece together drove the book for me. While I loved Parker and her journey completely, the love story involved with the journal was epic. I was tearing up at multiple points because of all the feels. It was just so tragically and beautifully sad. I almost don’t want to use that word because it makes it seem negative and it is anything but. The writing of this book is poetic and lovely and it gave me good feels. I didn’t want to put it down.

The quote that is featured throughout the story, also the title of the post, ‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?’ is something I truly live my life by. I love talking about the things people want in life. I love this message. I love trying to do this. This is one of those quotes that just speaks volumes to me. Life is just too short to not do exactly what you want. Too short to not 'carpe diem' and do things that make you happy. I cannot get enough of exploring this idea.

This is one of those books that writing a review can’t do it as much justice as it deserves. I can’t put into words more than I’ve already tried how gorgeous this book is. It makes you remember what your dreams are. Your passions. Your aspirations. It makes you want to make your dreams a reality and fight for every choice you make in order to get there. It did for me. I absolutely LOVE books that inspire you to want more out of life.

Should You Read This? Absolutely. This books makes you think. It inspires you. It makes you want more. It is beauty in words. 


  1. I ADORE THIS BOOK. But hey, you KNOW THAT already. But it is truly beautiful and I am glad it inspired you!! :-P Can't wait for more from Jessi!!

  2. YESSSSS. This book AND Just One Day both found me when I needed them as well. ESP Just One Day. It caused me to do what I needed to do and get rid of some things I wasn't happy with in my life and this year has been WAY better because of it.

    YAY BOOK KARMA FOR THE WIN! So glad you loved this one too!

  3. This book is absolutely amazing and wonderful and just beautiful. I think I've had times in my life when I've been Parker too. AND I'm also toying with the idea of travel nursing - but locally because I have the fam to take care of too! How ya like them apples?

    I read this one a while back and I remember being just BLOWN AWAY at how well JKirby weaved the two stories together. I love stories within stories, so this one was just a match for me, but I didn't expect it to be as wonderful as it was when I started it. It's high on my list of favorites for the year. And now I need to read more of her work because this is the first Kirby I've read!

    1. Totally agree! The stories weaved so well that I almost lost track of which scenario was taking place now vs years ago. Definitely a favorite of the year, I fell in love with it!

      And my friend did travel nursing locally! Made a ton of money!

  4. I really enjoyed this book, too. I could really relate to Parker, so I also felt really connected to her personal journey. While I didn't love everything about the book, I absolutely adored how personal this story felt. Almost every review I've read of it has been more about how the reader connected to the theme/message in it than anything about the characters/plot, which I love and find really unique.

    1. I love when you can feel a personal connection to the characters or story. It makes it so much more emotional. And just amazing in my opinion.

  5. I LOVE that quote!! SO MUCH!
    And OMG, this book is AMAZING!! Seriously, I sorta stumbled onto it because I was bored at work and it was free to read on PulseIt, but it BLEW ME AWAY! And I totally loved the story within a story that the mystery of the journal was :)

    1. That journal was amazing!! So glad you stumbled upon it because it is one of my favorite reads of the year!

  6. Kelly this is such a beautiful review!! My god you make me want to read it again. I can definitely understand how you are feeling. The restlessness. I play by the rules but I want to find the courage to take risks on some things that I think will make me happy. Travel nursing sounds amazing and if it's something you want to do and this book moves you to give it a try then I think that is magical. This is part of why I love books so much! Wonderful book, but wonderful wonderful review!!!!

    1. OMG Nicole, you're making me blush!! You seriously made my freakin' day!! Heart you! <3

  7. Isn't this book the GREATEST? I adored it because I too found a personal connection with Parker. The story made me feel challenged, made me want to do thing, and want MORE. I adored the way Kirby managed to write this story, as it really spoke to me as a reader. The theme is the best!

    1. IT IS THE GREATEST! Again, you know all my feels...while reading...thanks for being such a great friend :)

  8. I think that what you said here, "It inspires you. It makes you want more. It is beauty in words." is exactly how I would sum up Golden. I didn't love it as much as Just One Day, but it's SO SO GOOD. It reminded me of why I love reading, and I'm so grateful for that.


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