First Lines: There’s no such thing as a secret in this town.  But I’m keeping this one, just for today.

I can’t say that I’ve ever read anything by Kirby before.  This was one of those books I thought sounded interesting on Goodreads and I grabbed it when I went to the library because it was different.

Parker Frost (yes, possibly related to Robert Frost, thanks for asking) is her school’s good girl and perfectionist.  She’s going to graduate without having done many of the things girls her age have.  Like kissing a boy.  Then Parker finds herself enmeshed in the local town mystery.  Ten years ago, Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz, the town’s young golden couple, died when Shane’s jeep fell into a river at the bottom of a ravine.  Only their bodies were never found.  Searches never turned up any bodies or evidence to contradict this conclusion.  But Parker has Julianna’s high school journal and it tells a different story from the Julianna in stories.  Reading the journal gives Parker an opportunity to break some rules–and discover what really happened ten years ago.

I thought this was a pretty magical book for not having a lick of magic in it.  What I mean by that is that I felt a deep connection to the story, one that I feel is going to stick with me for quite some time.

I really related to Parker because in high school, I was that good girl who never “lived”, per se.  I feel like I “lived” without having gone to parties and whatnot.  It was really easy to see why she would connect with Julianna’s story and want to discover the truth about the accident.  I wanted to know what had happened to her.

You really start to find yourself rooting for characters you never thought you’d root for.  And I think that’s really awesome.  It felt like I was just looking at life, rather than a story.  In life, you never quite know who’s going to make that lasting impression on you, or what adventures lie around the next corner.  It felt like that, which is one of the highest compliments I think I can pay a book.

I liked that this story was told from Parker’s perspective, but we very clearly got Julianna’s voice in it as well.  Parker and Julianna are not even close to being the same kind of girls.  It was nice to see high school through both of their eyes, especially since they lived very different lives that still happened to be slightly intertwined.

The plot and the supporting characters were also quite good.  While I found parts of it predictable, I still thought it was a really amazing read.  I kept trying to find time where I could learn more about Julianna and watch Parker try to find the truth.  It was a great, fun read with some very deep lessons to learn along the way.

Screenshot 2013-11-20 08.13.27

(When I posted on Twitter that this review was up, this was the response I got.  Kirby seal of approval.)


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