At this point in the year I am so ready to just throw in the towel and declare myself a contemporary fangirl. I have been having no luck with dystopians, paranormals or even post apocalyptic stories but every single time I pick up a contemporary I am sucked in and emotional. Those are the best kinds of reads, aren’t they? GOLDEN is no exception, I absolutely adored this book. From the beautiful writing to the amazing characters and the magical inclusion of great poetry. Parker Frost is an overachiever, she is at the top of her class and doing anything she can to get a full ride to Stanford to chase her dreams. We meet her as she is in the final weeks of her senior year and helping out as TA to english teacher Mr. Kinney. One of Kinney’s most successful assignments in his role of teacher is when he hands his outgoing seniors a journal and asks them to fill it with the answer to this question: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Pretty loaded question, right? I love the idea of this assignment so much and how it weaved a bit of mystery into the story. See, Parker finds among the stack the journal of Julianna Farnetti. Julianna went missing on the night of her graduation 10 years ago with her boyfriend Shane Cruz. They were the small towns golden couple and their bodies had never been found. As Parker takes Julianna’s journal and reads her innermost thoughts she begins to see that this romance wasn’t everything that it seemed and unravels some shocking truths. What always makes a contemporary for me is the characters and this one had a cast of great ones. I really liked seeing Parker change as she did throughout the story. We met her when she was on a strict and disciplined path to get into Stanford and we watch her begin to stray in order to find out who she is. All the while her best friend Kat is there pushing her to do something wild & crazy in her final days of high school. Kat was so awesome! I loved her free spirit and her loudmouth ways. She always had Parker’s best interest in mind and was quick to support her in any way that she could. There were so many little things she did throughout the novel that made her into a best friend that I would love to have in my own life. Even Parker’s mother was incredibly supportive of her (even if she went a little overboard) so it was refreshing to see a present parent in the story as well. Not only do we get to see great friendships and parenting but we also get two sweet love stories.There is so much romance in these pages! We get to see what Julianna had went through 10 years ago which is romantic, beautiful and sad all at the same time and we also get to watch Parker’s crush slowly grow. I liked her love interest, Trevor. He was really funny and because they had known each other for so many years they were able to poke at each other. It was cute because they were incredibly sarcastic with one another and were always forcing the other to read between the lines. Trevor really went out of his way to put himself into Parker’s life and he became someone that was incredibly supportive of her as well. As you can see there are so many great relationships in GOLDEN and also a page turning, slow burning mystery. All of these elements came together perfectly and I was enraptured by the story until I reached the very last page. I had told myself at about halfway through that I was going to make myself read a chapter an hour to drag it out because I didn’t want it to end but that didn’t happen. I read this in a single day and wouldn’t change a thing about it. If you don’t have this one on your TBR you need to put it there because this is a beautiful story you don’t want to miss. An Advanced Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.--You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.