Monday, February 11, 2013

Dawn Goes Down Today

Expected Publication:  May 14th, 2013
By: Jessi Kirby
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13:  9781442452169

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she 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 mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.


     Parker Frost has spent her entire life being the good girl, and playing it safe.  Now she's almost ready to graduate from high school and she's never broken any rules, given in to her feelings for the bad boy or truly enjoyed herself just being a teenager.  But when she is thrown into the middle a mystery, holding the piece of the puzzle that might solve it over a decade after the fact, Parker must decide whether or not to do the 'right' thing, or follow her heart for once.  Things aren't always what they seem though, and the town tragedy may be more tragic than anyone ever suspected.  Can Parker set things right, or will she only make things worse? And can she learn from the mistakes of two doomed, teen lovers or will she repeat them?  I felt sorry for Parker and yet wanted to smack some sense/adventure into her at the same time.  It was admirable how much she loved her Mom and wanted to make things easier for her by being good.  But to let her Mom map out her entire future and control every last aspect of her life, at the age of eighteen?  That was a little much.  I couldn't imagine going that far for someone I loved, if it would make me miserable for probably the rest of my life.  The relationship between Parker and her best friend Kat was amusing, touching and wonderfully written.  There were sparks between Parker and Trevor were more sweet than hot for me.  But after the all-consuming nature of Alison and Willem's relationship from Just One Day, it was a welcome change.  The mystery of what happened to local teens Shane Cruz and Julianna Farnetti was interesting, but it was also pretty predictable.  I did like the ending that allowed for some happiness though and it was good that Parker got a dose of reality and learned that life isn't like a Nicholas Sparks book/movie, while still maintaining her romantic outlook.  Overall it was an interesting book.  Seeing Julianna teach Parker to live by these words by Mary Oliver,  "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" was definitely a different approach to the usual dead girl guide trope.  It reminded me somewhat of the coming of age novels that have made Susane Colasanti, Sarah Dessen and Jennifer E. Smith famous.  Jessi Kirby is well on her way to being in their league.  Also, the cover is gorgeous and the tag line is in keeping with the story for once.  Good on you S&S, good on you. :)

VERDICT:  4/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It will be available for purchase on May 14th, 2013.*

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