The chance discovery of a private journal leads 17-year-old Parker Frost on a journey in which she finds out as much about herself as about the mystery she is trying to solve.
Parker is a serious, hardworking high school senior whose goal up till now has been to fulfill her ambitious divorced mother’s dream of a scholarship to Stanford. Reading the journal written 10 years earlier by a girl who supposedly perished with her boyfriend in a grisly accident, Parker finds clues in a painting that suggest that Julianna may still be alive. Some detective work leads Parker to the Kismet cafe, where Josh, aka Orion, works, the man Parker now believes to have been Julianna’s true lover 10 years ago. Encouraged by her best friend and her longtime crush, Parker agrees to ditch school and try to find Julianna. A drive to the small hippie town of Harmony turns up the art gallery where the woman Parker believes is Julianna lives under the ironic name of Hope. Although her romantic plans fall apart, Parker learns an important life lesson. In her final dramatic career move, she takes the “road less traveled,” mirroring the words of her namesake and favorite poet. Parker tells her story in the now-omnipresent present tense, unfolding it at a leisurely pace consistent with its theme of self-discovery.
A satisfying counterpoint to conventional romantic teen fiction. (Fiction. 12-17)