Objectively, there's nothing wrong with Golden; in fact there's a lot to commend, as many positive reviews point out. But there's something so... sanitised and slightly wish-fulfilment-y (I know that's not a word) about this book. I guess I prefer my realistic fiction with a little more grit, some dirt. This is an account of young adulthood I don't really connect to - Parker's issues didn't resonate with me and Julianna's story felt (dare I say it) too sentimental and affected for my taste. Please bear in mind that this is more quick personal opinion than a critical review of the novel. I can see why many people enjoyed this story. But I confess I felt a rather "boo-effing-hoo" over Parker's "I've never broken the rules, I'm such a good girl, waa waa" predicament. I know, I'm a grinch.