Golden (Golden #1)
But it’s becoming clear that Emory High has a few secrets of its own. Around the halls, the term “special powers” goes way beyond one’s ability to attract the opposite sex, and there may be something more evil than the A-crowd lurking in the classrooms. Lissy can see a lot more than the average girl, but she’s about to learn the hard way that things aren’t always as they appear and you can’t always judge a girl by her lip gloss.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes' debut novel Golden follows a young girl who is forced to move from California to Oklahoma after a scandal concerning her mother hits their small town. Felicity, a.k.a. Lissy, is part of a long line of gifted females. Lissy's Sight, as the gift is known, is aura seeing. Shortly after moving to Oklahoma Lissy's Sight begins to grow and she soon learns of a growing enemy in her new school. The novel also follows Lissy as she masters the clearly drawn line that divides the Goldens, popular kids, and Nons, nonpoular kids, at her school.
Those who have read Barnes' more recent novels (The Squad series and Tattoo) will quickly loose interest. The novel is written very methodically and though the plot moves quickly the read may prove agonizing. However the final chapters are where Barnes' tantalizing writing shines through, capturing the readers attention. Though the climax is gone just as fast as it came, Barnes' trademark style, it is still heart pounding.
This novel earns its recommendation solely on the ending. So go buy a copy and while you're suffering through the begging of the novel look for foreshadowing, because Barnes delivers them by the bucket load, and get ready for a teeth clenching finally!
When Lissy and Lexie's family is forced to leave California for a small town in Oklahoma, Lissy is determined to act normal and be accepted. That is cue to suppress her mysterious but often just inconvenient Seer ability to see people's auras: different colors for different personalities. Yeah, an ingredient for "freak," right?
At Emory High, the cliques are terrible. You are either a Golden--the popular and the gorgeous--or you are a Non. It doesn't help that the triumvirate of the Golden girls seems to have it in for Lissy, simple because of her awkwardness. Well, and a few things that involve her freaky ability to see auras.
Lissy finds companionship in her friends Audra and Dylan as she reluctant grows into her Seer abilities and begins to figure out the extent of her power. However, there's also a powerful evil lurking in the hallways of Emory High. Lissy needs to find out who it is and how to defeat it before it destroys her magical family and everyone she knows.
The story is interesting but the writing falls flat. None of the characters have time to grow into three-dimensional figures for me. Jennifer Lynn Barnes has a while to go before she will be fully developed as a writer. At least she's still young.
New girl in school, Lissy, finds herself in trouble with the school's social ladder.
People are classified in different groups, the Nons and the Goldens. And Lissy is decidely not a Golden.
Besides having to deal with being the victim of some of the Goldens' ideas of torture, Lissy has to deal with her Sight, a power which enables her to see the auras and connections between people.
Then Lissy sees her math teacher, his aura is Garn or evil. It's up to Lissy, her sister and her new 2 friends to figure out what her math teacher did to make him so evil and convince everyone that he isn't the wonderful person that they think he is.
I thought it was a pretty decent book and the ideas are interesting. Some of the time it got a bit muddly but otherwise it's a good read.
When Lissy James moves from California to Oklahoma, she expects her new home life to be exceedingly boring. After all, what is even in Oklahoma? When she gets to Emory High, however, she realizes it is going to be anything but boring. The social structure -- Goldens vs. Nons, is both extremely prominent and hard to understand. Lissy is even more worried about Emory High discovering her Aura Vision, which is growing stronger all the time and sure to label her as a freak and a Non for life. The more time she spends there the more she realizes that the may not be the only one with "powers" and that not even her aura vision can help her know at all times who is good and who is not. Readers will cheer for Lissy as she battles evil, some in the form of her school's alpha female, some much more dangerous. This new-girl tale has far too many supernatural elements to be completely familiar, yet girls everywhere will relate, and the characters are realistic enough that you may start to wonder when you'll receive your powers.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote Golden when she was only nineteen, but you can't tell by reading this book. It doesn't seem like a teenager wrote it (not that all teenagers are bad writers, but most think they're way better than they actually are), but an experienced author. In the novel, Lissy James' family moves to California from Oklahoma. Big deal. Lots of people move. Lissy's move, however, is a little different.
There are two major dramas she has to deal with in her life. One is the typical teen movie sort of high school thing: everyone in her high school is separated into two groups. Goldens are the popular ones, Nons are everyone else. She's got to understand that and decide which side she falls on.
She may not have much of a choice, though, if her Aura Vision gets in the way of things. In her family, the women have powers to see things differently from most people, and Lissy can see people's auras. If that's not freaky enough, her powers are expanding so that she can see more, even the connections between people. Possible, she thinks, the fault of her grandmother.
Every part of this book is great. The characters are interesting (with way more to them than meets the eye, which is nice, not to have everything right at the surface). The plot as well. Perhaps teenagers in an ordinary world with magical powers are becoming rather common in YA literature, but this book is one of the better ones of that type. Anyway, it's a good thing to write about. Popular, and you can usually get a good story out of it. This author sure did!
In this story, there's evil. There's magic. There's the popular crowd versus the losers. Even a hint of romance. Basically, take elements from lots of popular teen books, put them together, and you have a great book: Golden. Not only is it a fabulous first novel, but it's written by a brilliant new author. I'm certainly looking forward to reading Jennifer Lynn Barnes' next book!