Book Snap #123

Title: This Golden State

Author: Marit Weisenberg

Date Read: January 17, 2023

Two snaps!

Snapshot of the book

The choices we make, make us who we are.

Choices are also bets we make with the future. And, the bet Poppy’s parents have placed weave a complicated tapestry of anxiety-level unpredictability, fear, paranoia and danger into their lives.

Poppy is a high school senior. But Poppy isn’t like most high school girls. She can’t be. She is likely the only person at Lincoln West High School without a smartphone. She doesn’t make future plans– she never stays anywhere long enough to see them through. She doesn’t even really know anything about her own parents. But when she sees her family parked outside of the school that May afternoon, she knows exactly what it means: for seventeen years they have been on the run, and they’re running again.

Poppy has no idea why her parents have them living like fugitives, she and her sister just abide the Winslow family rules: They don’t use their real names; they don’t stay in one place for too long; when something feels weird, you take one thing and run; they keep the family together at all costs; and you never ask about the past. In their last exodus, they head to California, and things feel different. Different enough that she is compelled to break some of the rules she willfully abides. What she discovers will force her to make her own tough decisions– and make a bet on her own future.

This Golden State is a gripping page-turner. The mystery surrounding Poppy’s family is a tightly-wound ball of secrets– and her bold decision unravels it all. The thrill and suspense of discovering who the Winslows are, along with Poppy, makes the book hard to put down. Her accidental romance with Harry, is both bittersweet and tender. He also struggles with his parents, their expectations, and how to navigate relationships in his life. As intense as their life experiences may seem, they are all too relatable: what teenager doesn’t feel that their parents just don’t understand them?

Weisenberg delivers a thriller, a mystery and a romance all in one. Sure to be a YA favourite!