Hold Still by Nina LaCour: photography, treehouses and friendship

Title: hold stillHold Still

Author: Nina LaCour

Genre: YA contemporary

Length: 230 pages

Published by: Dutton

Source: library


Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.

Summary in a sentence: Caitlin, whose best friend Ingrid recently committed suicide, attempts to put the pieces of her life back together.

So um, this book is sad. Be prepared for that. For some reason I’ve read a few sad books lately. There was Speak and then Wintergirls, and before that The Minnow and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Maybe I’ve been in a sad book mood or something. Do you ever get that? Maybe I’ll do a discussion post on it.

Anyway, this book is sad, but not in an annoying way. The annoying way is when everything is cliched and everything is supposed to make you cry but it doesn’t because your too busy being annoyed. Caitlin is trying to get over her friend Ingrid’s death, but for obvious reasons, that’s not the easiest thing in the world.

My favourite part of this book was the photography.

This was a link between Ingrid and Caitlin, a really powerful one that I adored. I loved the descriptions of particular photos. I loved their passion for it, and the way each of them would go to the same place and take photos that were completely different.

I loved Caitlin’s relationship with her parents. Caitlin comes off as quite rude sometimes, but I was fine with that – I mean, her best friend committed suicide. Her parents are just trying to support her and I thought that was really lovely.

I also loved Caitlin’s relationship with her teacher. I can’t say too much because spoilers, but the way that developed…well, I’ve never seen many teacher/student relationships in YA, and I loved this one. (edit: not a romantic relationship, just to clarify…)

ALSO TREEHOUSE. I’m not even sure how this came about, but Caitlin starts building a treehouse – how cool is that?

Then, of course, there’s the main friendship with Dylan (who is a girl). That was so well done. In fact, all the relationships were well developed. I didn’t care that much for the romance, but then I often don’t – a lot of the time romantic sub-plots feel unnecessary to me.

Ingrid’s journal entries also were really great to read – they felt so real. I’m a big fan of formats that are different to the norm, and this certainly fits. If I had one wish, it would be that there were photos in the book – that would be so cool (plus, I like pictures).

Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties



I cannot wait to read Everything Leads to You by the same author – I saw it before I picked this one up, and I am so impressed by Nina LaCour’s writing that I SO want to own it!

everything leads to you

8 thoughts on “Hold Still by Nina LaCour: photography, treehouses and friendship

  1. Oh wow, so is there a teacher/student relationship in this one? Sounds promiscuous! This book sounds absolutely aching, with all of the books I’ve read lately that are erring on the sad side, I think I need a few different ones to pick myself up. This sounds so intensely emotional. Lovely review Emily!

  2. Aristotle and Dante wasn’t that sad was it??? .-. I just found it more of a book that made you think than one that made me sad (although thinking does lead to saddness so??).

    This sounds so gorgeous though. I’ve never read anything by the author but I’ve heard so many good things about her books.

    Also the photography element definitely has my attention! 😀

    Fantastic review, Emily!! 😀

  3. Oh wow. This seems like an amazing book. I love books with realistic and strong friendships, as well as interesting formats, like the one in The Book Thief. I’m kind of disappointed that it doesn’t have any pictures. I see your point in that if a major part of the book revolves around pictures, there should be pictures in it. Fortunately, that probably won’t sway my decision to read this book.

  4. Pingback: What Happened This Week: Stacking the Shelves and Happy Birthday To Me | The Loony Teen Writer

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