Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour
Genre: YA contemporary
Length: 230 pages
Published by: Dutton
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!