Review: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1 edition (October 20, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525421556
Rating:♥♥♥♥

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 new found 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 .



Review

The loss of a friendship is never easy, but when it is due to suicide it takes on a different meaning. The sadness, anger, grief and the ever present question why? Hold Still by Nina LaCour is a powerful and moving story about a girl that is trying to cope with the death of her best friend and how she is maneuvers her way through that grief to shine with hope.

Caitlin and Ingrid were the best friends, together through thick and thin, inseparable. ..until Ingrid takes her own life and Caitlin is left behind trying to comprehend this unbearable loss. At first Caitlin exhibits the emotional turmoil that is expected with such a tragedy and the depth and feelings that are witnessed are raw and deep. Then she finds Ingrid's diary that was obviously left for her to read and with each entry Caitlin comes to terms with the fact that her best friend was plagued by darkness. As I read through certain moments I would feel my breath catch and find it hard to breath, Caitlin's emotions felt that "real" to me and it gave life to a character that I understood and could relate to. I also appreciated how her love of photography and creative instincts helped her cope with her loss, this all gave her added depth that I rounded added to her believability.

Nina did a bang up job of creating Caitlin, but this story did not stop with her. Hold Still is a collaboration of amazing characters that are very well written and appreciated. They all gave this story it's heart and depth as you witness Caitlin break out of her shell, create new relationships and grow. Together, they set a hopeful tone instead of the weight of sadness.

I was a huge procrastinator in reading this book, because I have had it sitting on my book shelf staring at me for well over a year. I even went to Nina's book launch and left that night in awe after listening to her read an excerpt and the artwork presented in the novel not to mention the many kudos that went around the room that night. So, now I am kicking myself for being all kinds of stupid because I truly enjoyed this novel. Her simplistic yet effective writing style, beautiful imagery and message are not one to be missed.

1 comment on "Review: Hold Still by Nina LaCour"

Amber wrote: August 12, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Like you, I fell in love with this novel. I still can't forget the strong impact the theater had on me, how it felt like a living breathing character itself. I agree that Caitlin's feelings were very real and that made her easy to relate to. Great review and I'm glad you liked this one as much as I did!


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I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

2014

JULY

MAGGIE STIEFVATER
Books Inc. event at the Alameda Free Library
Wednesday, July 23 @7:30pm

MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 24 Time TBA

Not YA but a favorite author of mine
DEBORAH HARKNESS
Books Inc. Palo Alto
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7pm

ERIKA JOHANSEN * The Queen of Tearling

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS-THE BOOK OF LIFE
Book Passage in San Francisco
Wednesday, July 30 @ 12:30pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS

Copperfield's Petaluma
Wednesday, July 30 @ 7pm

AUGUST

RACHEL DEWOSKIN
Book Passage in San Francisco
Monday, August 4 @6pm

GAYLE FORMAN, NINA LACOUR & JANDY NELSON
Books Inc. in San Francisco
Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm

ANN AGUIRRE, VERONICA ROSSI and CORRINE JACKSON
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, August 8 @ 7pm

SEPTEMBER

SARAH J. MAAS and VERONICA ROSS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, September 12 @ 7pm

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN and MARK HUNTLY PARSONS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 17 @ 7pm

GRETCHEN MCNEIL and ANNA CAREY
Books Inc. San Francisco
Thursday, September 18 @ 7pm

OCTOBER

LAUREN OLIVER
Book Passage in San Francisco
Thursday, October 2 @7pm

LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
Fox Theatre in Redwood City
Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

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