Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Hold Still by Nina Lacour


Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Release Date: October 20th, 2009
Number of Pages: 230
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Bought
An arresting story about starting over after a friend's suicide, froma breakthrough new voice in YA fiction Dear Caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can't. 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.
Hold Still is one those novels that can bring you to tears. I fell in love with Nina LaCour’s writing with this book, and taken by surprise with this amazing story of a teenage girl trying to move on after the suicide of her best friend Ingrid. The book starts right after she learns about her suicide and takes us along her life for the following year. We are taken on the road of Caitlin’s search for answers, as she can’t quite make sense of Ingrid’s suicide. This book deals beautifully with two subjects that can be hard to explore: suicide and mental illness. In this book, Nina LaCour writes about both in a heartbreaking way.

It is hard not to feel anything for Caitlin. Her best friend just killed herself, and she now is left alone to deal with this, trying to understand the why behind her actions. We see Caitlin trying to deal with her guilt, while discovering Ingrid’s deepest thought in the diary she left behind. Reading someone’s diary after their death is never easy, especially if this person just killed himself or herself. After all, people don’t censure what they write in their diaries, as they are usually meant for their eyes only. It is hard not to fall for Caitlin’s heartbreaking journey.

Many characters added some great point of view on what went on. We met Jason, Ingrid’s biggest crush, and the guy she could never stop talking about. We met Taylor, who becomes a great addition to Caitlin’s life, and helps her live again. We met Ms. Delani, her photography teacher, who can’t seem to know how to act with Caitlin.

One thing I really like about the book was Ingrid’s journal. I love how it helped us understanding more about this character we never are able to meet first hand, even though her ghost is there during the entire book. I love the illustrations, how they really make you feel like we are catching a glimpse at her real journal.

Nina LaCour really made me fall in love with her writing. The Disenchantments didn’t catch my heart, but this one did. I absolutely cannot recommend it enough. It is simply heartbreaking, breathtaking and beautiful.

3 comments:

  1. I love NINA LACOUR, her writing is amazing!

    And The Disenchantments really caught my eye a lot and I loved that book, I haven't read Hold Still. But I am really going to get it soon. Great review, I never really knew it was so sad, I must bring out the tissues.

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  2. This novel sounds exactly how you ended this review, "simply heartbreaking, breathtaking, and beautiful." The journal concept sounds fascinating, and I like how it helps you connect with Ingrid. Have you ever read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher? Just like Hold Still, it deals with suicide. If so, would you say that the atmosphere in Hold Still is similar to Thirteen Reasons Why. Just curious:) Awesome review!

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