Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a 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.

Deep, emotional, touching. It started off slow, but once I was in the middle, I was hooked. The story played out beautifully as Caitlin faced her grief: reading Ingrid’s diary, facing Ingrid’s crush, facing her and Ingrid’s photography teacher. You ache for her friend and Caitlin as she tries to understand and move on. You know at some point in the story you will cry. There was a loss, a huge loss, and when you see how deeply it hurts more people than just Caitlin, it makes you realize how important each one of us is. When you cry, it’s not because of the loss, it’s because of the rebirth of everyone who loved Ingrid. The point where they all get to see what an impact has been made.

I also loved the whole tree house thing. It was one of my aspirations for someday--to build a huge tree house. I never got to have one when I was a kid.

Extraordinarily and beautifully written. The feelings were made heartbreakingly clear. The way it ends leaves you at peace, and the character and story stays with you a long while after. It’s still with me.


  1. Wow, this book sounds fantastic! I'll definitely have to add Hold Still to my tbr pile. :)

  2. It really was. Thanks for commenting!


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