June 12, 2013

Book Review: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still by Nina LaCour (4.5 Stars)

Blurb from Goodreads: 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


I don't normally read stories like this so I'm kinda out of my league. But I didn't expect to love it so much.

Caitlin's loss. Her old life, where she takes photography, where she got to do things she never thought of doing, where she was happy with Ingrid, all evaporated with Ingrid herself. Everything seems so dull now, everything was just too forced with her. What will she do, now that her only best friend left her behind?

As I progressed through the book, I found a lot of things that made this an instant favorite. The plot of the book was really simple. It kinda resembles most books that are also has the same topic as this one. Pacing was a bit dragging at first, but then when Caitlin starts to come out of her shell, it finally became interesting to read.

Honestly, I tried avoiding this kind of books because I often don't understand why they died, and why they chose to just die. Life for me, is precious and important, so I find it hard to see someone die out of suicide. I was frustrated reading this actually, I didn't understand why Caitlin was how she was, I didn't understand why her parents and all of those around her acted like they had. I didn't understand why this all happened. Gladly I found answers.

Caitlin was a  hard character to actually understand for me, I don't get why she's stuck. I know Ingrid was her best friend and they did everything together. But I didn't like that she completely got down on life because her friend died. I hated that life became much sadder and duller for her, because she chose to do that. I hated that she moped and that she couldn't move on, if not for herself, but for Ingrid, her family or maybe even for those around her. But then (finally!!) she met a few others that helped her have the courage to move on. This was the time I started really appreciating the book. By this time, I started to appreciate all of those baby steps Caitlin did to move on, though the memory of Ingrid still hurts, she did her best to try to move on and I loved her for finally making that decision.

I also loved how the other characters were with Caitlin. Dylan was awesome since she's one of reasons why Caitlin changed. I loved how she used tough love to finally shake Caitlin out of moping. Sure she can be weird and mysterious at times, but I appreciated how she thinks and how she understands Caitlin as a friend.

Taylor is major proof that guys doesn't let hormones get in the way of what they should do :D, I really adore him because of how he treated Caitlin. Sure he really likes Caitlin, but he never abused her current condition. He didn't push her, he was just there. I loved how delicate he was with her, how he treated her like someone precious (which she was.)

I loved how Ms. Delani became a source of inspiration and answers for Caitlin. I didn't understand why she was so cold to Caitlin, but then in the end, she became one of the people who gave inspiration to Caitlin. She was a great teacher and I loved that she chose to tell the truth.

Most of all, I loved Caitlin's parents for how they treated Caitlin. Despite having been depressed, despite doing things most parents would be so furious at, despite being rebellious and confusing they were there for her. I pretty much cried at one moment because of this:

He wipes tears off my face and then snot. He uses his hands. He loves me that much.
I really appreciated how Caitlin's parent's acted. They were patient and understanding, yet firm. They let her do things she wants but still gives limitations. Basically, I appreciated how they showed their love for Caitlin. It warmed my heart and made me cry, because I felt how they loved her so much.

Hold Still, is an inspiring novel because it was emotional, it was different yet relating. It talks about Caitlin, a girl who's always been in the shadow of her friend, find her true self, and find that she can survive the world. Because she's living and she's happy.


I'm not the type of girl that usually reads these kinds of novels, but I did enjoy reading this a lot because it reminded me of how much blessed I was with my parents, my family, relatives, friends and teachers. It made me realize that I had a lot of people that inspired me and made me stronger, made me who I am today. I definitely recommend this to every one, and I personally think it will be a interesting read for you also. :D

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Nina LaCour grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first job was at fourteen in an independent bookstore, and she has since worked in two others. She has tutored and taught in various places, from a juvenile hall to a private college. She now teaches English at an independent high school.


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email: nina@ninalacour.com

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