hold still by Nina LaCour

Book Journey traveled to San Francisco

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304 pages

Cover:  Its good… I think it really captures the book

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.

ο     ο     ο     ο     ο     ο

I picked this book up while I was in Florida at Books A  Million.   Cover and story line drew me in and I was curious to see where this story on teenage suicide would lead.

As the book opened up and I read the first 10 – 15 pages I thought, “The writer has no emotion, it was like everything was just matter of fact – what Caitlin was doing…. it felt – monotone.  And then a new feeling washed over me.  A cold one.

This is grief I thought.  I know grief all too well, and suddenly my appreciation for the book and the author grew in leaps and bounds.  Grief is at times non emotional.  You go through the motions of life, of what you are suppose to – meant to do…. but there is no feeling behind it.  Because – there is no feeling in you.  And this is where I find Caitlin.  And we connect.

I appreciate a book that lets you feel without being told how you should feel.  hold still was just that type of book.  As Caitlin works through her grief, at times seeming so real that tears fell down my face, I could feel the mood of the book lift.

I really could go on and on about the book.   When Caitlin finds a new friend, there is that sense of betrayal to her friend Ingrid who committed suicide.  And then there is the diary which reminded me a little of Thirteen reasons Why (another fantastic book), but this one clearly stood on its own.  Caitlin starts to understand her friend Ingrid more and more through the pages of the diary and reminded me once again how fragile teenagers can be as they deal with growing up, that boy/girl that they really wish would notice them, parents who couldn’t possibly understand, school pressures, friends, popularity….

The more I read, the more impressed I came with the book and have to say this is a fantastic read.  Even as I look at it now for this review, I wish there was more.  It was one of those books that you fall into and befriend the characters, and I miss them already.

I purchased my copy of this book from Books A Million in Pensacola, Florida

20 thoughts on “hold still by Nina LaCour

  1. I’ll recommend this one to our library, but I’m not having much luck there. Money is tight and since I’m not there, they are not purchasing the type of books that stray form a very middle of the road view. Some board members were complaining about vampires and fairies. I’m afraid a lot of series they kids and teens really liked won’t be completed.
    I found 13 REASONS at the flea market for $1.50 this past Sunday. I hope I can get to it soon.

    1. I was pretty good in Florida Esme. I actually went into a B & N and walked out with nothing. I don’t think that has ever happened before! 🙂

      Then – I went to Books A Million and found this book for a greta price. Had to try it 🙂

  2. sounds like one my teenaged daughter might find really interesting. I’m going to text her now to have her check for this in the school library.

  3. i love the way you describe this book as a three dimensional encounter with a character. it is a wonderful way to describe the experience of reading a book that really matters.

  4. Oh you make me want to pick it up and read it now! I love your description and understand all too well exactly what you mean about the numbness. I have to say that they author has to be talented to be able to portray that well. I’m so glad I already have this on my shelf because if I didn’t I would probably be ordering at this very moment after reading your review. Perfect portrayal of how it made you feel.

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