Wednesday, July 30, 2014

[Review] Hold Still by Nina LaCour

[Goodreads]
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 25/09/2009
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 230
Source: Won
Genre: YA (14+)

Violence | Sexual ContentProfanity


Book Tunes
Passenger - Let Her Go

My Rating: 
Powerful and moving.
My thoughts

In one word: engrossing. I kind of felt like, after the last page I wanted even more. I found that I wasn't finished with the characters, I wanted to stay with them for a while longer but LaCour had decided that their stories were done, and that made me kind of sad and want more. But that's kind of what happens when an author has just done something really right: when equal amounts of satisfaction and longing are felt by the reader when he/she reads that last page.



I came into this book expecting something dark, somber, emotional, deep, hard to swallow. It was all of these things, but what I wasn't expecting so much was the hope that followed. Yes, LaCour brings to light the extremely debilitating effects that grief and loss has following a young girl's suicide (for the one left behind), but the after can be a major up and down roller-coaster journey. I loved following Caitlin's journey.

The romance was quite sweet, but thinking about it it was a bit weird. The whole outcast girl/popular guy thing sometimes gels with me, sometimes it doesn't. I thought their interactions were nice but as a whole it never clicked with me. The good thing is it doesn't matter all that much to me. I was able to take it all at face value and appreciate the aw factor of it all without needing to really believe it.

Something extra special about this book is that it includes journal entries (from the dead girl, Ingrid). The journal entries were such a treat to read. I absolutely love reading journal entries in fiction. These raw, startling entries that provided glimpses into the working mind of Ingrid. She shares every little thing that she was too scared to share even to her best friend Caitlin, who suffers from immense guilt following a suicide that should have been prevented. A girl that she should have been able to help. I felt that it was important that the author include this, that the overall messages wouldn't have been nearly as impacting had there not been some way of expressing Ingrid's point of view and her frame of mind as she was leading up to her suicide.

Furthermore, this book is unbelievably bittersweet. The range of emotions that Caitlin handles during the course of her story is just handled so well. LaCour explores the journey of grief, acceptance, first love, growing up, extremely well and without it feeling forced. It felt genuine and almost as though it came from something within the author herself, like a memory.


Overall, I absolutely adore this book and can't wait to venture into more of LaCour's writing. In fact I've already bought her other books and plan to read them in the summer. Despite the subject matter I found this to be a truly absorbing read; rather than completely drain me to the point where I should have only been able to read a chapter at a time, I was so so invested in everything that I needed to keep reading on. I needed to know what was going to happen to all of the characters. Just love. Go and get it!


Quotes

First lines: "I watch drops of water fall from the ends of my hair. They streak down my towel, puddle on the sofa cushion. My heart pounds so hard I can feel it in my ears.
   "Sweetheart. Listen.""

   
Favourite quotes: “It was the moment I realized what music can do to people, how it can make you hurt and feel so good all at once.”
 
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I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.



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