Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review: Hold Still

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Hold StillHold Still by Nina LaCour
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just after an evening she spent with her best friend, Ingrid, planning where they would go to college, Caitlin wakes up to find out that Ingrid committed suicide. No note. No explanation. Ingrid was there and suddenly, she wasn't there anymore.

Hold Still begins at the point where Caitlin has to go back to school and try to piece her life back together without Ingrid. Everyone seems to want her to move on and get over her friends death. For some, like her photography teacher, it seems like their investment has more to do with their own desire to not have to think about Ingrid's death and less with Caitlin's recovery.

In spite of her desire to hold on to the past so she can keep Ingrid close in some form, Caitlin befriends a new cool girl at school, and starts dating a boy she's had her eye on for a while. She also finds Ingrid's journal. For Caitlin, the journal is a mixed blessing. The pages make her feel closer to Ingrid than she has in a long time, but reading them also means experiencing all the pain Ingrid tried to hide from everyone for so long.

Nina LaCour's writing is so lovely and insightful that Caitlin's pain and sense of abandonment are palpable without being cloying and sentimental. When I first picked this book up, I knew it was either going to be wonderful or really bad. The other reviews were good, so I decided to go for it and I'm so glad I did. Hold Still isn't just another teen suicide novel. Like the title suggests, it's about trying to move on when doing so seems overwhelming.

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