Friday, March 19, 2010

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Grade: A+


That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn Ingrid, and her promise, were gone, and Caitlin was alone. Ingrid's suicide immobilizes Caitlin, leaving her unsure of her place in a new life she hardly recognizes. A life without the art, the laughter, the music, the joy that she shared with her best friend.

But Ingrid left something behind. Devastating and hopeful, playful and hopeless. In words and drawings, Ingrid documented a painful farewell in her journal--just for Caitlin. Journeying through Ingrid's final days, Caitlin fights back through unspeakable loss to find renewed hope.


Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Voice: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Total Score: 66/70

Obtained: Library.

Age Appropriate? R

Cussing: Quite frequently, using crude words. Lots of "f---" ing
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Some teen drinking and smoking, discussion of both, and subtle mentions of drug use.
Sexual Content: Some discussion, one vivid scene, teen/premarital sex, lesbian relationships
Disturbing Images/Violence: Vivid, graphic, disturbing images of suicide, self-mutilation, depression, grief, and self-abuse.


By the time I had read the first three pages of this book, I was crying. Weeping. The emotion is so raw in those first chapters that it nearly killed me. This is a book about dealing with death and suicide. The main character's best friend took her own life. Anyone who has ever loved at all can empathize with her pain. This book really brings to light all we have to lose, how much we need everyone we love. How much we need them not to leave us.

That level of emotion stayed constant throughout the book, but it became easier for the reader to bear as time passed for Caitlin and the initial shock of Ingrid's death faded. The story emerged--a beautiful story of confusion, anger, love, and grief. A story that captured the true essence of what friendship and love are made of and what it is to suddenly lose that. I will remember this book forever.

Hold Still will crush you, heal you, make you cry and make you laugh and make you fall apart. It is poetic, intense, passionate, emotional. Littered with entries from Ingrid's journal, this book is a profound journey toward recovery. The characters have startlingly realistic presences and are perfect for their flaws. Caitlin's voice is painfully truthful. Read it, and you will appreciate it.


Nina LaCour


  1. I really enjoyed this book, very emotional, i like the drawings and the journal enters in it the most

  2. I've noticed a change in the YA scene, and I think I like it. After carefully looking at the past few books I've read and the books I have lined up to read next, I realized there was one common thread that binded them all: death.

    The Everafter, Hate List, Hold Still, Before I Fall, All Unquiet Things, etc. These are just to name a few. No longer are we plagued with the same predictable and worn-out stories about the supernatural. Instead, we are faced with a new generation of emotional tales that offer meaningful and valuable insight to the biggest hardships we face in life.

    Death is the new trend. I'm both frightened and fascinated by the concept. What startles me more is how much I've embraced the subject and how eager I am to let myself sink into it. I think this sudden shift is something that many YA readers have been waiting for. I can only hope that us "young adults" will recognize its importance.

  3. I absolutely loved this book!! I loved it so much I keep waiting for Nina Lacour to write another book... :) I pray to God she does!!!


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