May 18, 2012

Review: Hold Still

By: Nina LaCour
Published: October 2009 by Dutton
Format: Hardback, 229 pages
First Reviewed: August 2010
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
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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.

Rating: 5/5

I was excited to read this book because I've read great reviews on it, and the premise really interested me. The entire set up of this book is unique, and I immediately liked it from the time I opened it, and I'm happy to say that it really held true to the great reviews.

We didn't get too much of the "setting" setting, but the parts we did get worked so well with this story. Just the "small" things, like a certain building, that had such an impact on the characters lives, were described so beautifully that I felt like I was right there, looking at these places with Caitlin.

I loved all the characters. The main character is one that I immediately felt for on the first page. Not many books can do that for me, and that was a huge plus. I wanted to follow her on this journey, and I really felt all her emotions. The major-minor characters were well-developed and really moved the story along. I thought a couple of them felt a tad bit thrown in there, but it didn't really distract from the story.

The writing was beautiful. I really enjoyed LaCour's style. She wrote with such purpose and emotion that she completely engrossed me in the story. This is her first novel, and I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeve. She had beautiful descriptions and detail. She crafted this story so well, and given the topic, I was nervous a bit on how she was going to handle it. But she mastered it to make sure it wasn't cliche (I hate that word) or overdone or cheesy "feel sorry for me." She really knew how to work her words.

The plot was all sorts of wonderfulness. Depressing. Uplifting. Beautiful. Amazing. It's a plot that makes you really think and feel and just remember who and what you love. These plots are my favorite types, and LaCour's is no different. It went from extreme, emotional lows, to powerful highs that made me smile. I felt all emotions with this plot. There were a couple of times that I felt it slowed just a bit, but that could have just been on my end since I was freezing and lost focus sometimes. But I loved it, in all honesty.

First, I have to give a shot out to Mia Nolting who did the illustrations in this. They were amazing! Second, I don't know how to feel after finishing this (in a good way). Part of me wants to cry, and part of me wants to just smile. But the crying would be happy tears. This was just beautiful.

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