Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review of Hold Still by Nina LaCour

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.

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Hold Still, Nina LaCour's debut novel, tells a story about friendship - about finding new ones, about honoring the old - but above all, one about grieving. About picking up the pieces after a tragedy, putting them back together again, and moving on.

Caitlin's depressed reaction to her best friend's suicide felt justified and realistic, and all her actions and decisions felt true to someone in her position. Her unique hobbies only added to her character's dynamic personality.

The writing style implemented was beautiful and heart-wrenching. Hold Still feels as if written by someone who has experienced extreme grief themselves. Nina LaCour paints a vivd picture of how it feels to be alone.

Though the premise isn't exactly unique, the characters and plot made it feel different to anything I've ever read before. The plot wasn't fast or full of action or drama - the story was slow burning and still captivating.

I give Hold Still a 4 out of 5.