Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Review of 'Hold Still' by Nina LaCour (Audio Book)

"An arresting story about starting over after a friend's suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in Young Adult fiction.  

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 friend, 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 to chronicle Ingrid's descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who love Ingrid-- and Caitlin herself."

I found it kind of scary that Caitlin's friend left an entire journal for her detailing everything that went on in her head up until her death.  I can't even imagine having a close friend of mine leaving a note, much less an entire journal, just for me detailing what happened in their life.  It's both scary and sad.

I like that even though this story started out quite sad, with Caitlin still recovering from Ingrid's demise and purposely trying to fail one of her favorite classes, she opens up and meets new people and also begins to construct in her grief.

The characters (what was left of Ingrid, Caitlin, Dylan (spelling?  That's the only down-side of audio books... you're never sure how to properly spell the names of characters...), and many of Ingrid's old friends) fit well with each other-- they didn't feel like they were pulled from different stories or anything like that, which is always a good sign.

The part of the book that really got to me was how Caitlin's mother reacted when she heard Caitlin ask for rope that would be thick and strong enough to hold her weight.  Her mother thought that she was going down the same road as Ingrid, when all Caitlin needed the rope for was for her tree house.  This scene really hit home how a suicide doesn't just touch the victim's immediate family and friends, but also the extended family and the parents of those friends.  This example helped to hit this point home and it was very effective.

I liked the use of photography in this story too, though I think the book was just trying to torture me, knowing that my camera is still in for repair... kidding :)  But it was still torturing me.

Overall, I give 'Hold Still':
Thanks for reading!  I promise I'll read books that aren't about suicide for a while.  I think I need a break from such a dark subject myself.



  1. I am generally not into this kind of fiction - I'm more of a fantasy and historical girl. But lately I have been leaning towards realistic nitty gritty (if that is the right way to describe it...) fiction. I think this has just made the list.:)

  2. Great review! Have you read Thirteen Reasons Why? It sounds somewhat similar. I think I may have to check this one out. :)


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