Release Date: October 20, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Books
An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, froma breakthrough new voice in YA 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 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
Hold Still is a heart-wrenching novel about the struggles a girl must go through after her best friend's suicide.
Caitlin was a mesmerizing character. Her pain and depression bled through the pages and meshed with my own thoughts. The writing was so wonderfully done that I felt her pain like it was my own. She was so connected to Ingrid, her friend that committed suicide, that when she died, part of Caitlin left with her. Ingrid's death left Caitlin feeling broken, exposed, and the farthest thing from being whole. Ingrid was a great character as well. Though she was only seen through Caitlin's memories and her journal entries, you could tell that she was great at hiding her true emotions. While Caitlin had known about some of the depressing and unspeakable things Ingrid was going through, she didn't know how bad they were and to what extent. However, I honestly thought that even if Ingrid had let Caitlin, or anyone else, into this side of her life, they wouldn't be able to help her. She was deeply dug into a pile of negative thoughts and emotions. It was hard to read about some times, but that's what had my interest; it was true and not many authors choose to write so adventurously.
The other characters were crafted intricately as well. They were all not as they would seem to the outside world. Dylan, Caitlin's new friend, was a lesbian. Taylor, a guy that Caitlin begins to develop a connection with, is popular, but interested in Caitlin's thoughts, even though she's drifting on the edges of the social crowd. Jayson, Taylor's friend and the object of Ingrid's affection, was also very different. So, not only in this novel does the story mention suicide and depression, but it also brings different people from different groups together.
Nina LaCour really did a magnificant job with symbolism. At one point on the novel, an old theater is mentioned. It actually becomes a big part in the book and I liked that it was. But what becomes of it is what I liked most, it was like the starting point of a new beginning.
Hold Still is a devastating journey of love, loss, and new beginnings. An impressing debut from Nina LaCour. She will surely make an impact with her fresh, new voice.