Hold Still by Nina LaCour

“She deserved for someone to see her as clearly as they could. To make that effort to understand.”

Ingrid and Caitlin were best friends and Caitlin thought she knew everything about Ingrid, until Ingrid commits suicide. Her suicide immobilizes Caitlin, leaving her completely disoriented. Everything seems worse, and moving on seems difficult, especially after Caitlin finds Ingrid’s journal. Yet there is hope to be found even in devastation. Caitlin is able to learn more about her friend whom she lost, and is able to develop new relationships. While heartbreaking, this is a story that so beautifully expresses hope.

“Beautiful, poetic, and honest, Hold Still breaks your heart and puts it back together again.” – Review by author Elizabeth Scott

This is a difficult review for me to write, because I struggle to find the words to express how amazing this book was, how beautiful and heartbreaking. There is already tons of praise for Hold Still, so I’m sorry if this is a little redundant. The writing was beautiful, from beginning to end, every word seemed precise and significant. Nothing was added to fill pages, and everything expressed something. I felt warmed by how many times the phrase “hold still” was used, and how it tied so closely to the relationship between the girls. The characters themselves were amazing, Caitlin especially. Her pain and sense of nothingness was haunting. I love that Nina included such striking secondary characters that did more than just support Caitlin but came alive with their own stories. The story is sad, but is so much more about hope, redemption, love and ultimately rebuilding. I keep trying to find a word to describe this book, and the most I can come up with is tender. So enough gushing, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time.

You might like Hold Still if you enjoy books: that are a little sad, have a main character that has to overcome and grow through a difficult situation, strong focus on language and character,  deal with difficult real life issues

This is Nina La Cour’s debut novel

If you enjoyed Hold Still you might also like: The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Impulse by Ellen Hopkins, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Additional Info:

List of Ontario Crisis Centre addresses and phone numbers found here.

London, Ontario resources found here.

Rating: W4/4   C4/4   P4/4   O4/4   P4/4   C4/4

Grade: S


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