Author: Nina LaCour
Published: September 25, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Teen/Speak
Source: Bought from Fullybooked, Fort
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
I am a girl ready to explode into nothing.
That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life—a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.
**MIGHT CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS**
I may have squealed a little on Facebook the day I bought Hold Still. Been lusting over it for over a year and when I saw a copy locally, I didn't let the chance pass. A few months after, I am now faced with unexplainable circus of emotions.
There are parts in my heart where I can pull off my understanding of what depression is about. Or even how depression affects people. I see it every day, depression is all around me. Hold Still made me feel hopeful not because I can deal with life's unbelievable events fine, but because I somehow understand it. People tend to shun symptoms of it and think that depression is stupidity. Hold Still touches such sensitive topic in a soulful way and it exudes encouragement for us to be supportive of our loved ones. The grief and regret I felt all throughout this is story is overwhelming but it truly pokes the heart. It makes me what to reach out to the world in any way I can.
Hold Still's writing however, made me feel wary. Most of the time, I was lost and couldn't find the connection with Caitlin. Maybe because she deals with loss in a different approach. She keeps to herself and shuts the world off. She's having a very rough time accepting that her best friend, Ingrid, took her life. She feels betrayed and alone. But on a fateful day she finds Ingrid's journal, her healing starts. Yes, she finds new friends and even a boyfriend and finally able to let go, but still, most parts of the story felt irrelevant to the main plot. It jumped from one sub-plot to another and it made me aggravated that why couldn't it just focus on the suicide part or the reasons behind it? I wish I learned what started Ingrid's depression. It would have made so much sense instead of dealing with other things like the tree house or her car. Good thing though, their friendship molded in a way art (photography) was involved. I liked it.
I was tempted to rate this book a three. But the last eighty pages seemed to redeem my failing expectations of it. Caitlin, being the rude, angry teen who couldn't believe her best friend died, finally woke up and faced her life -- by letting Ingrid go. I admire what she did at the end, that she made copies of Ingrid's journal entries and gave them to those people who needed to have a part of her best friend. I also loved the fact that Jayson felt the same way for Ingrid even though it was too late. That part gave me the strength to tell those people in my life how much I value them. Then Taylor. He didn't take advantage even if he could that I absolutely adored how respectful that guy is. And Caitlin's parents? They are THE bomb.
Hold Still is a perfect combination of grief, loss, hope and faith put into one touching story. It showcases different ways of coping and allowing one's self to heal on its own. This is my first LaCour novel and surely, I wasn't disappointed! Can't wait to read more from her soon!
"And I want to tell you about everything but I can't because I couldn't stand for you to have that look on your face all the time. I just need you to look at me and think that I'm normal. I just really need that from you."
"Here's how I feel: People take one another for granted. Like, I'd just hang out with Ingrid in all these random places--in her room or at school or just on a sidewalk somewhere. And the whole time we'd tell each other things, just say our thoughts out loud. Maybe that would have been boring to some people, but it was never boring to us. I never realized what a big deal that was. How amazing it is to find someone who wants to hear about all the things that go on in your head. You just think that things will stay the way they are. You never look up, in a moment that feels like every other moment of your life, and think, "Soon this will be over." But I understand more now. About how life works."
"I sort through the letters and pull out what I need for the beginning. They snap easily into place. And even though I thought I would need every letter, I finish the first sentence and realize that it’s all I have left to say.
I MISS YOU."
So here is how it looks like now!! took me time to find the right spot and the right accessory!