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Hold Still Paperback – October 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—After losing her best friend, Ingrid, to suicide, Caitlin is completely immobilized. Unable to function, and refusing to visit a therapist, she begins the long journey to wellness alone. During this year of heart-wrenching, raw emotion, Caitlin finds Ingrid's journal, which not only reveals her descent into irreversible depression, but also serves as Caitlin's vehicle for renewed hope in the future. The book is written with honesty, revealing one's pain after the loss of a loved one. Caitlin learns, with the help of new friends and her parents, that there is life after Ingrid.—Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Praise for Hold Still:
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults (2010); 2010 William C. Morris Honor Book
“LaCour makes an impressive debut with an emotionally charged young adult novel about friendship and loss.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review**
“LaCour strikes a new path through a familiar story, leading readers with her confident writing and savvy sense of prose.”Kirkus
“The book is written with honesty, revealing one's pain after the loss of a loved one.” –School Library Journal
“A fresh voice to the world of young adult literature.” –VOYA , starred review**

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0770 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142416940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142416945
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"And I knew you, pigtails and all. Girls when they fall..." Tori Amos

It seems appropriate to quote my favorite singer when reviewing Nina LaCour's debut novel HOLD STILL because music plays a healing role in the novel and LaCour's writing--like music--is lyrical and haunting. The characters that arise from LaCour's words pulse from the page not as echoes but as the very beat of themselves.

I love Caitlin's lines when she's listening to music in the middle of a dance floor at a wedding and says, "I just stood there with my eyes closed, feeling the movement of all the people around me, the vibration of the bass rise through the floor to my throat, while something inside me broke and came back together." Lines like these made me feel so close to the character. In fact, every character (and it is a WONDERFUL culturally diverse set of characters) feels so real and realized. Not some conceptualized rending of what some adults believe teenagers are and what teenagers think, hope, and feel. But real young adults whose stories are meaningful, full of love and full of trouble.

The trouble begins with Caitlin receiving devastating news that her best friend Ingrid has committed suicide. Caitlin is stunned, says at receiving the news, "My heart pounds so hard I can feel it in my ears." For the rest of the novel, we see Caitlin struggle with the memories of her friend while trying to build a new life.

Caitlin's struggles will focus readers on asking themselves some important questions: how well do we know our friends, the people who love us? Can we imagine our lives without friends?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tester on August 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Caitlin doesn't know how to go on, ever since her best friend Ingrid comitted suicide she feels lost and guilty. She torments herself with questions like: Could I have helped Ingrid and rescued her? Everyday life and high school feel strange and incomplete without Ingrid by her site.
Caitlin needs to learn anew to have fun in life and to not feel guilty for living. With the help of her parents, friends and a journal, that Ingrid left at Caitlin's place, she tries to understand why her best friend killed herself and to go on with her life.

I bought my copy of "Hold still" on a whim when I saw it in an online bookstore. I had just finished a great young adult book about loss & grief by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Shadow Falls) and was interested in more books with these themes. I was suprised by how perfect "Hold still" worked for me. I loved it even though it gave me a headache because it made me cry a lot.

Caitlin is an amazing character, I loved everything about her. The way she questioned her own behaviour was tormenting and I felt everything she felt. The strength that Caitlin showed at the end of the story was outstanding and I was fascinated by every step she took on her journey back to a "normal" life. I loved that Caitlin's parents were wonderful and helped her with her grief. Both her mom and dad were truly adorable and I especially liked her dad's way to bring some joy back into Caitlin's life. It's always nice and refreshing to read a young adult story with parents that are just as they should be.

The insight that sometimes you are powerless to help a loved person is always hard to accept. Caitlin asked herself some hard questions because of keeping quiet when she knew that something with Ingrid was not ok.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Su on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
HOLD STILL is a beautifully written debut novel about a difficult subject. It will tear at your heart and leave you feel wiser, more fulfilled than when you started out.

Nina LaCour's novel is perhaps more effective than other books about suicide I've read because we are able to step out of Caitlin's head and instead also watch her interact with others. There is a great balance of internal and external dialogue. "Issues" books run the risk of being too "in the main character's head," and I appreciated that HOLD STILL shows us how friendship and love are an integral part of healing as well, alongside emotional acceptance and forgiveness.

The characters are a gentle and enjoyable lot, even if they are somewhat lacking in development. How do different people react differently to the loss of a loved one? One person's existence--and eventual death--means different things for different people, and I felt that HOLD STILL really impressed that satisfactorily. Everyone's reactions to Ingrid's death, and their way of dealing with their personal grief as well as the grief of their friends, were touching and believable.

If you're looking for a challenging but ultimately inspiring read, consider HOLD STILL. The book will linger with you long after you put it down. It is an exceptionally well done book about the aftermaths of suicide, and I look forward to what Nina LaCour has to offer us next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anxirium on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is about how Caitlin, a sixteen year-old girl deals with the suicide of her best friend, Ingrid. Simple as that. But Caitlin's life now is not the same. She's having a hard time sleeping and coping with her best friend's death. Then she finds a journal under her bed that belonged to her friend and inside are the contents of things she'd rather not have known and things she had to know.

Hold Still starts in the summer when Ingrid's already dead. Caitlin is in denial because she never saw it coming. It's been already three months since her death and Caitlin's parents don't know what to do.

I would take this space here and tell you that I haven't read about parents that are as involved in the story as these ones were. It was something unique and it made it more realistic. Caitlin's relationship with her parents was a good one. Ain't that a shocker!

I could go on and throw facts and stuff but I won't. I don't know how to explain this book. I loved every second of it. I didn't want it to end. In fact, it was too short. I wanted more.

We meet some interesting people, like Dylan, a girl with an edge and Taylor, the guy that's the love interest. And Jayson, the guy Ingrid was crushing hard on. The whole story of how Ingrid's death affects Caitlin and Jayson is just painful to read. I wanted to hug Jayson.

And Ingrid. She had guts. From what we get to know about her, she was deep. She wanted to be a little crazy but she was suffering and she was always sad and she just couldn't take it anymore. But she never let it show.

I felt bad for Caitlin, with her feelings of regret and guilt. It thought me to say the things we want to say when we have the time and try to help when we see someone that's not doing okay.
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