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Hold Still Paperback – October 5, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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**
Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
I would recommend this book to someone who is struggling with losing someone they love--by death or even just by physical or emotional distance. The protagonist struggles with understanding who she is without her best friend and ultimately comes to the realization that she does have other connections in the world and can be a part of that world without her deceased friend.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this haunting, beautifully written book. I read it years ago and still think about it.Published 3 days ago by Juliette Caron
I recently read "I was here" by Gayle Foreman and it kind of has the same layout. Best friend commits suicide, the after effects of it, it was good. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Allison
Hold Still was a captivating story about friendship, loss, and the inner strength it takes to move on. I love the way Nina LaCour uses language to put across the pain of loss. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This review is part about the the story and the order. I read Hold Still a few years ago in high school and loved it. It really spoke to me and what I'd been through as a teenager. Read morePublished 12 months ago by C. Jones
I realized half way through this isn't a lesbian romance. Just a story about a girl with a lesbian as a friend. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Who-lee E-wha