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Hold Still by Nina LaCour

I took a month long break from reading books and since I wasn't reading books, I didn't have anything to write about for the blog. I was planning on getting something up after the new year. However, I read this book recently and am nearing the end of another one (which means another review!).

I turn my flashlight off and all the light that's left comes from the moon and the living room of my house. A gust of wind comes. All the leaves above and below and around me rustle. It's the sound of losing, or of starting over. I can't decide which. I turn my flashlight on. I read.

from page 184

Hold Still is Nina LaCour's debut novel. I believe she's a teacher somewhere, but I could be wrong about that. LaCour's debut is realistic and raw.

Caitlin and Ingrid are best friends. They confide in each other about everything, and they have no secrets from each other. However, it soon becomes apparent that the issues that Ingrid only hinted at were far more serious and far darker than Caitlin ever knew. When Ingrid kills herself, Caitlin is left behind to pick up the pieces in the wake of this tragedy.

This is the story of Caitlin and her struggle through the guilt, the anger, the devastation and isolation, and the numbness of grief. Soon she discovers Ingrid's journal--hidden deliberately?--in her room. As Caitlin reads through the entries that chronicle both Ingrid's last months alive and her most intimate and darkest thoughts Caitlin discovers that perhaps she didn't know Ingrid as well as she thought. Eventually Caitlin realizes that Ingrid hid the worst of her demons from her best friend and wonders what she could have done and how she could have reached out to Ingrid to save her from herself.

This is the journey that Caitlin follows over the course of a year as she mourns the loss of her best friend; Caitlin's immobilizing grief and isolation are realistically and vividly portrayed throughout the novel.

This young adult novel will appeal the most the teenage girls. I recommend this novel. It is available upon request from Annville Free Library and Richland Community Library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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