Author: Nina Lacour
Published: (paperback) October 5, 2010 by Speak
Overall: 4 out of 5
Source: My personal library
Summary: An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.
dear caitlin, there are so many things that i want so badly to tell you but i just can’t.
Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.
Review: This is only the second or third book I've read that deal with suicide, but they always interest me. I've never known anyone who committed or considered suicide, but I know there are people who do. Even though it's sometimes hard to read a book with this subject matter I always feel like I'm getting to see what this parts of someone's life is like and what they have to o through.
That being said, I really got to see just how many people were affected by Ingrid's suicide in Hold Still. Obviously her best friend and family were, but even people who didn't know her well (Jayson) or people who didn't know her at all (Dylan and Maddy) were affected.
I loved the characters in this book. Nina did a fabulous job writing them. I could feel Caitlin developing as a character as I read, and I felt like her tree house was almost a symbol of her accepting what had happened. Dylan and Maddy were great too, even though Maddy wasn't in it much. I liked how Dylan made it a point to let Caitlin know that she wasn't a replacement and I think some of her straightforward-ness helped Caitlin.
The story overall had a great pace and really gave the characters time to develop and accept things. My only problems were with Taylor and Ingrid. I didn't feel a connection with Ingrid through her journal or with Taylor. I think he should have been in the book more and then I might have felt more for him.
Overall though, Nina LaCour has written a fabulous novel. It has great emotion and beautiful writing. At times I felt a bit disconnected with the characters, but most of the time I could really see what the characters were feeling.