Retro Friday Reviews are hosted by Angieville. Basically you post a review of an older or under the radar book on Fridays. This Friday, I am featuring Hold Still by Nina LaCour.
I get genre cravings. You see sometimes I get weary of a genre that I read too much in – like right those moment I’m a bit burned out on middle grade science fiction/fantasy-so weary that I want a palate cleanser and can think about nothing EXCEPT the palate cleanser. Lately Young Adult Contemporary is the cleanser of choice. Hold Still by Nina LaCour was just what the doctor ordered. I read this on Thanksgiving after getting weary of books about intrepid pre-teens.
Caitlin is reeling. At the end of the school year her best friend Ingrid killed herself. Caitlin is still searching for answers and trying to balance out being the girl with the dead best friend. She finds Ingrid’s journal under her bed which helps to start the healing process, but also makes things worse for Caitlin.
Hold Still by Nina LaCour is an absorbing read. It immediately grabbed my attention in a choke hold. I could feel Caitlin’s grief, but wanted her to get off her ass at the same time and start making good decisions, like doing her work and not failing. BUT I say this from a privileged standpoint – I’ve never dealt with this sort of tragedy. Knock on wood.
I loved how the theme of healing through art was integrated in Hold Still. Caitlin deals with her pain and comes to grips with what happened through photography. There is this bit where Caitlin is at the abandoned movie theater, which is enough to break your heart.
ALSO YOU GUYS! There is a lesbian character in Hold Still who is totally not token, but is awesome and plays a significant role in the healing process. Also, she is confident in herself and her sexuality and totally out of the closet. It rocks. I thought Dylan, that’s the character’s name was a wonderful not-so-cliched character.
Hold Still is an older backlist book, but it is completely solid. If you are looking for a contemp with heavier themes that will knock your socks off, read Hold Still by Nina LaCour.
Disclosure: Purchased copy