Hold Still by Nina LaCour – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

I am a girl ready to explode into nothing.

That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I’ll go wherever you go. 

But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone.

Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life—a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend.

When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.

My Review

I loved everything about this book from the beautiful front cover to the utterly heartbreaking storyline. From the back cover we learn that this is the story of Caitlin, a young girl in high school dealing with the aftermath of her best friend Ingrid’s suicide and the discovery of Ingrid’s journal. 

“I am a girl ready to explode into nothing”.

The subject matter is carefully and thoughtfully dealt with. I was completely drawn into Caitlin’s world and experienced all the confusion, anger and loss along with her.

One of the more profound moments in the book for me was when Caitlin ran into Ingrid’s brother and girlfriend and the awkwardness and grief at meeting them while she was out at a social activity with new friends. It broke my heart.

This book really did just leave me floored. At many instances I was left a blubbering mess; for example, 

“My best friend is dead, and I could have saved her. It’s so wrong, so completely and painfully wrong, that I walked through my front door tonight smiling.”

How hard it must be to lose your best friend and then have to somehow keep living and to not be too hard on yourself when you can still experience the joys of life while they are no longer here… 

“I walk to school as dawn breaks. I’m awake and alert, numb and exhausted. I never knew I could be all these things at the same time, but here I am, headed to school, eyelids heavy, breathing in the cold air.”

However the greatest insight we got into Ingrid’s life and into her depression was through her journal which she had left for Caitlin to find under her bed… “Dear today, I spend all of you pretending I’m ok when I’m not, pretending I’m happy when I’m not, pretending about everything to everyone. Love, Ingrid.” ….my words really can’t enhance this. I was just left in a puddle of tears.

This was a beautiful read that sensitively dealt with the topic of mental illness and suicide; I loved the language of the book, I loved the illustrations created by Mia Nolting that were used throughout, I was completely moved by Caitlin’s and Ingrid’s stories.

Read this book with a box of tissues.

Four heartbroken stars.

2 thoughts on “Hold Still by Nina LaCour – Book Review

  1. I’d have to steel myself to read this book, which is cowardly of me. People suffer from the suicides of family and friends, and even though I don’t want to be made sad or depressed, I think the least I can do is bear witness to the sufferings of others, so I will have a look at this book. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 1 person

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