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Hold Still

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  13,418 ratings  ·  1,139 reviews
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 an...more
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Dutton Juvenile (first published September 25th 2009)
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Reynje
”You might be looking for reasons but there are no reasons.”

It was this simple line that made me realise that I not only liked, but respected this book.

Out of context, it is an ambiguous, awkwardly phrased sentence that makes my fingers itch to shove in some punctuation. In context, it’s one of the most powerful statements in the entire novel. It’s a deeply insightful expression of understanding, an extension of empathy, distilled into one potent line.

Mental illness is not a choice. And had thi...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
I love the cover! *pets book* Isn't it just gorgeous? ;)

I think I had such a good feeling about this book for such a long period of time, that I was bound to be disappointed in some way or the other. Don't worry, though. It had some very redeemable qualities.

The premise.

Caitlin's best friend, Ingrid, committed suicide. The thing is, the two were pretty much inseparable. Both were exceptional at photography, and it was this talent of theirs which I enjoyed being explored in the novel. Their pass...more
Janina
This was the third book I read about suicide in a short amount of time (and the second in a row), and it was the one that touched me most on an emotional level. Nevertheless, I think I’ll now move on to some lighter topics ;). I can only take that much …

Hold Still is a quiet, but noteworthy book. It tells the story of Caitlin, whose best friend Ingrid commits suicide. The only thing she leaves behind for Caitlin is her last journal, with drawings and entries that speak of depression, loneliness...more
Keertana
If the breathtaking cover of Hold Still hasn’t already captured your attention, the beautiful writing inside certainly will. LaCour’s debut is an ambitious piece, taking on grief, confusion, and the swirling unknown of despair that leads to teenage suicide. While I can’t say that this is an easy read, because the sadness in it is practically overwhelming, it is a very well-written and powerful novel, one that every lover of moving prose, three-dimensional characters, and realistic approaches sho...more
Ashlee Tidwell
August 2010 - I'm not sure there are words to express just how much this book changed me. If there are words, they are too personal to share. This wasn't just a book to me, it was a lifeline I wasn't aware I was in need of, a way of understanding things I hadn't quite considered before. I started this book with a much different approach than I came out with, but I say that in the best way possible. Most reviews go on to tell you about the book, but you can read that for yourself. These reviews a...more
Heather
Comparatively speaking, Hold Still is well done. It is always refreshing to see a young adult author, a new one at that, who isn’t reduced to writing about paranormal romance, popular clichés, or originating as a geeky outcast only to later ditch the glasses, swap out the t-shirt for a sundress and become part of the popular cliché. Hold Still actually attempts to flesh out a harsh reality, a reality that sadly, many teens may one day be forced to face. With that said, I couldn’t give it more th...more
Elizabeth Scott
I was lucky enough to read this as an ARC, and I still remember sitting on the train and thinking, "This book is amazing!" It's beautiful and sad and hopeful all at the same time, and to top it all off, this is Nina's first novel!

Definitely one to check out when it shows up in stores in October--it is one of the best young adult books I've ever read.
Nomes
I got this after reading oh-so-many stunning reviews. And it's one of my fave reads this year.

I am most astounded with just how deeply I sunk into these pages. Nina LaCour knows teens and she's pitch prefect at capturing them.

I personally not only related to Caitlin, but also to Ingrid (who, wow, she's dead from the outset, but her presence is so keenly felt throughout the pages).

It's beautiful and hopeful and brave and captivating and I wish I could go back to my teen self and give her this b...more
Linna
Stories about suicide aren’t the type that I’d pick up right off the bat– it can feel like I’m just being manipulated if the plot is nothing but grief and pain. And so when I saw HOLD STILL sitting on the YA shelf of the library, I glanced at it briefly before putting it back down. Which was a mistake, because this book is beautifully written and achingly gorgeous, and the ultimate message (I hesitate on calling it a ‘message’, because you don’t just come across messages in real life, and Caitli...more
Green Elephant Girl ™
Five stars will never, never be enough for this book.

It will, quite frankly, break your heart and stomp on the pieces. And you won't mind even a little bit because it's just so goddamned beautiful.

The sun stopped shining for me is all.

And that, my friends, is among one of the most perfectly, achingly honest lines I have ever read.

I have never suffered from depression as acutely as Ingrid did, but I know what she means, and it's plain awful that the sun stopped for her. For anyone. That someone c...more
Noelle
On the one hand it’s kind of fascinating to think about the infinite possibilities of a person’s inner self. To think of all of their thoughts and emotions, not just the ones they share with you. To imagine all of the puzzle pieces to their personality in one box instead of just the pieces they put on the table.

On the other hand it can be unsettling and even devastating to realize that someone you thought you knew completely has kept an entire side of themselves a secret. For Caitlin, this disc...more
Angela (:
There are so many things that I want so badly to tell you but I just can't.

The first time I picked Hold Still up, I didn't finish it. I can't remember why or even how far I got into the book. It couldn't have been much at all, because this book was beautiful from the very first page.

I can't find the words to explain just how much I loved Hold Still. It's completely heartbreaking but still leaves you with hope.

The characters alone are enough to give this 5 stars. From Ingrid to Caitlin to Ms. Del...more
♥ Sarah
description

The book was broken up into different seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring, & summer, again. There were cutesy drawings and pages from Ingrid's journal with these bubbly, floral, cute hipster designs on them. The writing was subtle; the character development was slow, but steady. But it was honestly so heartbreaking and beautiful and true and haunting at the same time. I wanted to laugh one minute, then break down and just sob.

Nowadays, I guess there's more YA literature regarding mental il...more
elissa
Jan 06, 2010 elissa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to elissa by: Capitol Choices
Beautiful. Both simple and complex, if that makes any sense. Definitely a new writer to watch. Reminds me a little of the writing in Zarr's first book. More like 4 1/2 stars, but I'm rounding up. I love how the gay character is just a character, and not at all an "issue" in this book. The author is gay, and she did an excellent job with that part of it. I see this book's biggest strength as showing just how profoundly different what you see on the outside of a person and what's going on on the i...more
Stefanie
I feel like I've read a lot of suicide books now. Books where the main character is dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's act of committing suicide. And, ya know, the thing I think that draws me to these books is that it's such a real and raw affect that the author creates. I feel like it's a feeling you can't fake. I love the authenticity of that.
Hold Still was no different. The tone was so real, so not forced. Caitlin felt normal to me. She felt like...like how she should when you lose y...more
Rose
Nina LaCour's "Hold Still" is one of my favorite YA realistic fiction reads of the past year because of how powerful it draws its respective relationships and describes the "starting over" process for a young woman dealing with the suicide of her best friend.

Caitlin and Ingrid were inseparable friends - going to their favorite secret hangouts, maintaining interests and fostered talents for photography, among other things. But when Ingrid commits suicide, Caitlin's world is sent into a tailspin,...more
Kristy
This took me just a little while to get into, but after about page 75 I was so engrossed I didn't want to put the book down. The back cover has praise from the authors of "Once was lost" and "If I stay", if you liked these, you will love this book. (It also has the author of "Living Dead Girl", but I haven't read that one yet, so I can't comment.)

I want to see the photographs Ingrid took... I want to see the photo's that Catlin took... I want to read ALL of Ingrid's diaries.... I want to see Cat...more
Audrey (holes In My brain)
full review can be found on my blog, holes In My brain

Hold Still is a new spin on an old topic, Caitlin’s best friend Ingrid had committed suicide, leaving Caitlin to tackle life all by herself. There is a lot of common themes of loss, grief and love but I felt that the way LaCour set the book apart from the rest was in the execution.

If forced to choose the single thing I loved the most about the novel, I would have to ponder the premise. The photography and symbolism. The relationships and the...more
Anna
I know most of us haven't experienced a loss of someone very close to us, especially a best friend. But now I get understand how it feels like if ever that situation happens. It may be sad for a very long time, it may be very difficult to cope up with, but I think at some point there's this realization that everything doesn't stop there, but instead it gives you a chance and hope to keep moving forward.

That is what Hold Still is all about. This book talks about Ingrid's suicide and how Caitlin...more
Katya

“Hold Still” is a very… personal book. Not personal in the way that I have a personal connection with it, but more like the story is a very intimate one. Which, in itself, isn’t surprising, given the synopsis, but it’s a testament to Caitlin’s voice and LaCour’s writing ability. Oftentimes, first person narrators come off as detached or, worse, unlikeable - not so much here. Caitlin has a way of resonating with a reader.

While this book is essentially about Caitlin learning to cope with Ingrid’s...more
Sesana
There's so much to love about this beautiful book, and I don't know if I'm up to reviewing it. So, things that I loved-

1. The language, the wonderful, beautiful way LaCour wrote.

2. Caitlin herself, and how painfully realistic her grief and regret were.

3. Ingrid, and her powerful presence after her death.

4. Dylan. Everything about Dylan. I loved that her being a lesbian isn't an issue, I loved her sweet relationship with her girlfriend (who I also adored), and I loved her loving friendship with...more
Sarah
I've suffered through the first 50 pages, bored out of my mind. Every page reads like the diary of someone with a very uneventful life. I get that the chick is having a hard time dealing with the suicide of her best friend, but she lacks any emotion. She's numb, but she's incredibly dull too. The book is a constant stream of 'I did this. I did that.' It's just dry and I can't get into it. I flipped through the rest of the book to see if maybe the writing got any better or more interesting, but i...more
Katie
There are no words to do justice to how much of an amazingly gorgeous book Hold Still is. Heartbreakingly beautiful, and almost lyrical, it’s a powerful read that took hold of my heartstrings and never let go.

To be honest, there’s nothing special about the plot. Caitlin’s best friend commits suicide and now she’s trying to reel in her grief and figure out why. Before I opened this book, I was thinking “I’ve already this book. Again and again and again,” because it’s kind of common in YA. And if...more
Charlie (Letter Trails)
"I am not a darling. I am a girl ready to explode into nothing."

Among all books I've read that involved suicide, I consider this book as the best. Unlike others that seem to talk about why the person committed suicide and sometimes ends up playing a bit of guilt-trip among those who were left. This talks about Caitlin and what she went through on her way to acceptance about her best friend, Ingrid's death.

Caitlin is a very realistic character with real emotions. When her best friend died, of...more
Olivia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lexie
I want to say so much about this book, but no matter how eloquent I try to be, it won't be enough. This is just one of those books, I suppose? One of those books that I can't review, that I can't dissect and analyze or simply shout "I love it!"

I can't. I can't do that to a book such as this.

To be honest, I don't think anything I say will fully communicate this. This book. This everything. My review will never be able to express what this book is, and what it does.

All I can is that this book is...more
Nate
[Disclosure: Nina was a grad school classmate of my wife in the Mills MFA program, and a friend, so naturally I was going to support her by reading her book. But as also happened with my other friend Brent's Night Angel trilogy, once I got into it, I wasn't reading it for her--I was reading it for me.]

Hold Still mostly takes place in the fictional inland East Bay suburb of Los Cerros, but the most important aspect of the setting is not geography, but the shaky terrain of adolescence. There may b...more
Emily
This book was very sad, but it was also a very satisfying read. The main character is believable, and real. You feel everything that she goes through. You never do meet the deceased best friend, Ingrid, but from her journal entries, you can feel how broken she was. This is a very important book and I believe that it should actually be taught in schools.
Cass -  Words on Paper
4.5/5

In one word: engrossing. I kind of felt like, after the last page I wanted even more. I found that I wasn't finished with the characters, I wanted to stay with them for a while longer but LaCour had decided that their stories were done, and that made me kind of sad and want more. But that's kind of what happens when an author has just done something really right: when equal amounts of satisfaction and longing are felt by the reader when he/she reads that last page.

I came into this book expe...more
Katie
Nov 29, 2009 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, arc
Hold Still is one of those books where I don't really know what to say. I loved it but that definitely doesn't adequately describe how I feel about it. It's just really hard to put into words how amazing Hold Still was.

Caitlin wasn't exactly a likable character at the beginning of the book. After Ingrid's death she kind of detached herself from everything. She wouldn't talk to anyone and she wouldn't do anything. Then when she finally might have made some friends she felt that it was disloyal to...more
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Nina LaCour grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first job was at fourteen in an independent bookstore, and she has since worked in two others. She has tutored and taught in various places, from a juvenile hall to a private college. She now teaches English at an independent high school.

Of Hold Still, Nina says:

“This book is about loss, and it’s also about art. The loss part comes from a clas...more
More about Nina LaCour...
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“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can't get away from it. Not ever.” 734 likes
“I don't want to hurt you or anybody so please forget about me. Just try. Find yourself a better friend.” 449 likes
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