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Hold Still

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  18,775 ratings  ·  1,532 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
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers (first published September 25th 2009)
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”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 th
When I read Thirteen Reasons Why and complained about the believability of the story, several people came up to me and said, “Read Hold Still instead”. It took me a few years, but I never forgot about the book recommendation. Finally, here I am, I’ve read the book, and I gladly join the group of people who tell you to read Hold Still instead.

Whereas Thirteen Reasons Why lacked in depth for me, there’s plenty of it in Hold Still. One evening, Caitlin and Ingrid are talking about their futures, an
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
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
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
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
3.5 stars

Hold Still revolves around Caitlin, a high school junior whose best friend, Ingrid, dies by suicide. Ingrid leaves behind a journal filled with words and illustrations, and it forces Caitlin to reconsider what she thought she knew about her best friend. But with the help of her family and new friends, Caitlin moves on to embrace a new life consisting of self-discovery and hope. And with Ingrid's journal, Caitlin puts together the pieces of her friend's death, just enough so she herself
Jan 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
Ashlee Foster
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
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
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
this new cover is one of the most beautiful things i have ever laid eyes on. what a masterpiece.
Elizabeth Scott
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.5 Stars

This little line pretty much describes the book for me….”part longing, part sorrow, part hope.”

Nina LaCour’s Hold Still shows individuals of all ages struggling with death, suicide, grief, and the big, dark, lonely, overwhelming hole that one can leave in our lives when they are gone. Our story revolves around two friends--one who committed suicide and one left behind trying to understand and deal with the loss.

Readers meet best friends Caitlin and Ingrid along with parents, teachers, f
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
Nov 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who were underwhelmed by <i>Thirteen Reasons Why</i>
Hold Still surprised me. I went in expecting something good, but not great; emotionally heavy, but not emotionally affecting; a good way to pass the time, but nothing fulfilling. maybe it's because of this that I was so blown away.

this is my first Nina LaCour book, although I see her name around everywhere. I've heard great things about her other two books, but never really put two and two together and realized that this was by her, too. she's now on my authors-to-watch list, at a pretty high sp
Kelsey Marie
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
*****For my full review, go to Darling & Co.*****

Hold Still is the 5th book I am reading for Mental Health Awareness Month and is a captivating book about a girl, Caitlin, who is trying to survive the death of her best friend, Ingrid, who killed herself at the end of sophomore year. Although the books starts slow, and I was questioning if I would like Caitlin as a character, about a third in, it picks up speed as Caitlin comes to terms with the death of her friend, and learns that life moves
♥ Sarah
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

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
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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,
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 how she should when you lose y
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
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I will never be able to describe how i feel about this book right now. I'm in great awe and admiration for the writer and the book and Caitlin and every single word in this novel (And Taylor). And i should mention that i read this book because i was in the mood for it and it made me feel it, grief and sadness surrounded me, there's this sweet girl that i know died a week ago and everyone was so depressed. I feel like throwing this book in every single one of these people's faces. I mean, i learn ...more
I liked this better than We Are Okay. Both books are about grief but I felt that this book was able to show it more. You can really feel Caitlin's pain because her bestfriend died by suicide. This was a beautiful and heartbreaking read.

"There are going to be a lot of people in your life who you won't like and you're going to have to learn to deal with them."

"It isn't the happy ending that Ingrid and I had dreamed up, but it's all a part of what I'm working through. The way life changes. The way
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beautiful
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
Jessi ♡
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i dont know how to explain how i feel right now.
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Hold Still by Nina LaCour - Starting September 11th, 2018 2 11 Sep 15, 2018 03:01PM  
Sequel 1 10 Aug 09, 2016 07:42AM  
Buddy read time xx: Hold Still by Nina LaCour, september 2014 5 12 Sep 09, 2014 02:51AM  
Movie??! 4 103 Mar 05, 2014 07:41PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Hold Still by Nina LaCour → Start Date: August 29, 2013 71 31 Sep 04, 2013 05:36PM  
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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
“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.” 1132 likes
“I don't want to hurt you or anybody so please forget about me. Just try. Find yourself a better friend.” 798 likes
More quotes…