Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Bought at Borders
Cover: The cover of this novel intrigued me. I loved how lost the model looked, with most of her color muted out. I was also drawn in by the size of this novel. Holding it, it's much taller than most books and gave the appearance of a journal which worked really well with the storyline. Overall, for me this cover is appealing.
First Sentence: "I watch drops of water fall from the ends of my hair."
The Mini- Review: Hold Still will have you holding your breath, rooting for Caitlin to find her way through the suicide of her best friend and learn to live again-- day after day.
Dear Caitlin, there are so many things i want so badly to tell you but i just can't.
That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn Ingrid, and her promise, were gone, and Caitlin was alone. Ingrid's suicide immobilizes Caitlin, leaving her unsure of her place in a new life she barely recognizes. A life without the art, the laughter, the music, the joy that she shared with her best friend.
But Ingrid left something behind. Devastating and hopeful, playful and hopeless. In words and drawings, Ingrid documented a painful farewell in her journal-- just for Caitlin. Journeying through Ingrid's final days, Caitlin fights back through unspeakable loss to find renewed hope.
It's not difficult to fall in love with this book. All you have to do is open it and let the pictures and words swallow you. LaCour does a masterful job dealing with the tough topic of suicide and how it affects those closest to the deceased. Through Caitlin journey, we see how difficult it is to pick up the shattered piece of life after and fit them back together into something new. I loved taking this journey with her and I'm pretty sure most other readers will too.
|The first page, sketches by Mia Nolting|
Caitlin is an interesting main character. When the book begins, Caitlin is so emotionally devastated by Ingrid's suicide, her tears literally pour off the page. But what's most fascinating about this is I got the picture through later passages that Caitlin isn't too emotionally intense before the suicide. She seems reluctant to show much emotion at all. She cares about Ingrid, that's obvious, but *SPOILER ALERT* she doesn't know how to show how much she cares and usually ended up ditching Ingrid when she became sad. It's interesting to see how much Caitlin has to work through these feelings of guilt. *END OF SPOILER* I was really rooting for Caitlin to become better. I could see the beginnings of her personality starting to slide back into the novel and i wanted to get to know her better. The thing I liked most about her was her actions and reactions to things didn't seem out of character. There were never times were I felt like she was being too emotional and irrational so I never lost respect for her.
|Dedication page with illustrations by Mia Nolting|
|One of "Ingrid's" drawings by Mia Nolting|
Another really great thing about this novel were the metaphors. The novel simultaneously uses Caitlin building a tree house and the theater where Caitlin and Ingrid liked hanging out the most being torn down as representations for Caitlin rebuilding her own life. The theater represents how Caitlin's life was with Ingrid and by the time the theater is torn down at the end, Caitlin is also ready to move on. Caitlin building the tree house with her own two hands represents her working to re-build her new, different life without Ingrid. I loved the fact that she finished her tree house and the the theater was torn down in the same day. It was such a marvelous metaphor.
I hope I haven't made this too obvious and it comes as a surprise when I say that I loved this novel. It was beautifully written, full of amazing characters and leaves a lasting impression of life after... If you haven't gotten your hands on it yet, please don't hold still. Run! And lucky for you it is just being re-released in paperback on October 5th, 2010.