Hardcover ´ Hold Still MOBI ↠

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’tDevastating 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 and by choice struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide With the help of family and newfound friends Caitlin will encounter first love broaden her horizons and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself


10 thoughts on “Hold Still

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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 bookOut 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 lineMental illness is not a choice And had this book set out to explain Ingrid’s death with a list of reasons it would have been doing not only Ingrid but others who experience mental illness a gross injustice invalidating the fact that depression is a diseaseFortunately Hold Still approaches the topics of mental illness and suicide with respect and honesty I have shared my thoughts previously on the subject of grief in fiction and I don’t hesitate to say that I find it an extremely polarising theme My response as a reader largely hinges on the manner in which it is presented – and when I perceive this to be at all gratuitous it tends to make me punchyBut Hold Still is not only a sensitive portrayal of grief but a beautifully written story about healing and hope There’s an articulate literary style to La Cour’s writing without sacrificing the authenticity of her teen narrator’s voice The story opens in Summer in the wake of Ingrid’s suicide and follows Caitlin through the year coming to terms with her best friend’s death and navigating life without her Ingrid leaves behind her journal for Caitlin to find and through its pages Caitlin must confront the reality of Ingrid’s illness and subsequent suicide In the process Caitlin gains greater insight into her friendship with Ingrid and the person Ingrid beyond Caitlin’s interactions with her I really appreciated La Cour’s integrity in writing her characters here – showing that their friendship was not perfect and that understanding this was fundamental to Caitlin being able to grieve and forgive Aside from Ingrid’s journal which forms part of the novel through handwritten notes and drawings Caitlin’s character development is facilitated through various relationships with other characters One of the greatest strengths of the novel in my opinion lies in La Cour’s crafting of these complex dynamics growing the connections in a manner that feels organic and fluid Caitlin’s parents her photography teacher Ingrid’s not so secret crush the new girl at school and persistent classmate Taylor all play a role in Caitlin’s internal journey It’s through these nuanced relationships that Caitlin begins to heal and move forward I enjoyed the role of photography in the story particularly as a means of expression for Caitlin as well as Ingrid and their teacher While the discussion of imagery in the novel occasionally felt a little didactic it effectively communicated Caitlin’s emotional state and played a pivotal role in her grief for Ingrid The building of the treehouse was a slightly less subtle motif for the themes of the novel but all the same it added an interesting dimension to the character of Caitlin and I’m all for contemporary YA protagonists who moonlight as carpenters However while this is Caitlin’s story it’s Ingrid that left the most profound impression on me In Ingrid La Cour has created a complex and very real character a girl of contrasts showing the world one side of her face and hiding the other away Ingrid’s pain and sadness are palpable in her letters yet I think the book did her justice in developing her as a character and not merely the inciting event for Caitlin’s journey Above all I admire the choices La Cour made in her depiction of Ingrid honest and unflinching while also according her the dignity of not being entirely defined by her suicide Hold Still is an impressive debut and the strength of La Cour’s writing complements the weight of the themes It’s a moving sad and ultimately hopeful story Recommended Cover Note On the subject of photography – the cover image is the work of UK based photographer Rosie Hardy