Hold Still by Nina LaCour

2009
10.05


hold still
“My best friend is dead, and I could have saved her.” Caitlin was devastated when her BFF Ingrid committed suicide. Now she struggles with overwhelming feelings of guilt, wondering if there was anything she could have done to halt Ingrid’s gradual and largely secret descent into depression and pain. When she finds Ingrid’s last journal hidden in her bedroom, she only allows herself to read one entry at a time, hesitant to sever this last link. Slowly, she becomes aware of the other people who have lost Ingrid too: their favorite photography teacher who now can’t look Caitlin in the eye, the boy Ingrid had a huge crush on who never even had a chance to ask her out, Ingrid’s incredibly sad family. Slowly, she becomes aware of the other people who have lost HER while she’s been grieving for Ingrid: her terrified parents, new girl Dylan who just wants to be her friend, popular boy Taylor who has liked her since third grade. For a while, all Caitlin could do was hold still so she didn’t fall a part. As Ingrid’s journal comes to end, Caitlin is faced with an enormous decision: hold tight to her grief or dare to let go and move on. This powerful debut, rich with themes of renewal, hope and redemption, will resonate with anyone who ever survived losing someone. (1 weepie)

20 Responses to “Hold Still by Nina LaCour”

  1. michael says:

    If you liked this book you will love Saved by the Music. It is pretty sad but has a great ending- you MUST read it!!

  2. Lisa says:

    I had already added this to my list, but your review solidifies it’s spot. It does seem like there is a lot of books about grief lately, or maybe I’m just noticing them more.

  3. Courtney says:

    I havent read this book yet. I’ve been meaning to, but i just havent found this book in any local bookstore and such!

  4. Liz says:

    This sounds wonderful. A boy at our local high school is on life support (he may be dead as I write) from a suicide attempt, and kids are just devastated. IT’s made worse because of rumors of him being gay, and being bullied, etc., so it’s just a heartbreaking mess. I’m going to get this for my daughter to read — it may help her. I’m going to read it too. (I’ll have to remember the “Saved by the Music” book as well.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I loved this novel! It’s full of so much love and pain, but not in a clichéd way because the characters feel very real.

  6. Beth says:

    I hate to be the lone naysayer here, but I didn’t find anything particularly original, having read 13 Reasons Why and Wintergirls this year, both of which I thought were better done. Anyone who has read either of these care to comment>

  7. Heather says:

    See, I enjoyed Hold Still better than both 13 Reasons Why and Wintergirls. While 13 Reasons Why left the trail of why she chose her path, I felt that Hold Still captured better the irrational nature of suicide, as well as an honest portrayal of the people left behind. In 13, she was often putting the blame of her unhappiness on others, whereas in Hold she had her moments of frustration/anger towards her best friend and a hope for something more with her crush, but it was really about the fact that she didn’t know why she felt so depressed but that she couldn’t escape it. All of the books mentioned above were well done, but I appreciated Hold Still the most because it captured more of all the aspects of suicide.

  8. kristy says:

    this is more than 1 weepie. i cried for like 2 hours. it was an amazing book though.

  9. Kaitlyn says:

    Does anybody know where the quote, “My best friend is dead, and I could have saved her.” is in the book? I need it for a research paper and I can’t find it.

  10. Paola says:

    This book was awesome i enjoyed it. I couldn’t stop reading after i started the 1st chapter. I had to keep reading until the end. i recommend this book to anyone

  11. Leiah says:

    this novel was absolutely amazing. I was pulled in from chapter 1. this is by FAR my favorite book. it has so much detail. it felt as though I was sitting next to catlin as she greived for her lost friend.

  12. Lyndsi says:

    This Book Is EXACTLY What I’m Goin Thruu B/C Myy Bff Commited suicide a lil over 2 years ago and thts EXACTLY Howw I Feltt

    ~LyNdSii~

  13. Sarah says:

    i read the book i love it so much like not that there should be another one but is there gonna be?

  14. Amanda says:

    read this, it’s amazing. i promise.

  15. Lizza says:

    I agree, Heather. (I read 13) both are one of my favorites <3

  16. Jessica says:

    I read this book and totally fell in love. I couldnt put the book down. its really good! :) <3

  17. Kaitlyn says:

    It was the cover that made me pick up this book. I always read the 1st pg. to see if I like it, but when I did I couldn’t stop reading it. On days that I got to early I would take “Hold Still” out and read and i wouldn’t stop till the teacher said something to me. I Love This Book! :)

  18. Kaitlyn F. ^ says:

    what is “13 reasons why” and “winter girls” about? and to the other kaitlyn i believe its a thought she has.

  19. Margaret says:

    Thirteen Reasons why is about a girl who commits suicide and then leaves behind 13 tapes, each of which give a reason behind why the girl, Hannah, killed herself. Then, all the tapes are mailed to each person who they are about. This book is told in the point of view of one of the people who gets the tapes.

    Wintergirls is about 2 girls, one named Lia, the other named Cassie. Lia and Cassie are both best friends and Lia has anorexia and Cassie has bulimia. Cassie suddenly dies and then Lia is left to deal with how she died and why.

    I highly recommend both these books, I was hooked from page 1 of each!

  20. Miranda says:

    I read Hold Still, and it became my favorite book. I absolutley love this book, and could read it again and again. I don’t agree with it being banned from schools because it didn’t make me want to commit suicide, but in a way helped me understand people who feel the need to.

    I also read 13 reasons why, and it was a pretty good book, but i didn’t really like it as much as Hold Still. Hold Still had more depth to it, and when i was reading it, i couldn’t put it down. When i was reading 13 reasons why, i could put it down, and if i can do that, then it’s not a good sign. But all in all, i liked the book, but loved Hold Still. Everyone if you get a chance, read it!

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