Friday, February 17, 2012

Booktalk: Hold Still by Nina LaCour (Virginia Readers' Choice, 2011-2012)

Ingrid and Caitlin are best friends. Ingrid is really, really obsessed with photography – she’s good at it, too – and she keeps these wonderful, quirky journals which are a composite of her drawings, feelings, and questions. The two are inseparable, and although they have other acquaintances (crushes, friends, etc.), they sort of make up their own world. Caitlin’s the more practical, pragmatic of the two. But then Caitlin’s world changes completely. The worst happens. Ingrid commits suicide.

How do you live your life when your best friend dies? How do you go to school and face the people who knew you primarily as part of a pair? How do you survive? Why do you survive? Now that people just pity you, will anyone your age like you just for you? How do you make sense of the way in which life changes?

There are different ways in which Caitlin survives. Some of these ways she’s aware of, and some she may not be. No one can ever take Ingrid’s place, but there are people out there who are kind, interesting, and forgiving; some of them are well camouflaged, but they’re right there, hiding in plain sight.

The subject matter of this novel may be painful, but it’s a fascinating read, for many reasons. Ingrid foresaw that Caitlin would be alone and in tremendous pain, and she did something really nice for Caitlin to help her. Find out what it was in Hold Still by Nina LaCour.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour. 229 p. Dutton Books: 2009. Virginia Readers’ Choice 2011-2012 for high school. Booktalk to high school. Contains sensitive subject matter.

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