I read Nina LaCour’s THE DISENCHANTMENTS last month and loved it so much I raced out to pick up her first novel, HOLD STILL. Oh, how I loved this one as well. It is very different than TD, but just as moving. Caitlin is starting her junior year frozen and shocked by the loss of her best friend, Ingrid, who took her own life.
This novel is almost poetic in its prose. The chapters are short and read like mini vignettes. LaCour is extremely gifted when it comes to wordplay. There are some simple yet profound statements in this novel that reach out and cut into your chest. Caitlin’s voice is achingly real and her path of recovery, heart-wrenching. So many small moments play into her ability to move on: new friendships, photography, mix-tapes, a tree house, a hidden diary. I could probably write a short essay on how masterfully each is incorporated, but instead I’ll say just this: HOLD STILL is a wonderful look on how death (and suicide) leave people close to the victim crippled. How we doubt how much we even knew the person who took their life. How we feel guilty for their deaths even if it was beyond our control. How we fear moving forward because we aren’t ready to let go.
This novel reads like one long, beautiful goodbye. I cried several times. But it’s a lovely read and well worth the tears. I can’t recommend it enough.
Originally reviewed here