Rating: 6 out of 10
Caitlin and Ingrid have been best friends forever–the kind of best friends who are joined at the hip, tell each other all their secrets, and sort of live in their own little world.
After Ingrid’s unexpected suicide, Caitlin is left drifting. When school starts, she has no drive for anything, not even her photography class, which used to be her favorite period in school. What’s worse, her photography teacher, Ms. Delani, who used to encourage Caitlin immensely in her artistic efforts, seems completely uninterested in anything Caitlin feels or has to say about the aftermath of Ingrid’s death.
Hold Still chronicles Caitlin’s reemergence over the school year. Slowly she comes out of her shell thanks to Dylan, a transfer student who is the first openly lesbian girl at Caitlin’s small town high school, and by reading Ingrid’s journal.
Ingrid’s journal, apparently purposefully left behind in Caitlin’s room, chronicles her descent into depression, problems with her medication, her heartbreak over boys, and her unwillingness to let anyone know how sad she was truly feeling.
I thought LaCour did a fairly good job creating a narrative around the issue of teenage suicide, and Caitlin’s reactions and her recovery seemed realistic and was paced well. I liked the pages of Ingrid’s journal placed throughout the novel, and the ending was good.
I didn’t think the relationship between Caitiln and her photography teacher Ms. Delani was at all realistic–and whenever Ms. Delani spoke her dialogue sounded like it had been straight lifted out of an art criticism review or a teaching manual. She wasn’t real to me, and didn’t make as much of an impact as I feel the author tried to have her be.
I know this novel is aimed towards younger (middle school) readers but it still seemed a little simplistic to me at times. It didn’t really engage me all that well, hence the lower rating and why it took me so long to finish.