Hold Still by Nina LaCour
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Best friend tries to figure out why her BFF committed suicide. Not exactly new territory, is it? Here, the "clues" come in the form of a diary deliberately left for Caitlin, who learns how depressed and desperate Ingrid really was. However, there's less about their relationship than there is Caitlin's healing and finding new friends (like Dylan, who is a lesbian because... well, I guess to add some diversity and to place the book near San Francisco?). With the exception of her photography teacher, the adults in Caitlin's life are remarkably distant in terms of helping her cope. Veema, on the other hand, is also grief-stuck and takes it out on Caitlin. Of course there's a big reconciliation scene, and everyone keeps moving past this tragedy. And then there's Taylor, the really-cute-popular-guy, and the growing romance between them.
I kept fluctuating between feeling that this was a book that might help teens cope with the loss of a friend and feeling that this book didn't dig deep enough into the emotional part. It wasn't that Caitlin's feelings were closed off (with suitable interior monologue) it's that they weren't always present in the book. She didn't even seem to be automatically going through the motions, or coming out of her grief as the book went along.
Ultimately, other books have covered this territory better.
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