Hold Still by Nina LaCour tells a story about loss, grief, the feeling of having terribly failed someone, about friendship, remembering and new beginnings, as the blurb indicates. But it also is about Photography and The Cure, which alone would have been enough for me to like it. However, if my feelings for this book stopped at just liking it, I would not be sitting on a balcony in the sun, writing this blogpost and listening to „Lovesong“ and „Just Like Heaven“ repeatedly right now. So, in the following, let me tell you which other feelings reading Hold Still evoked in me.
„Though it’s about a tragedy, hope and resilience are its heart.“LaCour, Nina. Hold Still (S.243). Penguin Young Readers Group. Kindle-Version.
“It wasn‘t the ghosts. It was the hauntings that mattered.“We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)
Marin is in her first year of college in New York and does not want to think back. She does not want to remember what has been lost to her and what she has left behind when she fled from her Californian hometown months ago. But while Marin does not feel able to reconnect with her past yet and certain important things and people have undoubtedly been lost forever, her best friend, Mabel, won’t give up on her. Even after countless unanswered calls and messages, Mabel keeps trying to reach out to Marin.
So, when Marin is about to spend Christmas and winter break all alone at college in New York, as far away from the Pacific Ocean as she can get, Mabel comes to visit. And Marin has to look back, whether she wants to or not. In doing so, she also has to begin to heal. And to realize that in life good things and things that hurt can rarely be separated. Instead, they often mix up in one and the same person.
“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren‘t ready.“We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)