Hold Still - Nina LaCour This is a young adult book about the aftermath of a suicide. The book begins shortly after the suicide of the central character's (Caitlin) best friend. From there it traces Caitlin's actions and feelings as she puts her life back together following Ingrid's death. The book was recommended to me by another Caitlin, one of my son's best friends from high school. I love her recommendations, as she rarely picks a bad one. This book was true to that formula.

Interesting enough, this book was a quick read, even though it was not a light read. I was able to finish it in one 24 hour period. I believe this is the debut novel by Nina LaCour, but I would hope that she writes more novels. If future books are as good as this one, I would predict that she will be a success. In fact, I would put this book on a par with those written by Sarah Dessen in that it is written mostly for adolescent girls and deals with the problems they encounter.

I thought this books was well written, and that the characters were well developed. The author's writing style and storyline drew me into the book from the very beginning. Not everything in this book was nice, but I thought the situations where the characters acted out were extremely appropriate to the story. In addition, I thought that the author highlighted the confusion and frustration inherent in being the survivor quite well. She was also able to capture just the right mix of emotions and behaviors for the characters in the story. They were neither overly dramatic, overly gushy, nor overly "cool". I would recommend this book to any of the high school aged girls that I know, and more importantly, to the parents of high school aged girls, as I feel it contains a good insight into feelings and behaviors that adolescents usually try to hide from adults.

On the lighter side, another thing that drew me into the story was the fact that it took place in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. It always makes me instantly comfortable with a book to have it set in an area that I am familiar with. The setting for this book is an affluent suburb of San Francisco called Los Cerros, which is so much like the town that I live in (including the characters' school Vista High School) that I felt like I was reading about the students that my sons grew up with.

Although I would not say this book is a 5 star read for me, it is definitely a solid 4 star read and well worth the time spent on it.