Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

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I received this book for free from Penguin in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCourEverything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
Published by Dutton Juvenile on May 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Penguin
Buy on Amazon

A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

I feel like anything I want to say about this book has to be prefaced by me fangirling over the cover. Let’s all take a moment to stare at it and just take in it’s beauty *stares at cover* man, even the font treatment is so captivating! OK, now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about what’s inside. Nina LaCour’s Everything Leads To You is so much more than just a pretty cover. It’s a beautiful love story, it’s a magical tale that truly captures the essence of living in LA and it’s a story about strong relationships; ones you have had around forever and ones that you are just beginning to forge.

I literally just have a long list of things I loved about this book that I want to talk about forever and ever. What had me in love with the story right off the bat is definitely the setting. Our MC, Emi, lives in LA and the way that LaCour writes about this magical city had it feeling like it was it’s own character in the novel. She breathes life into the streets and had me envisioning every tree, store, market or restaurant so vividly. These aren’t usually things I focus on in a novel but the picture was just painted so well that I got swept up in all of the visuals it lent to me. Helping this along is the fact that that’s what Emi’s job is about. She works on the set of movies; staging scenes and bringing rooms to life. I absolutely loved seeing this behind the scenes look at show business. When you think about movies you think about actors and directors and maybe even producers but the people who put together the sets kind of get forgotten about. This book made me realize how important every little detail is and appreciate the amount of work that goes into getting things just right.

As we watch Emi work on the set of movies we also get to delve into her personal life. We see her struggling after breaking up with her girlfriend Morgan and we see her engross herself in a little mystery to help her get through everything. The mystery finds her in the form of a letter that falls out of a record her and her friend Charlotte find at an estate sale of a dead celebrity. Through this letter they find out that the actor, who was famous for never having any next of kin, actually had a daughter and a grand daughter that he was trying to get in touch with for years before he passed. This leads them to the grand daughter, Ava, who comes into Emi’s life and quickly becomes someone who is very important to her. As we slowly find out the details of Ava’s past and see her unravel truths that she never even imagined about herself you really get swept up in the drama of it all. I wanted to know everything there was about what happened in Ava’s family and I loved watching her piece everything together.

As these pieces come together we see a very slow burning romance between Emi and Ava. What I appreciated about this book so much was that yes, Emi was a lesbian and it’s just something that… was. There was no huge focus on her dealing with crap because of it (as so many people often have to) but it was just a romance that happened to be between two girls. I feel like a lot of the LGBT novels that I read are about the struggles that come along with coming out and the bullying that people face, it was refreshing to read just a regular contemporary romance with none of that baggage weighing it down. Another relationship that is worth a mention is the friendship between Emi and Charlotte. These two had known each other for years and had such a flow with one another. They knew each other so well and could just look at the other and convey so much to them.

I have to stop gushing here because I really could go on and on forever. This is so much more than a love story, it’s so much more than a mystery, it’s a damn near perfect tale. I was enraptured in every detail of it, I loved reading about Emi’s work just as much as I loved seeing the romance grow. I couldn’t put this one down and it’s one that had me so sad it was over. I’ll be looking into other Nina LaCour novels ASAP because I think this is definitely an author I will love for a long time to come.


5 Hot Espressos

30 Responses to “Review: Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour”

  1. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I have to admit, I wasn’t really too interested in reading this one, but that cover IS really gorgeous. I like knowing that the LGBT themes aren’t incorporated in an issue-book type manner, but as something that is just simply present. That’s definitely refreshing and makes me a lot more eager to pick this up now. I’m glad you liked it, Jenni! Lovely review. 🙂

    • Jenni

      I hope you love it if you get around to reading it Sam! It was definitely refreshing for the relationship to just be like any other relationship (as it should be!)

  2. Tina

    I am so in love with Nina LaCour’s books that I’m not even going to read this review because I refuse to be even a tiny bit spoiled. I am SO happy that you gave it 5 stars, though. I’m so so so excited and happy but also so so scared because her books absolutely destroy me. BRING ON THE TEARS. Also, I didn’t even know she had a new book so thank you a million for posting this review!

    • Jenni

      I’d never read anything by her but I am definitely on the hunt for her other books now. I hope you love this one, Tina!

  3. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Wow! Your review is absolutely beautiful, Jenni. I haven’t heard much about this book, but I’m so happy to hear you loved it so much. The setting sounds so well-written and it’s definitely refreshing that this isn’t a LGBT book where the MC is suffering from coming out. I wasn’t too keen on this book, but you’ve changed my mind.
    Lovely review, Jenni.

  4. Megan Nicole

    I haven’t heard of this one before but am adding to my TBR after reading this review! When the setting/imagery comes to life is when magic happens, and I love authors that can do that! Wonderful review! 🙂

  5. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’d read that somewhere else — where the f/f romance just wasn’t a big deal, it just was. *stands up and applauds* And that’s the way it should be. I’m definitely intrigued in this book for not just the romance but the mystery as well. And, yes, the cover. Purdy.

  6. Christianna

    Ooooo, this one sounds really good! I read another book by her and thought that her lead male character should have been a lesbian, because I didn’t find him believable at all. But I’ve been curious to see what she does with a lesbian main character and it sounds like she did it really well.

    • Jenni

      I agree, it’s always about the struggles they face after coming out and stuff. This was just like any other YA book with a romance in it.

  7. Sierra

    I’m not a fan of the cover or of the premise, but an LGBTQ books always grabs my attention. Definitely gonnda add to my TBR! I’m so glad I read this review, otherwise I’d’ve prolly shelved it as untouchable or something. Nice save. *self-high five*

  8. Maddy @Symphony of Words

    Goodness, this definitely looks like a must-read. That bit about Emi not having to deal with bullying and all the other baggage due to her sexual orientation and just having a normal relationship sounds just about enough for me to go ahead and judge that this is an amazing book. Also, I’ve been fang irking over the cover ever since I saw it in you Fresh Batch feature. Beautiful review, Jenni! I don’t usually go for these types of books, but I’m willing to give this one a try 🙂

  9. Melliane

    wow 5? It sounds so good! I didn’t really know this one but now I’m really curious to learn more because I love a good book like that. I’m curious to discover the heroine and like you said I also love the cover.