Everything Leads To You
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: May 15th 2014
by Dutton Juvenile
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.
-A copy was provided by Penguin for review-
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.