Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour | Book Review
By Nina LaCour
Age Range: 14 and up
Hardback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dutton Books (May 15, 2014)
What to expect: Love, Los Angeles, Career, Film Design,
Talented young set designer Emi can dream up rich and complex room concepts from spare scraps of fabric and sad and neglected estate sale possessions.
Yet while Emi can design the perfect set, she can’t seem to furnish anything more than a flimsy and makeshift love life for herself. Scared of running her fledgling career into the ground before it’s even taken off, Emi is determined to put all her energy into a new screenplay project that could be the next big thing.
But when a mysterious letter turns up in an old Patsy Cline record found at the estate sale of an old Hollywood legend, Emi and her straight-talking best friend, Charlotte, find their lives caught up in a real-life screenplay drama, where a few pieces of perfectly placed furniture can’t dress up the heartbreak and history of a movie icon’s hidden life. The letter leads Emi to Ava, and as the screenplay deadline draws closer, Emi has to learn to undress her own set, to separate her carefully crafted world from the scenes that play in her heart and head, to allow for true love at last.
Nina LaCour creates her novel as skillfully as an architect, painter, and interior designer would all design a room. The architect visualizes something that’s not yet been built—can see the potential in the blueprint—and then lays solid foundations, before the painter sets to work on the blank canvas, and the designer dresses with furniture and fabric to add personal flair. LaCour does just that with Everything Leads to You. The reader is taken on a wonderfully vivid tour of Los Angeles, shown the real and complicated world of film design, and offered a delicate and true glimpse into a young girl’s heart as she deals with heartbreak and the hope of new love. Emi is a wholesome, endearing and wonderfully fragile character: how refreshing it is to read a modern love story, to feel Emi fall for a girl in such a breathtakingly real way.
Enchanting, honest, and as delicate as an ornate antique vase, Everything Leads to You is a sensitive and modern rendition of a classic love story. Expect tears, laughter, and a compassion so fierce for Emi’s romantic yet realistic, and often philosophical take on the world around her, that you’ll fall in love with her just as much as she falls in love with old botanical prints and embroidered sofas, and the enigmatic girl who helps shift the perspective on Emi’s future vision.
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About the Author
Nina LaCour grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first job was at fourteen in an independent bookstore, and she has since worked in two others. She has tutored and taught in various places, from a juvenile hall to a private college. She now teaches English at an independent high school. Nina lives in Oakland, California with her wife and their two cute cats. Visit her online at www.ninalacour.com.
Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour, was reviewed by Charlie Kennedy. Follow along with our book reviews and articles tagged with “Love” and our Young Adult Books category to discover more great novels.
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