Review: Everything Leads To You

Everything-Leads-You

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.

Everything Leads To You was definitely an interesting read, and I found it quite engrossing once I got post the start. LaCour’s writing style relies heavily on dialogue, and does not have a defining feature, but I still found this novel more than a satisfactory read. The start was a bit stilted, and I found myself losing interest, but it definitely was only improvements from about page 70 onward, and the plot took over. The plot was a little hard to believe at times, and there were definitely holes that could not be overlooked. The characters were definitely one of the redeeming factor for this novel, and I found them to be a major attraction point of the novel. All in all, there were some highs, some lows, but altogether, a good read.

In all of LaCour’s novels, there seems to be a defining feature of the book. Usually, it is an interest that binds all the characters and creates foundations for relationships to be built upon. I personally have not read any other LaCour books, but gathering from what I have heard from friends and from the internet, in Hold Still it was photography; in The Disenchantments it was music; in Everything Leads to You it’s film. The main character (I assume she’s the main character because it’s written from her point of view), Emi, and her best friend, Charlotte, are both production designers. The person they meet, and the person the whole novel revolves around (I kinda feel like she should be the main character more than the narrator), is an actor. LaCour has created this extremely useful interest that binds the characters and gives them something to stick to.

The characters were created with real people in mind. I don’t know who she chose to model her characters off, but it has definitely paid off for LaCour, because she has extremely realistic people who have their own interests, their own personalities, their own lives, and this is an extremely important part of a book. Of course, there has to be a downside, and LaCour’s is that certain aspects of the characters can sometimes seem very convenient for the plot. Of course, conveniency is sacrificed for realism. However, there are only a few certain parts of a character that can seem a bit fake at times, and so this does not take away majorly from the character’s overall writing charm.

I was very unprepared for certain parts of Everything Leads To You. For example, I spent the first 50 pages trying to toss up between whether the character was a lesbian, a boy, or just really really really good friends with this girlfriend that had broken up with her. It turns out that she is a lesbian. So yeah. Just warning you. She’s not a boy. Now, back to the very convenient parts of the novel. The lost interest, Ava, turns out to be a girl. And Ava, coincidentally, turns out to be a lesbian as well! What a nice way for LaCour to make her novel work! Unfortunately, life isn’t a novel, and if LaCour is trying to describe life, then she was stretched the truth a littlebit too far. This is one of the major plot holes in the novel, more of which I will come to later.

The start, or the first 60 pages or so were just boring. The writing style here I found really cheesy, corny and just generally cringeworthy. An f bomb was dropped two pages in, and yet, the writing style felt aimed at 10 year olds. Like, she actually elongated a vowel sound:

[After some information is given to Emi (narrator) and her best friend]

“Whaaaat?” We shake our heads in wonder.”

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when authors use more letters than is necessary. It makes it seem to childish. Maybe it was just me, and this is simply a pet peeve of mine, but I dunno. This really annoyed me. After the first 60 pages though, LaCour’s writing changed completely. No more cheesiness, no more childish writing. And this is when the book really started to pull me in.

So, in conclusion, Everything Leads To You was definitely an okay book, but nothing worth raving on about. There were a few holes in the plot, and the writing style started off a little childlike. The novel has heavy dialogue which may annoy some readers. However, the characters are extremely likeable and LaCour’s use of film throughout the novel makes it not as bad as you would think.

Rating:  7/10

Everything Leads To You is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.

The Info:

  • Title: Everything Leads To You
  • Author: Nina LaCour
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (May 15th, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142422940
  • URL: Goodreads
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