Title: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Release: May 15, 2014
My Rating: ✦✦✦/5
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. (Goodreads)
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Believe me when I say that this book must have something special because it pulled me out of a 4 1/2 month reading slump! I brought this with me to uni (I only brought 2) and had read about 1/3 of it before moving. Once I got to uni, I did not touch it once, but the other day, amidst the hectic finals stress, I thought why not and picked it up. I was sucked into this world once again and read until I had to force myself to get some sleep. The next night, I picked it up again and finished it. I was quite impressed with myself for reading way more than I usually would, even when I’m in my highest points of reading and am not in a slump.
I was first drawn to this book because the main character works in the film industry, something I’m always interested in reading about, because if you know me you know I love movies and making movies. In the beginning, it felt a bit slow, and I was also struggling to keep up with the complicated string of people in Ava’s life, so this threw me off a bit. My curiosity got the better of me thought and I knew I needed to know how everything was going to pan out in the end so I kept reading.
I did start to enjoy this book once it started focusing more on the production of the film and less on other smaller, minor details. But there was always something that felt a little jumpy when it would hop between Ava’s life and the production and I could never quite feel like it was one storyline going on, but rather felt like 2 different times within the story. It wasn’t until about halfway when I started to feel the flow of the story getting better and the plot becoming more and more interesting. I really started liking the main characters, and really started hoping for a happy ending for Emi and Ava.
One of my biggest issue with this novel was the ending. It felt like it took 3/4 of the book to set up the story, and then the ending was rushed. I felt there could have been so much more development with the relationship of Emi and Ava, and that if the ending was a bit slower, their relationship could have felt less forced, and less “a relationship for relationship’s (and the ending of the novel’s) sake.” Although I do realize the point of the novel was not the outcome of the film, but the relationship between Emi and Ava and the growth of all the characters, but I do wish It could have given a little tidbit into how the film ended up. An epilogue would have been perfect, and could have really tied all the loose ends together. (I’ll be sitting over here, hoping for a sequel)
With all that said, I do really appreciated how LaCour was able to write the novel to have the same kind of feeling as a screenplay would have, going scene by scene. It made the film setting feel even more real. Along with things I really appreciate about this novel, is the fact that it is never dwelled on that the relationship is between two girls, but rather that it’s just how it is, a beautiful romance as any other. It made the characters and the romance feel as real as LaCour could possibly make it all feel.
So, in conclusion, I would recommend this book, but probably only to those that I know would usually enjoy this genre or context. It’s not for everyone (as most books are), but I did enjoy it, and would love for a friend to read and enjoy it as well!
“We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. they tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.” – Nina LaCour