Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCouer
Welp, I’m in Utah. Which means I’m drinking fancy wine and cocktails. I started drinking in the afternoon with a Bee’s Knees, and then had a spiked cider,and then just wine, and then…. And then…. I should probably stop talking but I’m in a solidly good mood. So, deal with it.
This book follows Emi who is in high school (I have an opinion on this that I’ll talk about later) who is working for a few different movie things, with her friend Charlotte. They discover a letter from a now-dead actor to a mystery person (spoiler, it’s his daughter) and go on an adventure to discover her and then figure out some other stuff
OPINIONS! Okay, so I kind of have a problem with the characters in this book being high school students. Mostly because I think it’s unlikely that high schoolers would be trusted with the level of responsibility the main characters are. Emi and Charlotte end up staying in Emi’s brother apartment, and the parentsdon’t seem to care or have been consulted? Maybe this is just the sheltered experience I grew up in but Hell No would my parents have ever let me live like that. That aside, it was a cute story. Emi meets Ava, the granddaughter of the movie star and seems to start a not-so-slow slide into puppy love. It’s really quite cute to read. Yet again, I have a lot of opinions so I’ll start below.
Characters:I felt that a lot of the characters in this book were really well thought out (though all of the main characters SHOULD HAVE BEEN COLLEGE STUDENTS, FOR FUCKS SAKE it doesn’t feel realistic for a teenager to have the level of responsibility that has been given in this movie. For starters no movie would trust an 18 year old to design their sets. I mean, a school project, sure. But a real movie. NOPE! Other than that, the friendship between Emi and Charlotte felt really realistic with a bit of a give an take (still a little bit too perfect, but I’ll go with it). Ava is a fun character to add in, as is Jamal who is one of Ava’s friend (arguably a little bit too perfect, but honestly he was super sweet and I can use more of that in what I read). I felt a lot of the other cast felt a little bit flat… I mean mostly in the way that everyone seems to think that Emi is absolutely brilliant… which was conveyed in her writing, there was maybe just a little bit too much leeway. I did think some of the character decisions did fit a teenager, so I guess I can’t complain there…
Plot: This was a very focused plotline that was really character driven. The entire plot happens really because Emi likes to solve mysteries. It felt as if there was really only ever the one plot that could be followed. That isn’t a complaint. Just a note that with most mystery novels (and let’s be honest, that isn’t super my genre). Oddly enough, this is one of the rare times I feel like I have more to say about writing style than the plot.
Writing Style: Holy Shit, for the first time Ihave something to write here. Nina nailed the feeling of being the in the late teens and knowing that there are all of these changes in front of you without being quite ready to confront them. Even beyond that, the descriptions are kind of awesome. Emi’s throught process about what belongs in the sets she’s designing is kind of awesome, (and could be a good way to think about original characters) and the details about what different things means was so much fun to read. There was also a focus on the juxtsaposition of a novel vs a screenplay and there were many scenes that were written as if they themselves were part of a screenplay (this could very easily be considered a cliché) but I still enjoyed it.
Overall Opinions: This was a sweet fluffy book. It was f/f which I guess I didn’t explicitly say before. The romance was a pretty large portion of the plot and was pretty 9in your face at times, but I found I didn’t particularly mind that… Like I said, I was still mostly just frustrated at the age of the characters. I think this could have been aged up without too much trouble. But that’s a pretty personal opinion. This is definitely a cute read. Most likely, not the kind of book to change you life but not a bad way to spend a few hours.
Drink: This is a gimlet. It’s supposed to have a real old fashioned Hollywood feel, and mostly does, but seems to be missing one incredibly important element.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 shots. I enjoyed this book but there was definitely room for improvement. Still plenty of fun, and as I mentioned, not a particularly long read.