Title: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Books
Synopsis: “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.”
The plot is pretty self-explanatory so I’m just going to skip the introduction part and get to my thoughts.
I honestly loved this book. It was honest, fun and dealt with some real-life problems that I’m sure but most teenagers can relate to, like having to be separated from your best friend after high school because she chose to go to a university in a far-away state.
“‘What’s the use in waiting until the right moment if that moment never comes?'”
I loved the “movie/film” theme of this book, too. I’m not really a movie enthusiast, so I easily lose interest in a book when it keeps talking about books, especially if they are completely unknown to me. (It happened in Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler) But fortunately, the theme in this book wasn’t that foreign to me. Sure, it talked about movies a lot but I didn’t feel lost or alienated or anything like that, which is a huge plus. I also loved how almost every character in the book was somehow related to each other AND the theme. Every character had a small part in making the theme more emphasised.
It wasn’t boring, too, and I was able to finish it in a couple of days.
One of the things I found relatable was Morgan and Emi’s relationship. Even though having her heart broken multiple times, Emi found herself going back to the person who broke her heart every single time. I know those people, they make you feel like you are intoxicated and you know what you are doing is wrong because you have seen this movie a hundred times, they are only going to end up hurting you again and again and again but somehow, you can’t find yourself leaving that person. But I need to say that I was incredibly proud of her when she finally put the closure she needed between Morgan and her. You go girl!
“… because wanting someone is not the same as loving her, and now I understand that Morgan does not love me. When you love someone, you are sure. You don’t need time to decide. You don’t say stop and start over and over, like you’re playing some kind of sport. You know the immensity of what you have and you protect it.”
The book was written well, definitely, as nothing seemed rushed or anything like that. It progressed just like real life would, every relationship had its ups and downs and everybody got to know each other and family and friends and job were all in a balance. Everything was real-life-like.
Like I said above, Ava and Emi’s relationship wasn’t rushed, too. They didn’t jump into a relationship the moment they laid eyes on each other. They did everything step-by-step, first getting to know each other, then friendship, then hesitance (as we all hesitate before confessing our love [or not love, something lighter than that maybe] to someone because hey, what if they don’t love/like us back and we are ruining everything?! This was obviously doubled in Ava’s case as she didn’t know whether Emi liked girls or not). They overcame difficulties and obstacles together and thankfully, they weren’t one of those I-kissed-you-but-I-still-don’t-know-what-we-are relationships, because I honestly had enough of those.
“…but I could keep going forever, listing all my flaws in order from the most innocuous to the least. I am afraid of spiders… I fall in love too easily… I have fierce spells of self-doubt. Because in the conversation beneath this one, what we’re really saying is I am and imperfect person. Here are my failures. Do you want me anyway?“
Sometimes I felt like Emi was too caught up in the glamour of the movie life and Hollywood that she kept seeing people and things as parts of this Hollywood life and at one point, everything she said was about Hollywood and movies and fame and it became suffocating. Thankfully, she was able to change this habit of hers.
Also, what I would like to see is how the characters are doing, long-term-wise. Like what happened to Ava and Emi, how is Emi and Charlotte’s friendship now that they are in different universities, how’s college, how did the movie do when it was released, etc.
Still, I think this was a beautifully written, realistic book with diverse characters and real-life situations that we all face. I would recommend it to anyone without a doubt, as I really, really liked it.