Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication date: May 15th, 2014
Genres & themes: YA, contemporary, lesbian, life matters, friendship, family.
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.
Everything Leads to You is definitely not a BAD book. It was actually my first lesbian YA (romance—details later) read and I think I may continue with this genre and try to seek some gems out there—because there always are!
The story revolves around Ava, the granddaughter of a well-known celebrity who died and left her a letter telling her how much he wished he knew her and that he left her A LOT of money she can use at her sake. Now here is the thing: I thought Emi was the main character. She’s the narrator and there’s a first person POV so it makes it even more obvious. But, even if Emi was the one discovering the letter, everything else important happening revolves, as I said, around Ava. Eveything Leads to Ava. Emi has a new job and then Ava has one as well for the same people. Emi help her find the truth about her mother who died unfortunately too. Ava is struggling with finding a place where she can feel at home and Emi helps her. So, I guess there are really TWO main characters with the same importance level in this book that are connected to each other. The fact is that I was confused about who IS the main main character throughout the story. I guess I’m just not used to LaCour’s formula.
I thought the ‘mystery’ was completely predictable. I wanted to tell myself it isn’t and struggled to not predict things that were happening but it was too hard not to since it was so simple to deduct. Sometimes predictable stories are not boring, especially contemporary ones and this is one of them. Now I’m not saying that I really enjoyed it still because there are other factors that made me not enjoy this book that much.
IT’S FILLED WITH DIALOGS. The many dialogs and few descriptions of places and the world around them annoyed my reading experience. Sometimes dialogs were half page long and that made me take a lot of breaks from this book. I usually read a book in 1-2 days but this one took me 3 days.
Emi and Ava are both nice girls and characters. The ‘coincidence’ of them both being lesbian made this book unfortunately not so realistic. I mean, I believe in fate and destiny from time to time but this is too much. If she were bi, then maybe this book would’ve been more realistic.
Another problem I had with this book is that there barely is romance! There is only one single kiss in the story and RARE flirting. Of course, there is some mention of girls from Emi’s past and Ava’s as well but nothing substantial.
What I liked though was the film part of this book. Really enjoyed knowing more about how it works in that industry and how designers have an immense part in the conception. Emi’s job is one hell of a cool one. Plus, she’s really talented.
Overall, I think, if you wish to read a book in which there is mention of the celebrities’ world and film/series as well, I’d recommend The Secrets of My Hollywood Life (LOVED IT) series by Jen Calonita. Also, if you really want romance, I have no recommendations since it’s my first lesbian book but I don’t think this is the one for you. Again, not BAD but not worth of your time if your TBR pile is huge.
First and foremost, congratulations on the new blog Lola! I love your name 🙂
I’ve actually read a really positive review of this book so it’s good to read a very different opinion because I’m really curious about this book. From the positive review, I like the fact that the relationship between both girls aren’t look at as an “issue” but something normal, just like any other relationship. On the other, I wonder if I would also think it unrealistic how the two characters met and coincidentally, have the same sexual preference. I guess I would just have to read the book myself to make an opinion! Lovely review, Lola!
Thank you so much, Amir! I know it’s not perfect but it’s mine and I love it. ^^ Yeah, it felt a bit too good to be true so unrealistic in my opinion. Maybe some will like it because it can make people dream I guess and see how there are some vaste posibilities in this world and lovely unexpected coincidences (if some believe in them)? 😛 Thanks again! 😀
“I would also think it unrealistic how the two characters met and coincidentally, have the same sexual preference.” No offense, but isn’t that the plot of most romance novels? Two people meet and they both just /happen/ to be straight. How unrealistic. 😛 I’m sure you didn’t mean anything bad by your statement but it seems like kind of a double standard. If two straight people can meet and fall in love why not LGBT people?
I’ve read mixed reviews for this book, but your review is the most comprehensive one of the lot! I have to agree with you, them coincidentally having the same sexual preference kind of dampens the mood. I wish their romance would’ve been better developed also. At least the movie aspect is well developed! I’ll move this down on my tbr list. Great review!
Hahaha, aww thanks I was affraid people wouldn’t quite understand because I have mixed feelings. Not bad but not great. Yeah, I whished that too about the romance. And whished they would have shown their love for each other more because it’s really at the ending that it happens. Yeah, I enjoyed discovering stuff about the cinematic world. Thank you, Marianne! 😀
Lesbians are not mythical creatures. We don’t just get together seeking each other out in seedy gay bars. My two best friends that I have known since childhood both turned out to be lesbians and got with each other. When they told me, I revealed to them I was also a lesbian. Also, most of my crushes turned out to be gay or bi as well, even the one who happened to also live next to my room on our dorm hall. If I wrote a book about this y’all would probably wave it off as “unrealistic”. But your lesson here is: don’t mark off experiences in books as unrealistic just because they’ve never happened to you.
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Lola – I read this one a while back, and I finished it with a sense of “meh;” yet I was never able to pinpoint what exactly I didn’t like about it. Now that I’ve read your review though, I think I definitely have more of a grasp on what I felt about it. I too agree the mystery was a bit predictable, and that the romance wasn’t as well-developed as it could have been.
As an actress myself, I really appreciated the film setting. You could really feel Emi’s passion for film. 🙂 Plus? Her friendship with Charlotte? AMAZING.
Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤
It’s weird, I had the SAME reaction. I was like, what should I say??? So I went with my instincts and hoped what came out would make sense. I’m glad it does. REALLY glad. Yeah, if we were to read a lesbian, it HAS to feel like one. Instead it felt so so light that I didn’t even feel their love for each other.
I didn’t know you were an actress! That’s so cool! 😀 Yeah, definitely, Emi’s going to go far with her skills there. That friendship is perfect.
Thanks a lot, Zoe! ❤
Glad I read this! I was wondering whether it would be a worthy purchase or not. I guess not.
Unfortunately not. 😦 And it’s a shame because it could have been such a fantastic summer read. It lacks of a lot of stuff though. Thanks for stopping by! 😀
This is my first time at your blog and wanted to check out your review of this one, since it’s been on my “to read” list for a while. I’m a sucker for gorgeous cover art/typography like this book has!
Another lesbian-based YA book I just finished was “Lies My Girlfriend Told Me,” which was my first one of this kind. It was an okay book; the characters were a bit whiny. Overall, I liked the book though, so I wanted to send you a quick recommendation if you are interested in reading another same sex book like this one.
I’m a sucker for beautiful covers as well. Oh, I have that book in my to read list and was planning on reading it sometime. I’ll think about it, though I don’t really like whiny characters so I’m not so sure anymore but thank you for the recommendation and for stopping by! 😀
I’m not too big on contemporary, but I’m trying to read more. I’m glad I read your review though, this doesn’t sound like the book for me, and it probably won’t help me overcome my dislike of contemporary. XD I love the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series! The designer part sounds interesting but with a lack of romance and predictability I don’t think I’ll be picking up this book. Lovely review!
Hahahha, no it absolutely won’t oversome your dislike of contemporary! I usued to not read those before this year I think because I prefered (and still prefer) much more fantasy and paranormal ones. ^^ I’m so glad you love that series as well! Yeah, really didn’t like the VERY LIGHT romance. Thank you, Rachel! 😀
I actually liked this one, though I can see that if you don’t love slow-paced books or a lot of talking, this might not be for you. I loved reading about the set design and, though the romance wasn’t a typical YA romance, it was sweet.
Love the new blog – I thought it was new but wasn’t sure…
Jen @ YA Romantics
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It just felt really unrealistic (the romance.) Too much like a fairy tale for me I guess. 😛 Really glad you liked it though. I like to see people reading GLBT. ^^ Yeah, it’s new! 😀 Created it 8 days ago. 🙂 Thank you, Jen!
I’ve been meaning to read this, but was unsure like I am with most Contemporary books. After your review, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the book for me. Great review! ^_^
I’m like you as well. I do like contemporaries but find them HARD to pick. I don’t want to really am ordinary contemporary but it’s not THAT easy to be original in that genre. Thank you, Naban! 😀
Oh, I am a bit sad to hear that you didn’t like this book very much… I didn’t FEEL the romance either but I did like the setting (a LOT) as well as most of the characters (Emi, her family, Charlotte)
And I have read like 4 or maybe 5 books with lesbian romance in it (this one, Over the Rainbow, the Adaptation books) and out of all of them this (and Adaptation) were my favorites but not sure if I would RECOMMEND Adaptation (by Malinda Lo) – I enjoyed it but I know it doesn’t work for everyone…
I did like the setting too. It was great knowing more about how movies were made but, yeah, the romance–what romance?–was not of my liking. 😛 As a first lesbian book, it’s not bad though.
I personally loved this book. The romance was definitely a slow burn (but I like that personally). Of course not everyone is going to like every book, but if you like movies and are looking for a happy ff romance, I would recommend trying this book out. 🙂