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Diversify Yourself: LaCour captures the magic of the movies within pages of a novel

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Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. Photo Credit: Serena Bettis

Everything Leads to You is a must read for any teenager going through life. Nina LaCour writes a captivating story about Emi, a recent high school graduate with a fierce passion for movies and dreams of becoming a well-known set designer, her best friend, Charlotte, and their summer quest to make something epic happen. Two different stories seemingly overlap throughout the novel, one with Emi and Charlotte searching for the mysterious descendant of a famous actor, and the other dealing with Emi’s first major movie production job. Emi tries to master and learn more about how to do her job, get over her first love while meeting someone new, and discover new things about how person’s past changes them, all while keeping up her energy and supporting her friends.

My favorite aspect of the book is Emi’s attitude and perspective on everything, and the overall tone of the book. Even when she messes up, gets confused, or fights with the people she cares about, she never gives up. There is never any point in the book where I do not like her because she did something stupid when she should have known better, or becomes irrationally angry for something that has happened. She really goes with the flow of events in her life, learns from her mistakes as she makes them, and apologizes once she realizes she was wrong. Her love for the movies and the discussion about “the collapse of the fantasy” gives me a newfound appreciation for the business and an understanding of her passion for the job.

This book is also a serious page-turner. While it’s not a fast-paced action book that leaves your heart beating like crazy at the end of each chapter, the story simply compels you to keep on reading, until you reach the end without even noticing. New discoveries about the mystery these girls are solving appear every few pages, along with bright ideas, failures, and triumphs. It is like a movie itself – the events flow freely, without dragging on for too long so they still capture an audience’s attention.

Another fantastic part about this book is the subtle diversity within it. The main character is both a lesbian and part black, and she has two other female love interests who are openly gay as well. Many people of color have large roles, and even though some of their struggles from racist stereotypes are present, the book shows how silly those stereotypes are and does not revolve around them. The most refreshing aspect of the LGBT+ characters is that the plot of the story does not surround their sexual orientation. Instead of focusing on their coming out or how they discovered their sexuality, it shows them as the regular people they are, just living their lives like everyone else.

Going into Everything Leads to You about three months after I had read it for the first time, I was a bit worried that it would be boring, dull, and ruin my good thoughts on this book. If anything, rereading it made me love the story and the characters even more. In writing style, descriptions, and utter wonderful romance, LaCour captures the magic of the movies within the pages of this novel, and it definitely deserves more attention than only three checkouts from the school library.

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Diversify Yourself: LaCour captures the magic of the movies within pages of a novel