Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Me on Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Release Date: May 15, 2014
Publisher: Dutton Books (Penguin imprint)
After being entrusted with her brother's Los Angeles apartment for the summer as a graduation gift, Emi Price isn't sure how to fulfill his one condition: that something great take place there while he's gone. Emi may be a talented young production designer, already beginning to thrive in the competitive film industry, but she still feels like an average teen, floundering when it comes to romance. But when she and best friend Charlotte discover a mysterious letter at the estate sale of a Hollywood film legend, Emi must move beyond the walls of her carefully crafted world to chase down the loose ends of a movie icon's hidden life, leading her to uncover a decades' old secret and the potential for something truly epic: love.
Everything Leads to You is sweet and fun, an unexpected adventure into the behind the scenes world of movie-making and young love.
Emi is intelligent, a creative young woman with a lot going for her in terms of a career in film. She has supportive parents, an awesome brother, and a wonderful best friend. But when it comes to girlfriends? Not so much. Which is fine, in theory, but not when her on-again/off-again girlfriend can't make up her mind. Then comes Ava, gorgeous and broken Ava, and Emi's heart lights up. As she's working on the film that could give her young career a massive boost, she's drawn in more and move by Ava. At times it feels like Emi romanticizes Ava a bit too much, making her seem larger than life when she's just as young and struggling as Emi is. But all of this is a learning experience for Emi, so she's bound to learn something along the way.
I found the production design aspect rather interesting. It's creating but in a different way. Not creating the story but still bringing it to life. The actual tables and chairs that will make up a character's kitchen. The contents of the shelves in a bathroom. But what an assistant pictures might not be what their boss or the director pictures. They're creating the world, yes, but it's someone else's world. Emi gets a bit of tunnel vision when she puts together some rooms and sets. She pictures what would be perfect, but perfect for her interpretation, and that differs from what her boss is going for. It's okay that she doesn't see that at the beginning. She's already passionate about her work, but she's young. She has her whole career in front of her. She can take this time to learn.
What's refreshing about this book is it isn't a coming out story. It isn't even the main part, and so it just appears, effortlessly. This is a finding yourself story for Emi, and she already knows who she is when it comes to being a lesbian. It's just the rest of her life she's trying to sort out.
This book was an unexpected discovery. I wasn't sure if I'd like it when it started, but it didn't take long to join Emi and Charlotte on their summer adventure. Designing sets, uncovering Holloywood mysteries, discovering new people and places. A definite must-read for fans of contemporary YA, behind the scenes movie secrets, and sweet love stories.
(I purchased a copy of this book.)