I love Hollywood and all books relating to it. The glamour, the stars, the drama - I love it. All my favorite TV-shows are dramatic and glamorous and if they take place somewhere in California: I'll love them even more.
What I loved about Everything Leads to You is that the setting is glamorous - movie sets in Hollywood- the stars on those sets are glamorous, the big houses are glamorous, but the lead character Emi isn't glamorous. She's just an average girl that any European-my-hair-is-always-a-mess girl loves.
What is glamorous is the amazing adventure Emi is thrown into. As a set designer, she goes to deceased people's homes and buys furniture for different movie sets. And sometimes, those dead people are big time movie stars who hide notes to unknown people in the cover of an old record. What do you do when you find that letter? How do you find someone (if they are not on twitter)? These are all questions Emi has to figure out.
Nina LaCour knows how to write
Nina LaCour is a famous YA writer, especially for Hold Still which is on my never ending to-be-read list, and this book once again shows why Nina is famous. The writing is effortless and easy to read. It's like reading an episode of Pretty Little Liars (I never read the books so I have no clue how the writing is in that, sorry!) - there is tension, drama and glamour in a very easy to digest style. It reads like the words just flow out of LaCour's pen, though as a writer, I can recognise all the work that went into writing such an easy style. Now I know that writing style preferences are very personal, so here's the opening of the book - to give you a real feel of what it's like:
"Five texts are waiting for me when I get out of my English final. One is from Charlotte saying she finished early and decided to meet up with our boss, so she'll see me at Toby's house later. One is from Toby, saying 7 p.m.: Don't forget! And three are from Morgan.
I don't read those yet."
See? This little fragment, the first few words of the book already raise a few important questions: Who is Charlotte? Who is Toby? And especially, who is Morgan and why are we not answering her texts?
It reads quickly and easily -with no difficult literary tools - just an easy YA novel, but that's a serious skill that many readers underestimate nowadays. AND it never reads like a dumb novel at any time. Unlike the childlike and basic narrating of Laurel in Love Letters To The Dead, Emi is mature and observant of the world around her - something which shows in the writing.
Can I eat a pizza with Emi?
I didn't relate to Emi - she lives in a too glamorous world with a too glamorous job and too big of an adventure. However, that was totally fine, since Emi reads like she is your best friend, because like I said before, she's not glamorous. She's a tad naive when it comes to love, she's a bit dramatic and totally sweet and loveable, and don't we all have a best friend like that? I wish I could invite Emi over and talk to her about the letter she found and what to do about it. Pizza and a Hollywood movie - what more do girls need? Oh, and I would also invite Emaline from The Moon and More to discuss growing up and sucky relationships/reality. I feel like Emi and Emaline could be best friend too (and we would be Emi, Emaline and Emma - how cool?).
Every Hollywood tale has a flaw
For all the amazing things in Everything Leads to You, there was one thing I didn't like: the predictability. Finding the letter was very original and new - it started a good adventure. However, in that adventure, there are so many things that you know will happen. The only surprise for me was finding out in the beginning that Emi was gay. That shouldn't have been a surprise, because who cares, but due to the lack of diversity in YA, it was. Other than that, a reader can easily predict what will happen and at what point in the story. The ending isn't shocking either, which is something a lot of readers want.
But does that really matter? I guess it depends on the reader. I need good writing and a main character I love to like a book - predictably doesn't really matter. So I loved this book, but I do realise that many people prefer a book which is unpredictable and they might struggle with this book.
I would recommend this book to almost everyone I know, because I LOVED IT. However, as I said, I'm very aware of the flaw of predictability. So maybe I wouldn't recommend it to every single person I know - I can already imagine one friend who would hate it. But I can't live with myself if I don't give this book at least 4 out of 5 stars - it wasn't the best book I've read this year, but it was damn close.