Title: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Books (an imprint of Penguin Group)
Publication Date: May 15, 2014
After reading Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments, and after being incredibly attracted to the cover of Everything Leads to You (because really, whoever designed the font should win an award), I couldn’t wait to start reading this. My expectations, I am pleased to say, were met ten times over.
This is the summary from the book jacket:
“I want you to do something with the place. Something epic.”
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 her 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.
First of all, Emi being a production designer completely took me by storm. I’ve never read a book where a character had that particular career, and it was cool getting an inside look into who designs sets and why that is important to them. In all actuality, I’d never even thought about how someone has to design the set. I guess I always figured they just picked a house and filmed there. So in that respect, the book made me think about film in a new way, and it gave an intriguing dynamic to the protagonist that I haven’t seen before.
Another aspect of the book that I adored was the inclusion of girl/girl relationships. Emi’s sexuality is never made a big deal of. It’s just there. She talks about how she likes kissing girls, and her romantic entanglements throughout the book seem normalized, which is just what some young adult readers might need in their lives – to be able to read about couples who have normal, couple-y problems and who also happen to be girls. This is how queer lit should be done, really.
I also loved the character who, arguably, becomes the protagonist of the book halfway through. I can’t say anything about her because that would spoil too many plot points, but just know that you’ll fall in love with her. I certainly did.
Throughout the novel, everything seemed to fall into place. The plot happened naturally, and so did each character’s growth and development. Events flowed together well and finally came to a conclusion that felt right. But in the end, it was not only the fantastic plot and the characters that won me over but also the fact that this novel was beautifully written. LaCour’s lyrical prose style is something I greatly admire, and her words really brought this story to life and to light. Help me, I’m swooning.
I highly recommend this book to people who want to read about a mystery, a romance, and adventure, or anywhere in between.
5 out of 5 stars.