Title: EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★
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.
Overall I actually found this quite disappointing. This came highly recommended by people I definitely trust on Twitter, but I think maybe my expectations were just too high and it let me down.
So I think this is mostly why I was so disappointed with this book. I was expecting a cute f/f romance but… that’s not really what I got. Firstly, Emi, our main character, was really shallow. After finding the letter, she wasn’t acting as if she was messing with peoples lives but as if it was just some big mystery for her to figure out. I hated the way she treated Ava. I was expecting them to form a bond and a connection but Emi was constantly treating Ava as if the only important things about her were her looks and the face she was Clyde’s granddaughter. It got annoying that she couldn’t appreciate Ava because of her own merits but because she was the granddaughter of a famous actor.
I wish we’d seen more development of Ava. I guess we got to know her and her situation, but I felt like it was more like I was reading information about someone than actually getting to know them through the story. I also think that her relationship with Emi was kind of weird, but I think that’s mostly because I didn’t like the way Emi wasn’t really treating her like a person for a whilst, she was treating her like a mystery to be solved and it just really annoyed me.
The one character in this I did love was Charlotte. She’s one of the best side character I’ve read about in a while. She as so patient and honest and I loved that she continuously told Emi what she needed to hear and not what she wanted to hear. She both supported Emi and put her in her place when it was needed and I really appreciated that the side character/best friend wasn’t portrayed as being weak/submissive or really bitchy. I thought her relationship with Emi was actually really healthy which is good to see in YA.
The plot for this felt really predictable so that was a little disappointing as well. Even though this is a pretty short book, I also felt like it was dragging at some points because it wasn’t actually going anywhere. I think this was definitely more character driven than plot driven, but considering I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters, that didn’t work out very well for me.
The writing style is probably the only thing about the whole book I didn’t have a problem with. I though the writing was great- it kept me engaged most of the time and I felt it was a good fit for the story. It wasn’t too flowery and it wasn’t too simple- it just fit nicely. Obviously plot and character development come into good writing, so I think that definitely could have improved. There was also a line used that said Emi was a quarter black- most American PoC don’t seem to have a problem with this terminology, but considering the context surrounding this wording/phrase & the way it was used in Australia, I thought I should probably mention it.
Overall I think I do recommend this to people who want to read a relatively fluffy, sort of mystery contemporary book but I don’t want your expectations to disappoint you like they disappointed me. I think if the characters and plot had been developed more, I would have loved this book! Each to their own though- if you’re interested in checking this out, I’d definitely recommend trying it out and seeing what you think for yourself!