Everything Leads to You

by Nina LaCorr
First sentence: “Five texts are waiting for me when I get out of my English final.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: There is some swearing, including a half-dozen f-bombs scattered throughout. And a mention of older teen drinking. Plus, it’s really a growing-up story. For those reasons, it’s in the Teen (grades 9+) section of the bookstore.

Emi Price is a golden California girl. (Except, for the record, she has a black grandfather and is NOT the blonde thing you see on the cover.) She as loving parents, a cool older brother who has a job as a site scout in a production company, and a fantastic best friend. She has a job as a set-design intern at the same production company as her brother (nepotism works).

She just broke up with her off-again/on-again girlfriend, though, and that’s getting her down. And so, when her brother leaves his posh Venice apartment to Emi and her best friend, Charlotte, for the summer with the one catch — do something amazing here! — she feels hopeless.

Then she and Charlotte discover an old letter written by a famous actor Clyde Jones (think John Wayne) that is a clue to a mystery: he had a daughter. And a grandchild. And so, Emi and Charlotte set out to find them and deliver the letter.

That’s really only the beginning of the book, and perhaps the least important part of it as well. It’s much more about Emi figuring herself out. The letter helps, but it’s also this job on an indie movie that she lands, thanks to her ex-girlfriend. And when they find Clyde’s long-lost granddaughter, that opens up a whole new avenue for Emi.

I loved this book. Wholeheartedly and unabashedly. I loved the peek into the way movies work, the facts behind the fantasy. I loved the way Emi thought about characters and set design. And I loved how sometimes she let fantasy overtake her reality. The characters were so real, so deep, so complex, that I couldn’t help but be drawn into their lives.

An absolutely perfect summer book.

6 thoughts on “Everything Leads to You

  1. I went from really enthused by the cover to really confused. Until it was spelled out about halfway through the book, I thought she was at least half black for a long time, so I was pissed about the whitewashing of the cover.

    Then she said she had a black grandfather and that a lot of people had no idea, and I was still a little frustrated because I still didn't want to see a blonde girl on the cover. Blonde girls get enough covers and we could use more diversity and representation.

    Then I read a blog post by Nina Lacour on the Diversity in YA tumblr about her own life and not knowing how to define herself racially, and I wonder if that really IS what Emi is supposed to look like.

    Basically, I'm conflicted and confused by a cover I thought was really well designed.


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