BookPage Teen Top Pick, June 2014
At just 18, Emi has parlayed a Hollywood internship into work as a production designer, a job for which she has natural talent. While prop shopping at an estate sale, she finds a letter from a deceased movie star that sends her and her best friend, Charlotte, on a quest to find the actor’s troubled granddaughter, Ava.
Fate, love and vintage furniture collide in Everything Leads to You. Nina LaCour, author of The Disenchantments, has a true knack for pacing, moving the story along while incorporating generous pauses to allow the characters to watch one another and see how they live. That theme comes to the forefront here, as designer Emi’s idealized movie-set worlds crash into the reality of Ava’s homelessness. People often project a story onto others based upon what they initially see; Emi loses sight of that and almost misses out on true love in the bargain. Her plan is to craft a happy ending for Ava, who goes almost literally from rags to riches. Instead Emi realizes, “She was never something waiting to be solved. All she is—all she’s ever been—is a person trying to live a life.”
Everything Leads to You has fairy-tale qualities—the letter, the quest it inspires and, of course, the glitter-coated world of Hollywood. But it’s a fairy tale made up of the magic inherent to each of us: discovering what you’re good at and pursuing it doggedly; keeping friends and family close whenever it’s feasible; and trusting your heart to lead you where you need to go. Sometimes abandoning your vision of a happy ending is the key to having one after all.
Heather Seggel reads too much and writes all about it in Northern California.