Two of my main reading goals this year are to read as much of my TBR stack as I can and to read as many diverse books as I can. Recently, I’ve been in the mood for something light and fun, so I decided to pick up Nina LaCour’s Everything Leads to You. I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, and it fit all three of my requirements: cute, diverse, and something I already own.
(From Goodreads) 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.
Everything Leads to You is an adorable novel with ridiculously cute characters, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel about the behind-the-scenes of filmmaking, and I really liked it. It was clever and unique, and made for some fun plot details, like following along as Emi searches for set decorations. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, so it was fun to read about.
The characters themselves were pretty wonderful. Their interactions with each other felt genuine, which I feel is surprisingly rare in young adult literature. Even though the main character was a bit of a “wunderkind”, it was refreshing to see how insecure she was. There was a great balance between youth/inexperience and maturity, and I definitely appreciated that. This book was also diverse in a really great way. I knew going in that the main character(s) was lesbian, but was pleasantly surprised to see that Emi was also biracial. Her mother is an African American and women studies professor, and I loved how that tied in as well. The side characters aren’t all white either, which was so nice to see.
One thing I really did love about this book was the relationships. Most of the LGBT lit I read involves characters sort of finding themselves. And while I do like reading those books, I also love books where people are comfortable in their sexuality. In my experience, this helps bring a sense of normalcy to these types of relationships in literature, and I think that’s important. The friendships were also really great – supportive, caring, and honest. Overall, it was a fun read with a lot of depth.
I highly recommend this book, especially going into Diverseathon this week! I loved this book, and only gave it four stars because (at times) the characters were a bit too “special” for my taste, and as I get older, I just can’t identify with teenage characters as much as I used to. Which is more just my preference than anything actually wrong with the book.
If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought about it in the comments.