Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour is a wonderful read. Really, it is.
Our heroin is the girl we all were once: the young lesbian, Emi, in love with a girl that just isn’t worth it. Margaux is older than her and they’ve been dating for a while but the problem is: Margaux doesn’t love Emi. And yes, maybe she knows it, deep down. But the thing is: that doesn’t stop her heart from wanting, craving, begging young Emi for it to be different. Now, looking back at my younger self, I can honestly say that breaking up and getting back together 5 or 6 times (like Margaux and Emi) is in fact a reason to question the level of profound love. But as a young girl, desperately following your heart instead of your brain from time to time, it’s easy to assume that things will work out great.
Emi’s best friend is Charlotte. Now Charlotte is badass — always there for Emi when she needs it and a hardcore anti-Margaux person. She’s dead-honest and supportive.
They both work in the movie industry. Young Emi has a creative talent for designing sets, so she goes to flee markets and yard sales on her search for the best decor pieces and attributes. When they get a chance to enter the house of recently deceased Hollywood legend Clyde Jones, they buy an old record and a belt (which is iconic because Clyde Jones once wore it in one of his cowboy movies).
They surprise Emi’s brother, Toby, who’s always been a huge fan of Clyde Jones. And Charlotte’s always been a huge fan of Toby (crush alert!). The belt was a gift for him. In return, he offers them a gift as well: he’s allowing them to crash at his apartment during the summer, while’s he’s in Europe for his big Hollywood job. At this point, I got really jealous over their jobs.
Toby has one demand, though: they are supposed to do something epic with it or in it.
Later, during one of her heartbroken moments thinking of Margaux, Emi’s listening to the record they’ve bought at Clyde Jones’ old house. I get whiplash during this scene because aren’t we all those girls who listen to the lyrics and turn them into something we are dying to hear?
By luck, they find a hidden letter in the case. It’s addressed to Caroline Maddox and the girls have no idea who that is. This kicks off a search for the mysterious lady.
Now the thing with this book is, I started reading it right after I finished the already infamous Paper Towns by John Green and during these first few pages, I really got a similar ‘young people on a quest for a missing person’ vibe. Paper Towns was amazing, don’t get me wrong (especially while picturing Cara Delevingne as Margo), but I really felt like: ‘Oh God, of all the books I could’ve picked, I took two similar ones to read on a holiday’. Fortunately, the search only lasts a couple of pages, in between their regular work on sets and movie studios. Margaux keeps flirting and breaking Emi’s heart simultaneously while Charlotte just rolls her eyes over it every other pages.
Long story short (I don’t want to explain the entire book of course): Charlotte is gone and they find her only daughter Ava, who’s gorgeous of course. Emi thinks she’s amazing, of course. I ship them immediately, of course.
Ava has had a troubled youth and it turns out her mom’s best friend Tracey adopted her as a 4-month-old baby after her mom, Caroline, was found dead after years of drug abuse and a dubious lifestyle. But Tracey and Ava don’t click anymore so Ava ran away from home a year ago and she now lives at a shelter.
A lot of things happen at once now: Theo and Rebecca, friends from
Shane — uhm MARGAUX — offer Emi a gig as production designer for their own movie, which is BIG. She gets to hire an assistant, Rebecca of course. Then Ava gets cast as Juniper, the lead role because Ava inherited the genes of her mysterious grandfather and she turns out to be a talented actress.
As the pages turn, we see a development of Emi’s feelings. She slowly starts to realize that Margaux just doesn’t love her and that it’s not worth chasing a one-sided love, while on the other hand, her feelings for Ava are growing. Ava gets a large amount of money from Clyde Jones’ secret bank account he had for her and the interesting thing is that she’s on this rollercoaster of acting out and staying the exact same person as she was just weeks ago. She goes back to her old house and trashes the place, rents a room in the most expensive hotel in town, gets a penthouse that’s just unbelievably gorgeous and it’s utterly confusing to everyone. Just when Emi’s starting to doubt the person she’s falling in love with, Ava surprises her with humble behavior and down to earth habits. Like keeping an old picture of her mother, sitting on the ground in her living room, respectfully showing up on time and knowing her lines for her first acting gig.
They start filming the movie, Margaux turns out to be a free spirit instead of a bitch (seriously, I like her at the end!), Charlotte admits her feelings to Toby and prepares herself for college and Emi is just utterly proud of her accomplishments as production designer.
And then, after a long yes-and-no game between Ava and Emi, the girls finally kiss. And at that exact moment, I started shrieking and applauding like crazy and everyone around the pool was just staring at me like I just took a happy pill or something.
Now this book is about finding yourself and growing up. Emi’s this naive girl with big dreams and a one-sided first love at the start of the book. As it comes to an end, she admits to herself she was wrong about a lot of things: her assumptions of being experienced when it comes to work, of being perfect for Margaux, of being old enough to be anything at all. I like the way it evolved. I like that it wasn’t just about falling out of love, getting over someone and falling in love with someone else. I like that Emi was smart enough to question herself — whether she was in love with the granddaughter of a Hollywood legend or actually purely, simply in love with a girl that has mysterious sides.
Go and buy it. You won’t be disappointed!