Everything Leads to You

Book review by
Joanna H. Kraus, Common Sense Media
Everything Leads to You Book Poster Image
Teen finds mystery and romance in engaging Hollywood tale.

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Readers will learn about the complexities of designing sets for movies -- the thought, labor, and creativity needed to make a set look real and appropriate for the characters and story.

Positive Messages

Be true to yourself. Persistence and determination can solve many mysteries.

Positive Role Models & Representations

High school senior Emi is a set-design intern at a movie studio and works hard to find the perfect sofa for a shot of a teen's room. She's persistent in trying to get a letter that she found at an estate sale to its rightful owner. Charlotte, her best friend, is the voice of reason and caution, but she's always supportive of Emi. Charlotte reveals she had a crush on Emi's brother.


There's a scene where Ava, who has run away, breaks into her adoptive mother's home and trashes it while frantically searching for her birth certificate.


Emi's a lesbian, but her sexual orientation is not an issue in the story, just a fact about who she is as a character. There are references to casual sex, and how Ava was a result of that. Emi fantasizes about having sex, and there are a couple of kisses and a references to previous sexual encounters, but they're not graphically described.


The expression "holy s--t" is used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink champagne at a celebration. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Nina LaCour's Everything Leads to You is a coming-of age tale and lesbian love story that portrays the Los Angeles film scene from the point of view of a talented 18-year-old set-design intern named Emi, who's just finishing senior year as the book begins. Emi's just getting over a breakup with her girlfriend when she meets Ava and falls for her while solving a movie-star mystery involving Ava's grandfather, who didn't know about Ava's existence. There are some kisses between the two, and a reference to former sexual encounters and fantasies about having sex in the future. Strong language is limited to "holy s--t." LaCour's previous book, Hold Still, was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. ​

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySqueakyCleanTee... December 2, 2020

More swearing than described.

In the first two pages, the F word was used. I stopped after that, but I think its important to know that the commonsensemedia.org's description of languag... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjazlynkoa March 13, 2018

What's the story?

Emi is a high school senior who's interning as a set designer for a Los Angeles movie studio. She and her best friend Charlotte track down items and locations for upcoming films. At an estate sale of a former movie star, they discover a letter hidden in one of their purchases. Their quest to track down the rightful recipient is full of suspense, mystery, and ultimately love.

Is it any good?

The aspects of the Los Angeles film scene in EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU are detailed and fascinating. Emi's discovery of a brand-new talent and a new love is engaging. However, readers may find the breakup with Emi's ex too drawn out. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about same-sex relationships. Do you think all people deserve the same rights no matter what their sexual orientation is? 

  • How has the media's treatment of same-sex relationships changed over time? Do you think gay characters' presence in books and movies and on TV become helps change people's attitudes? 

  • Design the room of your dreams. Sketch it or make a model. Imagine you have enough money to include whatever you want and create a living space you would like to move into right now.

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