Everything Leads to You

Common Sense Media says

Teen finds mystery and romance in engaging Hollywood tale.





What parents need to know

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

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. 

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. ​

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. 

Families can talk 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.

Book details

Author:Nina LaCour
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models, High school, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dutton Children's Books
Publication date:May 15, 2014
Number of pages:304
Publisher's recommended age(s):14 - 17
Available on:Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Paperback

This review of Everything Leads to You was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide