Title: Still Here
Author: Lara Vapnyar
Publisher: Hogarth (2016)
Source: Blogging for books
Rating: 3/5 anythings
Okay I couldn’t put the Goodreads summary as my phone can’t copy and paste but I am sure it won’t matter.
To the review!
Still Here is an interesting read but all the same it didn’t mean I enjoyed it. Some parts of the book were really hard for me to read due to characters being so vicious, insecure and altogether just unhappy with their current lives.
I had problems with all the characters except Regina whom I find the only one that is actually sane and logical, even through her grief over the death of her mother. The other characters are just so flawed it was disturbing. For example, Vica, she has this ‘what if’ problem. I mean yeah everybody has that problem but she just takes it overboard. She honest to God can’t see and appreciate even the smallest things in her life that are actually good. This problem causes friction between her and Sergey and instead of talking it out and try to solve it she just clams up and expects Sergey to innately knows what she wants.
Then there’s Vadik who is in pursuit of perfection, both in his real life and social media life. He comes off as a wannabe and pretentious which isn’t a good look. He goes through women and houses like MnM’s and he tries so hard to be a different man with different women that I pity him.
With Sergey, he thinks way too highly of himself and while he is intelligent, he doesn’t apply it to his life to try and make it better.
Regina like I said before is the only character I genuinely feel any form of empathy. She is going through a grieving process and she has yet to confront the problem so she can deal with it in a proper manner and move on.
Whilst reading the book I was close to giving up because of the characters being so toxic, especially Vica but it gets better towards the end where all the characters undergo character development.
Only then, did I realize that the app was just acting as a catalyst for these characters to have growth for change to be better people.
I saw a lot of posts on Goodreads saying that at the end they wished the app was fully running but for me personally I was glad it wasn’t (finished, that is). This is because for one the app was a tad creepy and second this allows Sergey and Vica to work together as a couple, which may or may not, strengthen their bond.
Another thing I liked aside from the characters development was the ending. The ending made me feel like it wasn’t an ending but instead it was a start towards a new and possibly a better beginning. Hopefully this time all the characters will achieve the happiness they all yearn for.
Also, there is another thing that the plot of this book highlighted which I find relatable in todays life. It is the need to lie about your life on social media, the need to pretend that you are happy when you are not. I find this very disturbing because who are trying to impress? Why do you need to lie? If they were your real friends wouldn’t they accept you the way you are?