Still Here // Lara Vapnyar
Still Here is a story about 4 immigrants from Russia, who have moved to NYC to start a new life. It follows them as their friendship holds them together while they each try and make a living in a city that makes this task extremely difficult. One of the characters is an app developer, and while in New York, he decides to develop an app called "Virtual Grave, which is a program designed to preserve one's life online after death. This causes a debate amongst the group, stirring questions about the meaning of death and the future of our virtual selves. This book tries to uncover what our online personas say about who we really are, and how they define us in our everyday life. What will they say about us when we are no longer alive?
Thoughts // Review
This book offers a story that is raw, authentic, emotionally moving, and heart felt. With some books, the plot is what drives your interests, and all you can think about is what will happen next...but that was not the case for Still Here (although the story was good too, and the premise was fascinating). It was all about the characters and their experience immigrating to the States, and also their friendship. I personally LOVE character driven stories and I love character studies in books, so this just really worked for me and I adored the book for that. Each of the characters were beautifully unique, and the author did an incredible job at creating them and fleshing them out. I felt like each of the 4 friends were close to me and dear to my heart. I wanted to know them more. I just couldn't help but root for them as they had to leave behind so many pieces of themselves to pursue a life that they believed would change their world for the better.
I did feel like the writing at times, was a little over the top, and the author did a lot of telling rather than showing, but this could very well have just been her style. And to be honest, as I kept reading, I think that this style really worked. It certainly wasn't enough reason for me to dislike the book.
I gave this book a 4/5 stars
*Thank you Blogging for Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*