Review: “Still Here” by Laura Vapnyar

2/5 stars

I wanted to like this book, I really did.

The story focuses on four friends — all from Russia living in NYC, all about 40 years old, and all entirely miserable with barely any redeeming value.

Most of them are sad because they have a loved one that has passed away. That’s what’s supposed to move the story of an app they are trying to create that will keep you alive online forever along. It’s very topical. But, as happens constantly in the book, I just don’t buy it. I feel like the author forced the narrative along without making it happen. There are so many forced moments and unbelievable coincidences.

This book just seems like one that would be joyful and hopeful but fails to be either. I get wanting to read an edgy book about unhappiness, especially a Russian one, but I just felt like I didn’t get much out of it at all.

I did like the ending. I won’t spoil it, but I thought it was as a nice change of pace.

Note: I received an advanced copy free from NetGalley.

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