Still Here: A Novel by Lara Vapnyar

Cover Art Courtesy of
Penguin Random House
Still Here: A Novel by Lara Vapnyar is a book about four friends, Russian immigrants Sergey, Vica, Vadik, and Regina, who are learning to live and love in New York City. This story follows them as their relationships fall apart and back together, their jobs shape who they are, and they evaluate whether or not it was worth it to immigrate to America in the first place.

Each of the characters has characteristics that make them distinct from one another. For example, Sergey can't hold a job but is the most ambitious of the group. Regina married for security not love, but is slowly learning what love really is. Vadik can't make up his mind when it comes to anything, like his apartments or his women. And Vica is just trying to maintain security while raising her son Eric. 

The story centers around Sergey's idea of an app (one of many app ideas he has, I might add) called Virtual Grave, something that will preserve us long after we're gone. It makes each of the characters really evaluate their lives and what, if anything, they would be able to leave behind and be remembered by.

Overall, while the concept was unique and I had high hopes for this book, I really didn't like it. I honestly found all of the characters annoying, especially Sergey, and they were all weirdly romantically tied together in one way or another. Sergey and Vica are married, but Vica used to date Vadik and Sergey used to date Regina, yet somehow they don't think this is weird at all and still hang out together. When Vica kicks Sergey out, he goes to crash with Vadik, and here you really get a taste of Sergey's slothiness, which made me dislike him even more. The writing was great, however, and that's what got me through the story. While I didn't like the characters, the character development itself was spot on, and although I didn't like this plot in particular I would definitely give Lara Vapnyar another try since her writing was great.

Overall Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, but all opinions are honest and are my own.

1 comment

  1. I have an ARC of this one that I never got around too - I guess I'll leave it collecting dust for now -_-