Title – Still Here
Author – Lara Vapnyar
Goodreads Rating – 3.5
My Rating – 1
In her warm, absorbing and keenly observed new novel, Lara Vapnyar follows the intertwined lives of four immigrants in New York City as they grapple with love and tumult, the challenges of a new home, and the absurdities of the digital age.
Vica, Vadik, Sergey and Regina met in Russia in their school days, but remained in touch and now have very different American lives. Sergey cycles through jobs as an analyst, hoping his idea for an app will finally bring him success. His wife Vica, a medical technician struggling to keep her family afloat, hungers for a better life. Sergey’s former girlfriend Regina, once a famous translator is married to a wealthy startup owner, spends her days at home grieving over a recent loss. Sergey’s best friend Vadik, a programmer ever in search of perfection, keeps trying on different women and different neighborhoods, all while pining for the one who got away.
As Sergey develops his app—calling it “Virtual Grave,” a program to preserve a person’s online presence after death—a formidable debate begins in the group, spurring questions about the changing perception of death in the modern world and the future of our virtual selves. How do our online personas define us in our daily lives, and what will they say about us when we’re gone?
I wanted to like this book, but it was just boring for me. The book is supposed to center around developing an app that controls your online presence after you die, but instead, you follow four immigrants, their live and personal struggles. I honestly just didn’t like this novel, it was slow. I thought there should have been more around the app idea and focusing on that. I would have loved seeing where the app went or what is would have done. This book just wasn’t for me. I found myself interested in the first fourth of the book and half way through I just stopped reading. This is a DNF and I definitely do not plan on picking it back up anytime soon.