My Not-So-Still Life by Liz Gallagher
Published May 10, 2011
This was one of those books that, personally, felt as if it had no real content to it. It was a book that I simply went through the motions of reading but didn’t really connect with anyone or anything in the book. It was a quick read but I think I wasted my time reading it because, to be perfectly honest, there was no reason for this book to exist. There was no content, the characters were useless, and basically there was nothing going for this book. I feel like I am being way too brutal with this novel but it’s true.
Vanessa, the main character in this book, was all over the place. She was so young yet she felt as if she was old and wise but she really wasn’t. She’s only 16 and to me, that’s way too young to be doing some of the stuff she wanted to do especially with that guy who was much older than she was. While I enjoyed her passion for art, I thought she came across as a little too obsessive. That whole “I need art. I am art” became a little too much for me. I was like, just get over it already. And the fact that she judged other people’s art in her head was also annoying. I mean, art comes in a lot of different form and somehow she didn’t get that or something because she wanted art to be only her version of art. Also, while I found her relationship with her family to be endearing, I found her extremely overbearing with her friends. There were many times when it felt as if she forced decisions upon her friends without realizing their hesitations or doubts. It was as if she didn’t care about what they thought. I found her selfish, rude, naïve, stupid, and basically just very young. I guess it’s quite obvious that I didn’t like her.
The characters around her – her friends, family, coworkers, teachers, classmates – were very secondary. I didn’t find much information from anyone really and everyone seemed very distant. It was obvious that the author only focused her character building with Vanessa since she was the main person but I wish the other characters had some depth as well especially her gay friend. I thought there might have been some potential there but alas.
Even though I did not find the plot itself nor its characters to be particularly interesting nor relatable, I did find the writing style to be quite nice. It was easy for me to read through the lyrical pages rather quickly. I guess the one negative thing I would say about the writing style is that it’s a little choppy but that’s because the plot was very choppy. There would be two paragraphs in a scene and then it jumps to a different scene so the writing had to keep up with that. If the plot matched the writing style then it would’ve been a lot better.
Overall, not such a great book. Time to read the next book on my list.