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My Not-So-Still Life

My Not-So-Still Life is a YA contemporary novel by Liz Gallagher.

Vanessa is colorful. Her hair, her makeup, her clothes, her very being is bursting with all the colors of the rainbow. She's an artist - and she wants to be art. Being art and being a sophomore in high school don't go together too well. You can imagine that she's not the most popular girl. Her first day there she was branded a freak. Not much has changed since.

But she has her Mom - young, single, and super hardworking. Plus, her Grampie, who also lives with them and helps out, and her two best friends: Nick and Holly. They understand her. They're colorful too, in their own way. And now she's gotten hired at her dream job: a local art supply store named Palette. It just so happens that her dream job also puts her in the periphery of a tasty slightly older guy that she hopes will help her get over her mushed heart.

Yet all of it takes to the sidelines for Vanessa's main focus: taking risks and living life bigger and better than those who drone about their lives in black and white.

But could that very wish be her problem?

My Not-So-Still Life is a very slim novel at only 180 pages, but still packs quite a lively punch. Vanessa is a vibrant personality - and one thing I really liked about her was how she truly cared and appreciated how her Mom works so hard on her behalf. Being the daughter of a single mother myself, I identify with that. It was a refreshing change from the typical mother-daughter bickering that is often featured in YA.

The entire cast of characters are well done in an honest, realistic portrayal. Vanessa herself can be so full of her artistic drive and frenzy that she doesn't stop to notice others, or slow down and realize she may not have to be in such a hurry - this can be frustrating to follow, but Liz Gallagher does it well.

I don't have real strong feelings towards My Not-So-Still Life, but I did find it to be well-written, enjoyable, somewhat original, and certainly fresh in its outlook. I thought the end was great - an excellent way to end a pleasant book. Certainly worth the read - especially for those many teens that are so busy expressing themselves that they actually lose themselves in the process.


Here we are in the last week of August (Good-bye, summer! Hello autumn!) and I just want to give all of you awesome readers a head's up: the Bibliophile Support Group will be back to only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday reviews starting on September 6th. This will continue for the foreseeable future. Still a ton of books to read and talk about - but let's give ourselves a bit more time to talk about each one! I encourage you all to comment and read as often as you can - this blog is here for us all to support each other in what is, in the end, quite an addictive lifestyle after all! ;)


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