Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

My Not-So-Still Life

Rate this book
Vanessa is wise beyond her years. She's never really fit in at school, where all the kids act and dress the same. She's an artist who expresses her talent in the wacky colors she dyes her hair, her makeup and clothes. She's working on her biggest art project, and counting the days until she's grown up and can really start living. That adult world seems closer when Vanessa gets her dream job at the art supply store, Palette, where she worships the couple who runs it, Oscar and Maye. And she's drawn to a mysterious guy named James, who leads her into new, sometimes risky situations. Is she ready for this world, or not?

192 pages, Hardcover

First published May 10, 2011

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Liz Gallagher

3 books63 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
60 (19%)
4 stars
44 (14%)
3 stars
120 (38%)
2 stars
71 (22%)
1 star
19 (6%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,204 followers
April 17, 2011

This book will have appeal for the artist types who don't feel like they belong. I think there's also appeal for more reluctant readers, since it's short and a quick read.

For me, though, Vanessa was never a fully developed character and a lot of what she did seemed really young and immature for a sophomore in high school. I know that's the point, but I would have appreciated her better as a younger character -- 7th or 8th grade -- but that wouldn't have worked in the context of the sexual situations or the job situations in the story.
Profile Image for Lauren.
407 reviews606 followers
April 17, 2011
Summary: Vanessa is ready to be an adult, although you might not be able to see that from her appearance—bright pink hair and vibrant clothing. She has friends her own age, but is captivated by the people she meets while working at Palette, her local art store. Vanessa takes steps to become more independent and adult-like, but is she growing up too fast?

My thoughts: The narrator and protagonist of My Not-So-Still Life, Vanessa, is a perfect portrait of a restless teen. She has things she’s good at, but she wants more—she wants to push herself and see more of the world. Vanessa has unique and thought provoking (and occasionally naïve) views—a characteristic that makes her a fascinating narrator. The latter parts of the novel use Vanessa as a tool to present a moral of the story, but she still continues to be an intriguing character.

My Not-So-Still Life is a fun and occasionally deep story about growing up too fast. The incorporation of art and solid familial relationships make the novel stand out, as does Vanessa’s obsession with hair dye and crazy clothing. It’s easy to get lost in the pages of My Not-So-Still Life. It’s page count is small, though, and the resolution of major conflicts is somewhat underdeveloped and unsatisfying.

I’d recommend My Not-So-Still Life to those who were restless in their teens, and even to those who weren’t. I was never really restless myself, but My Not-So-Still Life is a great look into the life of someone who was. I found myself learning a bit about people, and why they do what they do. And isn’t a big part of why we read in the first place?
Profile Image for Page Turners Blog.
30 reviews183 followers
July 12, 2011
My Not-So-Still Life is a companion book for The Opposite of Invisible - I was unaware that it was a companion book and felt like I was missing something while reading My Not-So-Still Life. I would advise reading The Opposite of Invisible first; maybe it will help understand what happen with Vanessa and Jewel; that relationship is basically the catalyst for Vanessa's behavior in My Not-So-Still Life.

My Not-So-Still Life is told from Vanessa's point of view - she is an artist and like most artist, her physical appearance reflects her art. She is outgoing and stands up for what she believes is right. Sometimes that gets her into trouble; what she feels is the right thing to do isn't always what her friends and family think is the right thing.

Vanessa is working on a new art project, she wants to break free and move beyond the boundaries. She also chooses to live her life this way; she doesn't want to be tied down by her age; which leads her into some interesting situations.

I found Vanessa hard to relate to; I get the wanting to grow up faster part but not to the extreme measures Vanessa goes too. This is a short, quick read that I think will appeal more to reluctant readers and artist. I feel like the artist may be able to relate to Vanessa more than I did.

Read more: http://www.pageturnersblog.com/search...
Profile Image for Luann Schindler.
66 reviews9 followers
January 7, 2012
Ever read a book that's trying too hard to make a point, but it never comes full circle (because the resolution is oh-so-common sense?
This is it.
The MC is completely so self-absorbed, I'm not sure she could find her way out of a box. Harsh, yes.
The main reason I have trouble with this book is that there's no twist. There's nothing that sets this book about teen angst apart from others I've read. She wants to hurry up and grow up. Don't most teens?
That said, I did like the fact that it incorporates art, although the MC seems pretty judgmental about other people's art when she's still in high school. Like only her view of art matters.
IDK...some may like this, but it just didn't strike a chord with me.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,102 reviews410 followers
April 16, 2014
This is a quick read and I found the story to be very relevant. Vanessa is the girl you know. She wants to be identified as someone. She wants to be herself but doesn't know who she is. She identifies with some form of fashion statement and colors her hair according to her mood. She wears a colored string according to her mood. She's ready for the next big thing which is nebulous but it's definitely not high school.

Vanessa gets a job at an art store and identifies with some of the characters there or at least the idea of who she believes they are. On top of it, she begins to alienate her best friends and the life she has already built because she wants to live without boundaries.

What I found particularly relevant is the author's exploration through Vanessa, Nick, and Holly of what they are grown up enough to do. According to Vanessa, it should be perfectly fine for shy Holly to approach her crush boy and let him know she liked him. This, she believed was the "right" thing to do regardless of Holly's feelings or personality. Nick, her other best friend, is gay. He has chosen, however, to not date guys until he feels mature enough to handle the scrutiny. Vanessa believes that society be damned, Nick could be and do whatever he chooses. She didn't realize that his waiting is what he chooses.

What I found so refreshing about the book and the characters is first of all the family connection. Single mother and widowed grandfather are raising a 16 year old girl and they all love each other. They don't always agree but there is respect and communication. The mother is actually parenting and it is not evil. Boundaries are set and consequences follow breaking the boundaries and they talk to each other. Gasp! Loved that aspect. Need for understanding + action (discussion on both parts) following a conflict = respect.

While Vanessa was running in high gear, trying to pass up her teenage years, Nick and Holly were doing their own self-exploration and learning on their own time table. I really liked the way Nick approached his sexuality by acknowledging that just because he is attracted to boys doesn't mean he is free to pursue them without censure or judgment. His choice to wait until he was emotionally ready to handle reactions from others was similar to Holly's choice to wait until she felt prepared for possible rejection if her crush man didn't pan out. Similarly, Vanessa, our protagonist is running full steam ahead and discovers herself in over her head.

The author's use of art, form and color are well symbolized and mirror Vanessa's angst and longing for a life without boundaries.

Sexual content:
Vanessa thinks she is ready for sex and allows a situation to develop that is somewhat graphic but not crude.
Nick and Vanessa have conversations regarding Nick's homosexuality.
Vanessa and James walk in on a couple shortly after they finish having sex in their apartment.
Profanity: Vanessa has some deity swearing on her Goddess.

Violence: None

Drug Use:
Nick pretends to smoke a cigarette.
Vanessa attends a function where wine is served. She does not drink it.
Worth reading? Absolutely.

Profile Image for Kyleigh.
106 reviews19 followers
March 2, 2017
So maybe part of my problem was that I have so many books I want to read and I wanted to get through this one and it did have a slow beginning. But it picked up and it wasn't too bad.
Profile Image for Joséphine (Word Revel).
726 reviews280 followers
November 13, 2012
I read "The Opposite of Invisible" before reading this, so her references to Jewel and Alice made sense. I liked knowing who Vanessa was after getting to know Alice in the previous book. I also liked that it gave a sense of continuity to life and was a reminder that every person thinks differently. So yes, I thought it was genius to write about two characters whose lives once intertwined but don't anymore, while acknowledging each of their existences in overlapping settings.

In terms of the voice, I can't help but compare to Alice. I loved Alive. Liz Gallagher really got inside her head. It didn't work as well this time round but I guess part of that has to do with Vanessa being a more guarded character. Still, Vanessa's motivations were nicely laid out and also in terms of realism, her family was well involved in the plot; her mother and grandfather, they both featured, despite Vanessa's drive to reach adulthood at an accelerated pace.

All in all, I think Liz Gallagher's potential in terms of her writing style was better realized in this novel because more space was left for the plot to breathe and there was a far more coherent sequence. It's also refreshing to read a book where more time was spent dwelling on each moment. Some people might think too much detail was given to some things at the expense of a more dense plot but I thought the pace was fitting as readers get to know who Vanessa is a little better instead.
Profile Image for Erica.
1,268 reviews677 followers
August 23, 2011
My Not-So-Still Life was an interesting read for me. I don’t really have that huge of an opinion about it, there were some things I liked and some things that I wasn’t as crazy about, with all the pieces falling in at about a perfect center.

I really liked Liz Gallagher’s writing, it was beautiful prose. Some of her descriptions got a bit lengthy though. I felt like so much of the book was Vanessa’s descriptions, which made sense, as she is an artist and I feel would see the world that way.

Not a lot happened in the book. My Not-So-Still Life felt like a lot of stiller moments, interspersed with touching, heartfelt moments. A lot of things weren’t fully explained. Events with Jewel were brought up numerous times, yet I never found out what those meant.

I had an issue connecting with Vanessa. She just wasn’t all that likable of a character to me. She seemed a bit selfish and acted without considering the consequences. That aside, I love Nick and Holly. They both had their oddities about them, and they were both super fun characters.

The cover is a lot of fun – I love all the colors between her eye makeup and hair. In the end, I really was fairly indifferent about this book. I wouldn’t be jumping up and down saying to go get it, but I definitely wouldn’t say I disliked it. I would recommend picking up a copy of this one from the library or something like that.
Profile Image for Esther.
417 reviews103 followers
August 23, 2017
This was a bit meh!
There are no surprises in the story line and everything came to a conclusion just as I expected.
In addition the book manages to combine two of my least favourite tropes from YA and chick-lit: over-enthusiastic misunderstanding of everything going on around you and endless listing of the protagonist's sartorial choices.
I couldn't like the protagonist and there were so many cliches and clunky descriptions it seemed like the author had as much trouble expressing the main character's feeling as did the protagonist herself.
Profile Image for Brigette Helton.
12 reviews2 followers
July 17, 2015
This book was short but still good. I think it showed good emotion for what a teenager could be going through. Many teenagers are in such a rush to grow up & have things change like the protagonist Vanessa in this book. Some of the emotions she was feeling I could relate to right now with what I am going through myself as a senior college student. I think it has good lessons in it so I will be keeping it for my future classroom if I teach older students.
June 24, 2016
Love the cover, very eye catching. So it seems this does have Jewel and Alice from the book Opposite of Invisible. I remembered thinking it was okay but still liked it.

I feel the same way about this one. I did like the friendships between Vanessa, Nick and Holly, Vanessa's relationship with her mom and Grampie and her new friends at the art supply store, etc. And the arc Vanessa has throughout the book.

So the book was an okay but has its moments kind of read.
Profile Image for PhobicPrerogative.
536 reviews19 followers
August 17, 2012
Vanessa may have been wise beyond her years but she was such a snotty main character! That hoity-toity attitude she had about those who are not artistic individuals like her was hard to stomach.
If she had been more down-to-earth about being different, I could have progressed with the book. But she wasn't, which made me dislike her, in turn making me not bother with the book anymore.
Profile Image for Dorky Girl.
102 reviews
September 25, 2018
I gave this book three stars because I really didn't like the main character very much in the way that she was rude to everyone and how she treated her friends. I thought the main character was very narcissistic and very stupid for her age. Also I would like to point out that my library had a stamp on the inside of the book that said Interest Level 9 - 12 and I thought the ages should have been from like 12 - 15. I just think 9 is a little to young to be reading about fake IDs and sex but maybe it's just me.

Full Review Here
>> http://callievamp.blogspot.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,037 reviews62 followers
March 19, 2021
The cover wins major, major points! I love her hair and I wish I was ballsy enough to do the makeup! But the story was blah. The book was definitely a snapshot into the mind of a seemingly normal artistic teen who meddles a bit too much in her friends’ lives and doesn’t focus on her own issues. It never got over the hump into greatness though. And, unfortunately, Vanessa’s almost-sexual-encounter with James puts the book into an arena that means I couldn’t suggest it to the tweens who would benefit from reading this light story.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,528 reviews90 followers
December 31, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Saba.
9 reviews
June 24, 2011
Just finished this today, and I loved it. I feel like the conflicts faced by the main character represent a lot of teenagers who, sometimes and to varying degrees, feel kind of trapped by their environment (hello). Vanessa might be a bit of an extreme case, with her insistence on standing out and being a walking work of art and her general impatience with all things high school, but I guess sometimes that's what it takes for the author to really convey a message strongly. I also loved how art- themed this book was, it made me want to get started on making something of my own... I think the art-ness (I'm so eloquent :P) in the book was meant to represent identity, and one thing Vanessa kind of struggles with throughout the book is looking into what exactly makes something a work of art and if it's even possible to pinpoint a solid definition. I think maybe the way the book concludes concerning this question also has to do with how you should approach being a person (for lack of a better way to put it), that it helps to maintain an open minded, questioning approach.

I really enjoyed Liz Gallagher's style, simple but so elegant and... I don't know, it really works. I loved her references to the cherry blossoms in Seattle, makes me really want to go see them.

Writing this, I think I really should revisit the book sometime soon, because I feel like maybe I haven't completely appreciated the big picture of what the author is trying to say. Overall, highly recommended. Especially to anyone who wants a colorful shock of art for a change.

And now to the things not directly related to the story: The cover, *beautiful,* actually the reason I picked up the book... because I don't care what people say, you *can* judge a book by its cover, at least a little bit some of the time. It's certainly not fail safe, but I thing it's at least (unfortunately) a reasonably good indicator of how excited the publisher is about the book and how much effort they've put into publicity and whatever, especially in the YA world. I think. The only thing I didn't like was the font they used for the word 'life.' I think they could've used something alittle more.. barney quirky, I guess. As in the kids' TV show. It's just... meh, I don't like it.

Another thing that bothered me was how, under the author bio, there was this bit that was like 'Liz Gallagher went to (some MFA program) where she studied next to literary rock stars.' or something to that effect. I mean... it's not even name dropping. It's just lame. I felt like it was braggy and unnecessary. But I'm not saying it wasn't one of the things that contributed to me buying the book not having heard of it before, which is something I don't do that often. So I guess it did its job in that respect.
Profile Image for Midnite.
261 reviews4 followers
June 22, 2011
I loved Liz Gallagher's first novel, The Opposite of Invisible, and have been looking forward to reading something new by her. I was disappointed when I learned her next book would be a companion novel featuring Vanessa, a minor character from Opposite. Vanessa played an interesting role in The Opposite of Invisible as the girl Jewel starts to date while his best friend Alice (Opposite's narrator) dates a cute boy in their class. But she was also "the other woman" to me. The girl I couldn't root for because I wanted Jewel to end up with Alice. I also didn't find her that compelling.

Admittedly, I came into My Not-So-Still Life wishing it was about Jewel and Alice since I enjoyed them so much in The Opposite of Invisible, and their story didn't seem finished to me, but I still came into it trusting Ms. Gallagher would give me a story I would fall in love with. Though she employs the same spare style she used in The Opposite of Invisble, it doesn't work as well in My Not-So-Still Life.

Unfortunately, Vanessa really isn't that interesting. She should be. She's an aspiring artist who expresses herself by wearing different colored strings to alert the world of the mood she's in and dyeing her hair pink. She lives with her grandfather and single mother who let her just be herself. But instead of being cool, Vanessa seems lost. She still holds a place in her broken heart for Jewel, but she;s trying to move on by hanging out with her best friends Nick and Holly. When she gets a job at a local art store, she immediately decides Maye, one of the owners, is her role model. But Maye doesn't really do anything to merit that so it doesn't seem all that believable. Vanessa also decides she will love a skateboarder named James, but James is 19 and Maye doesn't think Vanessa should hang out with him.

In the end, I didn't like Vanessa or James or Nick or Holly. The novel also managed to make me rethink why I liked Jewel so much, which was a huge mistake on the author's part. (I think he was meant to be worried about Vanessa during their very brief encounters, but I wasn't 100% sure what the author was trying to say and wished she'd just passed on Jewel running into Vanessa and James altogether.)

My Not-So-Still LIfe is only 177 pages. If you loved The Opposite of Invisible, it won't hurt to revisit this world because the book is so short.
Profile Image for Britta.
322 reviews54 followers
May 18, 2011
I enjoyed My Not-So-Still Life quite a bit. It was a really quick read filled with humor and interesting insights of life.

This novel follows Vanessa, a teenage girl who, instead of trying to fit in, has tried to stand out. She is constantly changing her hair color, she wears a colored string on her wrist to depict her mood (purple is the best, black, which comes after red, is the worst) and she is on a never-ending search to define herself in the artistic world. She can’t wait until she graduates high school and is on her own, free to explore and create without the boundaries that restrict her now. But when her eagerness to grow up gets her in difficult situations and jeopardizes her relationships with her family and friends, Vanessa gets a rude awakening and vision into what her future might hold if she continues down on this path.

I really liked Vanessa. She is incredibly dramatic, but then again, most teenagers are. She is funny, abrupt, opinionated, creative and curious, but secretly confused and angry. If you can’t tell by the description I just gave, Vanessa is very complex. On one hand, she can’t wait to grow up and face the world head on, demanding her presence be know. But on the other, she sees her grandfather is getting older and she feels guilty that her mother has no time for herself. This dilemma is something way too many teens face – choosing between your family and the future you want.

Also, through Vanessa’s artistic eye, the reader has the pleasure of seeing the world in a whole new light. There are some descriptions of places, events and objects that are so simple, yet so interesting. Vanessa will take note of something, not making a big deal about it, but what she notices sometimes really made me think. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I bet if you read this novel for yourself, you would understand.

The plot was interesting, but it was not really the focal point of the novel. This story was more character driven; focusing on Vanessa has she goes through the dramatic, internal realization that there is no rush to grow up.

So overall, I’d say pick this one up. It is an insanely quick read, and it touches on problems many people face – finding your place in the world, as well as stopping yourself from growing up too quickly before you miss out on all the glory of childhood.
Profile Image for Bell.
19 reviews1 follower
November 15, 2015
Vanessa is a young girl who can't wait till school is over and she can be in the real word. While everyone else is living their age, Vanessa try's to act older, getting a job, planning what type of tattoos she wants to get and hanging out with older people. That's why Vanessa is astatic when she places a job at her favorite art store. Vanessa has her whole life planned out and she knows who she is, or does she? Someone would want to read this book because it's cool to see how Vanessa changes through out the book. Even some of the other characters change for the better through out the book. The story is also very interesting, there is never a dull moment. Most people were not really drawn to Vanessa due to her being so different (she dyes her hair bright colors regularly and wears very bright and crazy makeup)but she had no problems with this because she shuts most people out. She has two very close friends that she is very closer to and she is also very close to her mom and grandpa. I believe the most significant relationship in the book was Vanessa and her best friend. Her best friend is a girl who is very intelligent and well rounded and strict to herself. I felt through out the story Vanessa learns a lot from her, like that she doesn't need to grow up to fast and she doesn't really need to stand out as much as she is. In my opinion the most important conflict was Vanessa with herself. As she was trying to grow up as fast as she could she was trying to make everyone else around her do the same (her two best friends). She then realized what she was doing and started to question it, should she really be growing up this fast? It did take her a while, but she soon realized she needed to slow down and she should not force other people to grow up or be situations they don't want to be in. I would probably recommend this book to people that enjoy art or are a little quirky. Through the book she talks a lot about art, and this book got me more interested in art and it made me question it more. Now when I look at an art piece I think about what it represents and what the artist is trying to show us, because the whole time that's what Vanessa was trying to figure out about herself.
Profile Image for Lisa.
233 reviews
February 9, 2015
My Not-So-Still Life is the story of an average teenager, who is ready to grow up, do important things, and who feels stuck in high school. Vanessa wants to be different, unique and wants to explore the person she really is. Which in her case, is dying her hair crazy bright colors, wearing bold makeup and dressing up like no one around her does.

Vanessa finds high school completely useless, and finally wants to go out in the world and do something that has purpose; for her that's art! Its seems like her dream comes true when she scores a job at her favorite craft store. Not only are her bosses really cool, but Vanessa doesn't mind the cute older guy that seems to spend a lot of time there.

What could be better than working at your favorite store? With cool people? And getting out of the house more often? Nothing!

But things quickly turn sour when Vanessa gets herself in a tough situation with the cute older guy from the store, and she finds herself taking half naked photos for his calender.
When things get a bit too hot and heavy, Vanessa escapes the entire situation. Her mom forces her to quit work, and instead to stay focused on school. Vanessa quickly learns that being yourself and sticking out, doesn't mean dying your hair crazy colors, and wearing extremely bold makeup. But being unique can be done in settle ways too.

My Not-So-Still Life was a light read. Its a book you can take outside or to the beach and read it in an afternoon. With that, I didn't invest myself too much into it. The book is extremely short, and there wasn't much time for me to connect with the main character. I understood why she felt so stuck, because when I was in high school taking P.E. and art classes the whole to pass time, I felt the same way. I was ready for college and continuing on with calculus, accounting and economics classes.

Overall I found the story to be enjoyable. I wasn't completely invested, but that's okay because I feel like that wasn't required for this book. I enjoyed it while it lasted.
Profile Image for Steph Su.
943 reviews452 followers
May 16, 2011
I read Liz Gallagher’s first book, The Opposite of Invisible, and fell in love with her sparse but powerful and relatable prose. Therefore, I went into Liz’s second book, MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE, with great anticipation. Perhaps a little too much—for while MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE is a solid addition to the YA contemporary genre, it didn’t have the lasting emotional impact I had found in The Opposite of Invisible.

Given a few allowances, I think that Vanessa is a very relatable protagonist. She’s an artist, but her story doesn’t really revolve around art (which in fact was a little quibble I had with the book, the lack of depth the art aspect had). Instead, Vanessa struggles with the common adolescent desire to have more, to be more than the typical high school life. Vanessa is a warm-hearted girl: she has a great relationship with her family, which I appreciated, and she means well for her friends. While her problems with her friends arise from her trying to push what she feels is right onto their situations, I have no doubt that she is well-intentioned and loving. She wants the future to be now, and what teenager can really fault her for that?

My biggest disappointment in MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE was that I guess I had wanted or expected…well, more. And by that I don’t mean page-wise: at less than 200 pages, MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE still does a good job with character development. But for a girl who dreams of going out there and actually living, Vanessa’s troubles feel disappointingly small, easily resolved, even a little contrived. I had expected her to undergo a greater sort of revelation, but that was not what ended up happening.

MY NOT-SO-STILL LIFE is good for a quick read when you’re in between two heavier books. It didn’t resonate as well as The Opposite of Invisible did for me, but I’m still interested in what Liz Gallagher has for us next.
July 18, 2011
I think this Book is a great adventure into the life of a not so average teenager who looks at her life and the world as a big canvas waiting to be painted by her!!! This book even though using simplistic words is a young adult novel that i think the artist, the undefined, and the searching for their identity teenager would enjoy. This book showes the growing up process of Vannessa who's eager to get out into the world and become an adult so she can be the master of her own destiny. But along the way she falls into some interestingly complex situations with her friends Nick who she tries to force and make others accept his sexuality and Holly who she nudges by interviening in a secret love crush between her and her soon to be lover Wilson. Through these situations and the ones she gets into at the Pallette(her favorite art supplies store) where she becomes employed sets her up to see that growing up to fast is not always the best thing and that she doesn't always have be shocking to be an artist and that art and life becomes beautiful when there are boundaries. I love the way Mrs. Galligher uses simple but very descriptive words and very vivid images to create a picture and tell a story of a girl who's like so many of us who are just trying to find ourselves.I would recommend this book for anyone who's searching for their own identity or just wants a good little drama. That's exactly why i rate this book for me personally a 3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Ashley (Bookaholics Anonymous).
318 reviews74 followers
November 25, 2011
This is basically a story of how Vanessa learns that growing up to fast may not always be the best thing, and just being who you are is sometimes the best feeling you can have.

I can't say that I got to much out of this story. I wasn't really interested in the characters, or what was going on with them. If I'm going to love a story I have to be able to love the characters as well, and not just the story. If that doesn't happen then the story better be full of awesomeness. At times I thought Vanessa was kind of rude (especially to her friends). I mean your going to ignore or put down friends you have had for ever after just meeting these people who you claim are awesome and understand you better. I don't know I just felt bad for her friends I guess.

The one thing that I did enjoy was the artistic part of the book. I love reading about art, but that's as far as it goes. I suck at art, but occasionally I'll try drawing or something. After reading books that contain art or the characters that do art I'm like I want to draw. I want to be able to show my creative side. (That never happens)

I know this is really short, and not to helpful. Sometimes you get that one book that just doesn't work. It's not to say it won't work for you though. :)
Profile Image for Anna Schroeder .
474 reviews
August 9, 2011
I loved Liz Gallagher's first novel, The Opposite of Invisible. I gobbled it up - I read it in one day. However, I was a little bit disappointed with this novel.

I didn't have a problem connecting with the characters. I connected with all the main characters and could understand where they were coming from when they were talking. That wasn't a problem.

The other thing I didn't have a problem with was the setting. The setting was wonderfully described and I could picture it clearly in my head as I was reading, which I love.

Now, unto a few problems I saw with the novel. It dragged along for a good portion of the novel. I had a hard time connecting with the plot line itself because it just moved slowly throughout the novel.

I also felt that the plotline was a little weak and that a little more needed to be added to the story. I'm not exactly sure what exactly needed to be added, but I know that something was missing.

Overall, this book was a nice, short, predictable read with great characters and setting.
Profile Image for Sara.
221 reviews7 followers
April 25, 2016
I think I got this book because I liked the artistic part of it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I liked it. I'm starting to read more realistic books, but I am still a fantasy lover at heart. I enjoyed this book because it reminded me of how I felt about photography when I was a student. It also reminded me of how i felt as a teenager. I was similar to this character in the way my mind worked at that age. I wanted to live more when I finished high school and started college though. I was very reserved as a teenager, I was very shy too and I would crush on boys but never talk to them. This story was about a girl who wanted to grow up too fast then realized she wasn't ready for the things she was about to do. I think it's a cute story about taking your time to enjoy being a teenager. I wish I'd have read this book as a teenager.
Profile Image for Shanyn.
375 reviews141 followers
January 26, 2014
The biggest problem I had with My Not-So-Still Life was with the main character, Vanessa, which unfortunately is a huge issue and hard to overcome. While I did like that she enjoyed art (and, subsequently, that she got to work in an art store), I did not like her poor decision making in attempts to drastically change her life. She wants to be older, wants to be seen as mature and not as a high schooler. I identified with some of her feelings (as I'm sure most high schoolers do at some point), but the quick succession she attempted to make changes did not seem realistic, and certainly less realistic for a 200 page book.

Full Review: http://chickloveslit.com/2012/05/revi...
Profile Image for Sabrina.
11 reviews
April 22, 2013
It was overall good, but it was confusing at certain times and I felt that the author rushed to finish the novel. It also seemed that the author wasn't detailed enough, and I felt that the author should have done something regarding Jewel, Vanessa's ex boyfriend because the last time he was mentioned or really talked about was when Vanessa was in the thrift shop. I also disliked that there was such a quick romance between James and Vanessa, it was almost like the author just threw it in there. Lastly, i felt like there should have been a better confrontation between Maye and Vanessa. I think there should be a sequel because there were so many loose ends. Other than that, the novel was good!
Profile Image for Danielle.
9 reviews
May 22, 2013
The book my not so still life takes place in a lot of settings for example, an art store and a house. The main charchter Is a 16 year old named Vannesa. She is also my favorite charchter. This book is about Vannesa and she is not considerd normal because she has pink hair. In the begaing she releizes that she will never be normal. Than in the middle of the book all she wants to do is grow up. Than in the last part of the book her friends worry that the guy she meet is not the right guy for her and maybe they where right. Than James becomes her boyfriend and than Vassnea losses her vijrginty to James. Then in the end she quits her job and never talks to James again. I would recomend this book to teenagers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.