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    A poignant story of family, loss, and first love

    Livvie is a fifteen-year-old girl with synesthesia (she tastes colors and sees sounds), who lives in the shadows of her friends and her older sister Jules, whose leukemia has just returned with a vengeance. Livvie feels invisible to her friends, the boys at school, and even her mother. Why is it, then, that Bianca, the strange Goth girl in her art class, is the only one who seems to see her? What starts out as bonding over their still life projects, slowly evolves into something more. As Livvie's school life and family life become more and more unbearable, Livvie has to find comfort somewhere. But not everyone is pleased with Livvie's new-found happiness. Will Livvie find the strength to stand up for herself for once in her life? This book packs a lot of issues into one small package. I found Livvie's uncertainty about her sexuality a bit hard to comprehend, until I realized she is only fifteen. Her bad experiences with boys seem to push her toward Bianca, with only one minor reference to a possible attraction to females. It's sad to see how Livvie's mother treats her throughout the book, but the explanation for her behavior is a bit too convenient and not really substantiated by her actions. Livvie's relationship with her sister Jules is the best part of the book. I also love the descriptions of how Livvie perceives sounds as colors, especially the sounds of people's voices; they add such a wonderful nuance, I could almost see them myself. The images with stay with you for a long time after you finish reading. A poignant story of family, friendship, loss, and first love. Warnings: LGBT themes, underage drinking, sex scenes (not graphic), assisted suicide, mental health issues, terminal illness. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (31 October): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2017/10/an-unstill-life-by-kate-larkindale.html
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