Book: I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Date Published: January 27th, 2015
Date Started: February 16th, 2015
Date Finished: February 20th, 2015
Other Books Reviewed: If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year
“Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two Peas in a pod.
Until…they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.”
Gayle Forman has made her way up to my automatically read list. I devoured Just One Day and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I still thinking about it from time to time and it has become one of my favorite books of all time. If I Stay didn’t hook me in as much, but I still enjoyed it. I had been eagerly anticipating I Was Here for months and once it came in the mail, I couldn’t read it fast enough.
I wasn’t as hooked into this book as I thought I would be. I think its because of this suicide book trend thats going on, and to be quite frank, I’ve read way too many this year and this book was just adding another to that sluggish pile. Don’t get me wrong, I think that suicide is a very serious topic that needs to be discussed, but there comes a point when I feel like it was just being thrown left and right at me this year for no apparent reason. I’ve seen that books dealing with the suicide topic is a big trend this year, so I’m not surprised that I’ve read so many.
So like My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, I was intrigued by this discussion of finding suicide support groups online. The kind of support group that is pro-suicide. Technology is so ingrained into our lives these days, its not surprising that it would change the way someone goes about suicide. One of the things that I felt was dangerous in this book was the fact that the main character, Cody, was scouring these forums where her best friend, Meg, was spending so much time leading up to her death. It lead her to find clue after clue, trying to find someone to blame for Meg’s death.
This story is mostly about Cody trying to deal with Meg’s death, but I think she went about it the wrong way. Since she and Meg had started drifting apart, Cody was really upset about Meg taking her life. I feel like Cody felt like she couldn’t see any signs to Meg being depressed, so she couldn’t really fathom her death. But thats the thing, sometimes the signs were always there and you just didn’t realize they were signs or that person is really good at hiding their darker parts. The reason why I think that Cody went about dealing with her grief in the wrong way was the fact that she dropped everything to hunt down every last detail about Meg. She could have kept digging and digging and never would truly understand why her best friend decided to commit suicide. There were parts where I was afraid for her safety because she became so obsessed. I think it was just distracting her from her grief.
The romance aspect of the book wasn’t as strong, and I was really glad for that. In the previous Gayle Forman books I’ve read, the romance has always been the main plot line. I was worried that it was going to take over the story a few times, and I feel like that would have been a really crappy thing to focus on while Cody is dealing with her grief.
I had really high hopes for this book because it was written by Gayle Forman. I tend to find that with my favorite authors, theres always just one book that I really just don’t like at all. Its happened with Sarah Dessen, Lauren Oliver, and plenty more. So maybe this is the one Gayle Forman book that isn’t really winning my heart over. I think it may have something to do with the character herself. Gayle’s character’s tend to be girls who have been hiding in the shadows and want to come out of their shells. Cody didn’t really budge much from her shell. She did do something impulsive, but it was dangerous. When I got to the end of the book, all I could think was Communication. If every character just communicated with each other, then this story could have turned out completely different. But thats the thing about suicide and grief. Those are things that you tend to keep to yourself because you feel like no one will understand.
I wasn’t involved in this book and it felt like it was on the short side. I wished there was some more development in terms of the story plot line, the characters, their relationships, etc. Some others may like this book because it is on the shorter side, but its not your typical summer contemporary read. This one deals with a tough subject and considering all the books I’ve read on this subject this year, I think it could have been developed a lot more.