Book Review | I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Posted on Friday, February 20, 2015 12:00 AM

Format: Paperback
Source: via my library
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication: January 27, 2015
Pages: 288
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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.

My Review

Something to Note: This book deals with some difficult situations so be prepared diving in.

The Characters: Cody is one of the characters I thought I was really going to enjoy, but I wasn't really that fond of her. I know going through the loss that she went through must be so difficult. I have lost someone to suicide, a family member, but not a friend and I know that would be a totally different feeling. But, the way she went about some things were just not what I expected. She seemed so upset over the passing of Meg, but then when something else came up it seems like Meg was a complete side thought. Throughout the book Cody tried to do things to figure out Meg's death to the fullest, and I got the vibe from her that she was kind of just doing it so she could get more attention. I don't know how to explain all of it other than I didn't find her very genuine. 

Ben is the guy that Meg was very head over heels for...he is the bad boy in the story. He has a background that isn't the best, but to me that doesn't justify his actions. He does take a big part in finding out what happened with Meg and I think that was shown throughout the book--but not to the best. Ben could have been a part of this book a lot more than he was. I really enjoyed his character and I think he kept growing, but the author kind of just left him to the side at times.

Scottie is Meg's little brother and let me tell you--this kid is a genius. He isn't blind to what's going on around him even though so many people try to hide the truth. He helps Cody with discovering things and to me his is the person who made this book worth it. He isn't in the book that much, but each page that he was put a smile on my face. Scottie is just someone who is wise for his years.

The other side characters in this book were all wonderful. I honestly enjoyed them more than the main. All of Meg's friends from where she went to college were just awesome and I enjoyed each of them very much. If they did a side story of their (the new friends) life in college without Cody  - I would be all for it.

My Thoughts: Going into this book I thought I was going to absolutely love it, but it fell a little short for me. This was my first Gayle Forman book so maybe my hopes were a little too high. 

Like I stated above the main character just didn't do it for me. That's honestly the main reason why I gave this book a 2.5...but, the side characters are actually what upped the rating for me. If it weren't for them I may have actually DNF'd this book (that would have been my first time doing that, too). I love stories with hard topics-the interest me so much more for some reason. Therefore, I was so very thrilled to dive into this book. 

I feel like suicide, which was obviously presented in this book, wasn't well represented. Not because it was false or the facts weren't there I just don't think it was talked about enough. Throughout the book I honestly forgot about what happened to Meg and when someone commits suicide, you usually don't forget it so quickly. I felt that this book was too focused on Cody and her trying to find what exactly happened. I get that she wanted closure, but I don't think she did it exactly for that. She was too focused on herself and not Meg and her family.

One Line Wrap Up: A tough subject that was covered up by the main characters self pity, but brought to life by a young boy.

Recommend to the lovers of: A contemporary novel dealing with tough issues.

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Erica is a 20 year old college student and book lover. When she’s done with studying she’ll always want to relax with a book, of any kind. If she’s not reading she could be caught up in her latest Netflix series or lost in a conversation with her spectacular boyfriend.
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