I Was Here
By Gayle Forman
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Published by Viking Juvenile
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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.
I’ve read Gayle Forman’s other books and am a fan, so I was definitely looking forward to reading I Was Here, her newest book. The wait for this from the library seemed to take forever, so when I finally got my hands on it, I was excited to jump into it!
This book tackles a really serious topic – suicide – so I feel like I was prepared for how dark and heavy the story was. I wanted to know more, though, about Meg than I did, and while I know that it was kind of Cody’s story too, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I didn’t get more of a sense of who Meg was. I guess I can chalk part of that up to Cody’s realization that lately she didn’t know Meg all that well either, but emotionally, the story didn’t have as much impact on me as I think it might have had I felt like I knew Meg.
Gayle Forman’s writing is great, and there were parts of the story that drew me in, but on the whole, this wasn’t a book that really had a long-lasting impact on me. Sadly, I’m writing this review a couple of weeks after I read it and really not remembering too much about it. I normally write my review as soon as I finish a book, but with I Was Here, I kept putting it off because I didn’t feel that I had much to say, and I think I felt bad for not liking this book more.
I still recommend it because it tackles issues like mental health, depression, suicide, and because Gayle Forman’s writing is still excellent, and definitely recommended for Gayle Forman fans. I just wish I had liked this one more than I did.