Sunday, February 8, 2015

REVIEW: I Was Here by Gayle Forman *Spoiler Free*

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.

I tend to not read Contemporary YA. I'm not sure why, because when I do, I devour it. Maybe that's why I don't? Maybe because I think I read them to quickly. Doesn't matter.

I was pretty excited for "I Was Here" after I adored her If I Stay Duology (I still haven't watched the movie, btw) last year, I knew I would pre-order anything by her in the future--and I did just that. I received this book in the mail the day after it was released, and I started it a few days later because I was finishing up another book.

I knew it was going to be sad--I mean, even the synopsis is kind of sad. I mean, we open at a teen's (I think she's a teen, all we know is she is under 21 maybe?) explanation of attending her best friend's funeral and various prayer services. So that should be sad, right? But I didn't feel sadness. I didn't feel sympathy for the main character--and it's not like I was just removed from the action of the entire book, I felt for Meg's parents, and Meg's little brother (his portions were probably the most emotionally connected I felt throughout the entire book). But I just didn't care about Cody. Most of the time I found her to be unnecessarily keeping secrets and then whining because no one else knows what's going on.

The introduction of Ben McAllister, and his connection with Meg, and that Cody seeks him out, was a great point and a realistic aspect of the story. I feel like if my best friend killed herself, I would absolutely seek out the last person that she contacted. So, I really liked this plot point, and I liked Ben a lot as a character. He was probably the most realistic responses to the obsession that Cody develops with finding out more details of Meg's suicide.

Overall, I gave this book 3/5 STARS--I don't know what was missing exactly, just that I wasn't blown away. It didn't even give me the emotional rawness, and good cry that Forman's other books have.

Have you read this book yet? Were you left feeling like you missing something, or was it just me?


  1. I always judge a book before reading it based on the blurb and the reviews it gotten. This book are ranked low in my want to read list because of the reviews and the blurb did nothing to pique my interest either. But, it's still early to say so I might read this book in the future.

    1. I was trying to look past the ARC reviews, because I remember thinking most of the reviews on If I Stay weren't great at first. But, I was really let down by this book. I haven't read Forman's Just One Day duology, but after this, I probably won't.