Thursday, March 12, 2015

[Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman]

"I Was Here"
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: None
Pages: 288
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: January 27th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Format Read: Purchased hardback


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 Thoughts:

An Open Letter To I Was Here,

Well, you just hit me in all the feels. Seriously, there was not a moment where I was not feeling big emotions as I read through your pages. I love that you weren't afraid to deal with some really big topics and that you did it in a way that was filled with such great hope. I cried and I cheered and I just wanted to give everyone in my life a huge hug when it was all over and done with. Thanks for being what you are, because you do it so well!

-The White Unicorn

I Was Here is amazing. Of course, it's also written by Gayle Forman and everyone here knows just how much I love her writing and the way her books speak to me. This book is no different. This book deals with a lot of social issues, but it does it in the most tasteful way. Forman gives us a story of a girl trying to figure out what to do after she gets left behind by her best friend. This book is about suicide, mental health and dealing with the fallout of tragedy.

The book starts out with a death. We don't even get to know Meg before she is taken away from us, and yet, somehow, Forman makes us feel her loss in the pages. There is so much raw emotion coming out of Cody, that we know how sad she is. And we also feel the shock that she feels as she goes on a journey to figure out what made Meg take her own life. 

The book is also drenched in a love story and a mystery. Cody meets all the people who were a part of Meg's life at college and in a way finds a new family there. The background characters are unique and likeable. Which really shouldn't be a surprise. Every single character that gets introduced to us is needed in the plot. Forman has a way of using every person she writes, no matter how small their role is. It's magical.

I don't know how she does it, but Forman knows how to write a love story that is real. And Ben and Cody's story is no different. It's not the main focus of the book, but it's there, and it gets used. I love that Forman touched on the fact that sometimes you meet a person when everything is messed up. It's refreshing. 

In the end, I loved that this book is about Cody finding herself, her life and love (in that order). Meg plays such a large role in the book and I'm glad that she was here. By the time you're done reading it, you will be too.

 5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW!

1 comment:

Sara said...

I loved this book too! I read this one, My Heart and Other Black Holes, and All the Bright Places all in a row. I loved how each book showed a different perspective on depression and suicide. So glad you enjoyed this one as well. :D