Book Review: I Was Here by Gayle FormanI Was Here by Gayle Forman
Published by Viking on January 27, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
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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

I loved Gayle Forman’s writing style when I read Just One Day. To this date, that is one of the books that has a great impact on me. So, I had great expectations about this book. The premise was also very interesting to me.  I’ve read lots of books with the theme of suicide on it. But most often, it is the main character who is suicidal… but this book is different. This book deals with the aftermath. Meg, a perfect girl in the eyes of many, suddenly took her own life. Nobody could’ve thought that she would do that. Not even her best friend of so many years – Cody. 

How can you believe someone to be so beautiful and amazing and just about the most magical person you’ve ever known, when it turns out she was in such pain that she had to drink poison to rob her cells of oxygen until her heart had no choice but to stop beating?

Gayle Forman, I Was Here

The story starts when Cody is tasked to pack up Meg’s things from her apartment. There, Cody finds out that there are sides of Meg’s life that she never knew. She figured that there could be more. Upon finding e-mails and files from Meg’s laptop, she decides that there’s something that pushed Meg over the edge… and she’s determined to find out.

What I really liked about this book is that it shows us the aftermath of suicide. Sometimes, we do think that the world will be a better place without us in it. Or, sometimes,  we think that no one would notice our absence. To be honest, I sometimes daydream about my death and I also have this idea that the world will just move on like I never existed at all. Maybe Meg thought the same. And she was wrong. This book gave me another perspective and maybe someone from somewhere needed to read this too.

Anyways, aside from that, there’s not much that I liked in this book. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I had great expectations about this book. Just One Day gave me so much emotions like I was crying a lot. That didn’t happen in this book and I expected  myself to. It was a typical book of the genre and I didn’t see anything new or anything that makes it stand out from the rest.

The main character, Cody, is the typical female YA lead. She underestimates herself but is actually better than what she thinks of herself. And in the end, she gets to know herself better after a roadtrip. She also had another perspective of her family after the roadtrip as well. So, yeah, typical. I don’t really see this negatively but I am looking for something different.

But… what’s negative for me is the love interest. Ben McAllister. At the start of this book, he’s this flirty jerk who screws every girl out there. But then, in the end, he’s this sweet guy the main character fell in love with. He became a guy who drove for more than 17 hours to see the girl. And I hated it.  I don’t get why a love interest is a must. A book can be good without romance. Why can’t it be just about self-discovery? And by the way, they didn’t really spend much with each other and yet they’re in love with each other? And the playboy has changed. I also didn’t like that his backstory was emphasized. It was like justifying his actions. Just wanna say this to other girls out there, some guys are just jerks. A sad back story doesn’t justify his heartbreaking ways.

Okay, before I end this review, I think I need to share this warning. There was this part in this book that was really scary for me. As someone who had suicidal ideation back then, there’s a part that really resonated in me. There’s this part where the main character talks about how easy it could be. And that scares the hell out of me because it could really be easy. I just want to say that we should ignore that voice in our head and focus on hope, no matter how little of that we have. 

Overall, I think this book is a miss for me but I really want to commend it for talking about something so important. I was just looking for something with more impact, something that will make me cry so much… a book that will make me feel so much. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t that. 

My Rating:

One StarOne Star

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