Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: January 27
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
“After Meg drinks a deadly chemical in a hotel room, Cody is left to wonder why. She learns that the best friend she thought told her everything had actually hid many things. I Was Here is a story that shows the emotional journey one girl takes to know her friend after she leaves her.”
I thought that I Was Here was overall a pretty interesting story. There were things I loved about it, things I wish didn’t happen, and things I wanted more of. This review will have many spoilers, so if you haven’t read I Was Here by Gayle Forman, I would suggest reading it and then coming back!
One of the best things in this story is the surprising things you learn about Meg. Everything from the cats to Ben Mcallister, all these things that Cody learns helps us create Meg as a character. Normally when I read a book, I can kind of get of sense of where the plot is going and predict what might happen. In no world would I have ever seen the “suicide support group” twist coming. When this is revealed the whole entire book gets much darker and it starts to get better.
While first reading it, I wished that the reader could see more of Meg. Even if there was just a chapter before everything had happened. However, as I went on, my decision made a complete switch. Gayle Forman was able to paint this picture of Meg and give us her personality even though she is not physically in the story. All we know about her thoughts on life are just implied. We never truly see into her mind and what was going on when everything was happening, which is very true when it comes to real life.
One thing I didn’t care for was the Cody/Ben romance. I understand that they were both connected and as characters, they had to change over the course of the story. However, I don’t think it was necessary to add the romance. They hated each other at first, so if they grew into really good friends throughout the plot, they still would have had changed feelings. I Was Here had bigger things to focus on, and the romance was a distraction from it.
Unfortunately, when reading this book, it didn’t feel like a Gayle Forman book. I can’t explain this in the best way, but Gayle’s writing style in If I Stay made me fall in love with the book. Not only this, but I was also more connected to the If I Stay characters, and I cared more about what happened to them. It’s not that I didn’t like Cody or the other characters, they just didn’t seem very real on paper.
In the end, I thought that I Was Here was a pretty good book. I mainly loved it because it took a turn I never saw coming, and left you feeling kind of creeped out. Every part with the All_BS user was calm but very creepy. He just had this effect on people, and for a moment, I believed that Cody might be suicidal as well. That to me is what made this book. The main reason I picked this up was because it was a Gayle Forman book, but many people that like books that deal with dark issues like suicide, they would really enjoy I Was Here.