Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Release Date: January 29th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Death & Dying, Friendship, Mysteries & Detective Stories, New Adult, Suicide
From the bestselling author of If I Stay - this summer's YA blockbuster film.
This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.
As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.
A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it in an authentic way with sensitivity and honesty
Well, I have finally read a book about the much-hyped Gayle Forman. I really don’t know what to think. I read I WAS HERE over a week or so interrupted by placement and tiredness. Even though I enjoyed it there were many times I’d procrastinate reading more. The story just did not captivate me as much as some other novels have, despite the good characters and writing.
I WAS HERE is a novel that explores suicide, depression, and grief. Our main character, Cody, has just lost her best friend and the suicide note is not enough of an explanation. The novel follows Cody as she investigates the reasons why Meg killed herself, and as she struggles to accept the fact that Meg is gone and didn’t share as much with Cody as she thought.
Cody was a pretty good main character. I liked her voice and her sarcasm. She had an entertaining narration that wasn’t boring or hard to read. Cody is also very different from me. Life hasn’t been as good to her, she didn’t go to college straight out of high school. Instead she works and supports herself and manages to do okay. She’s confident and a different type of smart.
Secondary characters were a good aspect of the novel. Each was definitely distinct with their own personalities and quirks. I really wish we could have gotten to know some of these characters and their relationship (or lack of) with Meg better as it seemed that as soon as they had fulfilled their plot purpose at the start we never really saw them again, the exclusion being Ben. Which was a missed opportunity because there was quite a diverse range of people there.
Another thing I quite enjoyed in I WAS HERE was the romance. It’s my favourite type of relationship: bickering that turns into friendship (with light hearted bickering) which turns into romance. Nice and slow. You know, I sort of wish there was more romance in this because I think that’s what I was in the mood for. At the same time I’m glad romance wasn’t the main focus of the novel because that probably would have annoyed me more.
My biggest problem was a lack of emotional connection. I think the main thing was I was expecting more. More pain, more heartbreak, more feels. But because I never got attached to the characters, I never really cared what was happening. Sure it was sad, but I’ve read sadder. And things at the end seemed to be pretty anticlimactic or change suddenly. For example, some of Tricia’s actions at the end seemed to come out of nowhere, and the truth Cody learnt about Meg View Spoiler », the depression, « Hide Spoiler was something I had suspected from the start and I’m surprised Cody, being the smart girl she was, didn’t at least suspect.
After hearing so much love for Gayle Forman, I was a little disappointed with I WAS HERE. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was good and I like the characters and romance, but I really just wanted more. There was no emotional connection, which is the main reason I WAS HERE fell flat for me. Fear not, die hard Forman fans, as I am willing to try Gayle Forman’s writing again if I can get my hands on some of her other books.