I was Here by Gayle Forman


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 will just say that Gayle Forman is a phenomenal writer; this story flowed beautifully and was extremely easy to read. I received this free advance reading copy of ‘I Was Here’ thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia, with its official release being the 1st February.

…he has this expression on his face –it’s the particular contortion when fury meets guilt. And I know that look. I see it every day in the mirror.

Throughout this book we see Cody struggling to come to terms with the sudden and surprising suicide of her life long best friend Meg –Meg who she’d always held up on a pedestal –and struggling to come to terms with being left behind. Cody’s pain is natural and it feels real. Cody is wracked with the “it’s my fault” syndrome and is desperate to find someone to blame. In her effort to deal, she digs deep into the life that Meg tried to hide, enlisting the friends she meets along the way and uncovering some very disturbing truths.

To start off with we see Cody push everyone away. She is weak, scared, and a pretty crappy friend. But slowly we see her step out of her comfort zone and come to life with the determination (as she sees it) to avenge her fallen friend. We see Cody finally come to terms with Meg’s death and finally have the courage to forgive Meg and exonerate herself.

The romance between Cody and Ben is very cliché and unnecessary, but Cody’s love for Meg and her growing friendships with the other characters are more than strong enough to pull the story along.

Lastly we see Cody move on with her life, taking the lessons learnt with her.

I give it **** Four Stars (It’s quite a hard book to review as it’s a hard topic to deal with – I really don’t think my review has done the book justice).

Goodreadsauthors website

2 thoughts on “I was Here by Gayle Forman

  1. This is one I want to read, but also dread reading, exactly for the reasons you say. I’ve just recently read All the Bright Places, which also deals with suicide, and I’m really struggling with my review. You’ve done a great job with this one.

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