May 19, 2015

I Was Here - Gayle Forman

May 19, 2015
I Was Here 
by Gayle Forman
Series: Standalone
Publication: Viking Juvenile on January 27, 2015
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Death, Realistic Fiction, Mystery
Cody and Meg were inseparable . . . until they weren't.
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 Meg never told her.  About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in the dead-end town in Washington.  About Ben McCallister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own.  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. 

Though I've only read a couple of Gayle Forman books to date, I have never been completely taken with one of Forman's books.  Out of her works I have read, however, I cannot say I Was Here was a favorite.

Recently, a very popular topic in YA has been suicide.  In just the past couple of months, I have read more than my fair share of books dealing with this heavy subject.  And although suicide is an important topic that calls for discussion and action, I think it is a bit tired out in the genre.  Reading about suicide is never fun or enjoyable for me, and so I think it's best if I lay off the subject for a while.

My main issue with the book were the characters and their relationships.  I never felt deeply connected to Cody, Meg, or Ben, and I felt their relationships between each other were not developed well or enough.  I wanted to get a better sense for Cody and Meg's "inseparable friendship" before the incident, so I could better feel for Cody and relate to her.  However, the girls' friendship was painted to the reader as if they were more strangers than friends.  Cody knew absolutely nothing about Meg's life in college or about Meg for that matter.

There was also a bit of romance between Cody and Ben, romance that I felt was unnecessary.  The entire "thing" felt very awkward and strange to me, and ultimately distracted the reader from the main storyline.  I don't say this often, but I think the book would be better off without this slight touch of romance.

A lot went unexplained, unexplored, and unanswered, but I guess that's the whole point: there's not always a reason or an answer to uncover.  People sometimes act in ways you'll never be able to quite understand.

I do like the final note the book left off on, though.  Cody found the closure she was searching for and said goodbye to Meg in a beautiful way.

I Was Here is another sad but beautiful novel from New York Times Bestselling Author Gayle Forman.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.

No comments :

Post a Comment

peach print | BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio | Header Illustration by Freepik.