I Was Here

Finished I Was Here by Gayle Forman.  I received a copy for review from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.”

I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman’s and have loved every book she’s written from If I Stay on.  I mention that to say this: this is her best book yet.  By a LOT.

This is a book about friendship and grief.  And also, it’s about this: you know the tendency we have to define ourselves by our relationships?  Like I’m this person’s girlfriend or that person’s sister or this person’s best friend?  What happens when that’s not true anymore?  If you are “Cody, Meg’s Best Friend,” what does that mean for you now that there’s no longer a Meg, so you’re no longer anyone’s best friend?  How do you define yourself then?

And it’s also about trying to find closure in a situation where they may not ever be closure, and, too, about the tendency to find someone to blame.  The easiest solution is to blame Meg, but Meg’s not here.  So do you blame yourself?  Do you blame the guy who maybe broke her heart?  Blame Meg anyway?

But ultimately, it’s about figuring out how to keep going when it’s the last thing you want to do.  (Because really, you don’t have much of a choice.  You keep going or you die.  That’s the choice.)

I feel like it would have been very easy for this book to turn into a Lifetime movie and it never did.  It’s an emotional book—of course it is—but it’s never melodrama.  I don’t think anyone would expect anything less from Gayle Forman, but still.

I don’t want to ruin any part of this reading experience for you, so I will end with this: it’s a Gayle Forman book, so you know what to expect and you know what she’s capable of.  You absolutely get all of that with this one.

Highly recommended.

 

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One thought on “I Was Here

  1. I didn’t love If I Stay – I liked it, but it didn’t have a massive impact on me. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this though so I’m looking forward to reading it.

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