BOOK REVIEW: I Was Here – by Gayle Forman

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Title: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: January 27th 2015
Finished reading: September 3rd 2015
Pages: 288
Rating 3,5qqq

“Life can be hard and beautiful and messy, but hopefully, it will be long. If it is, you will see that it’s unpredictable, and that the dark periods comes, but they abate — sometimes with a lot of support — and the tunnel widens, allowing the sun back in. If you’re in the dark, it might feel like you will always be there. Fumbling. Alone. But you won’t — and you’re not.”

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I Was Here was one of my TBR jar picks and it’s also the first time I’ve read anything by Gayle Forman. I know a lot of people love her work, but I have been avoiding her books so far because I was afraid there would be too much romance involved. I’m definitely glad my TBR jar got me to read I Was Here, because I really enjoyed her writing style. It was an interesting read, although I have to admit I’ve read better books with the same suicide theme. That or maybe I’m suffering from a YA contemporary fiction overdose… The main characters are not exactly likeable, but at least they feel real. Meg and her depression, Cody trying to understand why her best friend would do such a thing and Ben who broke Meg’s heart and slowly wins over Cody’s… Each character is without doubt well developed. Not everything about the story is original or completely credible, but overal it’s quite an enjoyable read despite the serious topic. Recommended if you enjoy reading YA contemporary fiction.

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Meg decided she couldn’t stand living any longer and made a plan to end her life; drinking a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room. Her best friend Cody is devastated and simply doesn’t understand why Meg would do such a thing. They were supposed to share everything, but Cody never saw it coming. Where were the warning signs? Meg’s parents ask Cody to travel to her college town to pack up Meg’s things, but when she arrives there Cody discovers something more than just her belongings. Meg had a whole different life in her college town Cody didn’t know anything about, and it looks like Meg was hiding quite a few secrets… What were the real circumstances around Meg’s death?

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I Was Here is without doubt an interesting enough read and I enjoyed Gayle Forman‘s prose. I wasn’t exactly a fan of the main characters, but they help shine a light on a very serious topic: (teen) depression and suicide. Like with Meg, sometimes the signs are not all that clear and forums like the one that visited Meg can push people over the edge. It’s definitely a story that will leave its mark.

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12 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: I Was Here – by Gayle Forman

    • It is without doubt an interesting read, although there are even better novels about suicide out there. (To name a few: It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, My Heart And Other Black Holes, Thirteen Reasons Why, All The Bright Places…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • There are quite a few books on this topic, in our reviewers eyes of different quality. Yet they attract different kinds of readers. I can imagine that readers of All The Bright Places might not necessarily like this one as much.
        Thank you, Yvo – you inspired me to re-read Thirteen Reasons Why immediately.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can definitely agree with that; they each have a different public and in a way it’s a good thing, because that way suicide awareness will reach a broader public. I read Thirteen Reasons Why last month and I really appreciated the original way of telling the stories through the tapes.

        Liked by 1 person

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