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.
First Sentence: The day after Meg died, I received this letter: I regret to inform you that I had to take my own life.
When I first saw I Was Here, I wasn’t planning on reading it. I’m not a fan of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, which made me feel absolutely no emotion, nor was I a fan of the first book in her other series, Just One Day, which bored me for more than half the book. However, once I saw the synopsis of I Was Here, I couldn’t help but be automatically interested in the book because who won’t be interested in a book about a main character’s best friend unexpectedly committing suicide? I was worried that I Was Here would be as boring as the other two books I’ve read written by Gayle, but I Was Here managed to surprise me.
His face is pure annihilation. “I don’t know what’s more disgusting: reading a dead girl’s email or writing from a dead girl’s email.” (ARC 46)
I Was Here bought out all the emotions that both If I Stay and Just One Day never did. It took awhile for I Was Here to bring a few tears into my eyes, but at least it did. However, I only teared up once and it didn’t last very long. From then on, I still felt some emotions, but it wasn’t as strong as the moment where the book made me tear up.
I Was Here is also darker than Gayle Forman’s other books, which might cause you guys to freak out since If I Stay is already kind of dark for most people. As you guys should know, I Was Here deals with the topic of suicide and most of I Was Here is Cody’s quest to find out the answer to why did Meg commit suicide? This quest to find an answer to this question brings Cody to some pretty dark places that people might be uncomfortable with – at times, I even found myself feeling a bit uncomfortable with what was going on in the book.
How can a person do that? How can they make a decision like that, write an email like that, and then just carry on? If you can do that, can’t you keep carrying on? (ARC 39)
I’ve heard that Gayle Forman described the love interest in I Was Here as one of the hottest guys she’s ever written. I have to admit that yeah, the love interest in I Was Here is kind of hot, but I feel like he’s still a jerk after all the things he has done so that erases all his hotness in my eyes. The love interest never did redeem himself, which is why I couldn’t cheer for the romance – I just accepted it.
The only one small problem I had with I Was Here was the fact that there was some things Gayle bought up, but never fully explored or resolved. It just doesn’t make sense for Gayle to bring up some things, to give you a hint of some things to come, only to switch topics and then never talking about the topic ever again.
Overall, I Was Here was a book that had me constantly engaged unlike the other Gayle Forman books I’ve read. I Was Here is definitely my favorite book written by Gayle Forman so far and I definitely hope she’ll continue on in this new direction.