I Was Here by Gayle Forman
3 out of 5 stars
Cody and Meg were the best of friends but Cody is taken by complete surprise when Meg commits suicide. Cody never saw any signs even though Meg’s suicide note declares that she has been thinking of death for a while. Cody visits Meg’s college and her Seattle hangouts in hopes of finding answers. Along the way Cody meets Meg’s roommates and her brief love interest, Ben. Cody goes on a quest to open encrypted computer files and to understand why Meg commits suicide. Cody is taken down a path that she never imagined Meg taking.
If I was handed this book and did not know who the author was I would have referred to it as “average” plot and writing; nothing exciting or out of the world about it but not a horrible read either. Unfortunately for Gayle Forman her name makes you believe that you are going to get something special, something that really reaches out and speaks to you, this is not one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book! I found it to be a quick read, interesting enough and a lot of the descriptions of suicide and the aftermath it causes were spot on. What this book was missing was that extra special something that I was hoping for (and expected out of Gayle Forman). Also, I may or may not have thrown this book when Ben confesses his love for Cody UGH UGH UGH!! The love story portion was a huge turn off for me (and other readers as well), the book could have stood perfectly fine without a love interest and if anything it adds an unnecessary superficial element. Although I did not find the romantic element beneficial I did enjoy several elements of this book. Forman does not glorify or vilify the act of suicide; Suicide is a very difficult subject and I believe the aftermath of it is shown clearly in this book. I also really enjoyed the “Author’s Note” at the end of the book where Forman talks about the inspiration for this book and even discusses the thin line between being suicidal and thinking about death. I might have even enjoyed the brief “Author’s Note” more than the actual book. Even though I was not personally blown away by this book I can see many teens enjoying it and relying upon it. I love the fact that a very popular teen author wrote about such a sensitive subject, one that sometimes gets over looked or examined in the wrong way. Teens will grab this book because it is written by Gayle Forman but I believe in the end they will come away with a better knowledge and understanding of what it means to truly think about or commit suicide. I would recommend this book to some more mature teens that would be able to fully grasp and understand the subject matter in this book.