This book is not something we would normally read, after seeing the cover and reading the snippet we were both intrigued as to what this book would hold.
Gayle Forman has done an amazing job in giving an insight into the aftermath of those affected by someone who has committed suicide. As well as glimpse into the life of someone who is struggling with a mental illness. As much as we may think we know someone, we never truly know who a person is and what they are struggling with in life. There is so much true emotion and depth in Gayle's words.
Cody is taken aback when she discovers her best friend Meg, the other piece of her has committed suicide. When Meg's parents ask Cody to go to her school and pack her belongs up and bring them home; she discovers a side to Meg she had no idea about. This other life Meg was living was very different to the one she had told Cody about. Cody is suspicious about Meg's suicide so when she reaches her room, the suicide note and other things that have happened don't add up, leading Cody to dig deeper into Meg's death. What Cody finds leads her on even more of mission to uncover the why, what, who?
The journey that Cody is taken on is one that is both eye opening and needed. She needs this journey to bring closure to not only herself but the other people affected by Meg's death. We both found this book a struggle to read, not because it was bad or not well written, but because it was so real and eye opening. We hope to read more books by Gayle in the future.
* Review by Kristy and Kayla. Book provided by Simon and Schuster Australia for an honest review
Cody's reaction to her best friend's suicide is understandable. They've been living apart for the first time in their lives. Meg got a scholarship to University and Cody's biding her time raising funds to eventually join Meg. In the meantime though she's been struggling with a sense of resentment over the fact that she's had to remain in their small home town while Meg's off having new experiences and making new friends.
What basically comes next is Cody's attempt to understand how and why Meg would end her life. Understandably she (and others) feel they need someone to blame—other than themselves of course. Cody struggles with her guilt as she picks apart the last few months of Meg's life and cannot help but wonder if Meg would have confided in her had she been less rancourous. Could she have prevented what was to come?
I found myself both in awe of Cody's determination and strength, and wanting to wrap my arms around her to offer comfort.
There are a lot of lessons in this book as it touches on so many issues. It's about friendship and love, families and trust, and it's about secrets and what we are and aren't willing to reveal to those who know us best. It's beautifully written. And it's important.
Read the full review in my blog: http://www.debbish.com/books-literature/book-review-i-was-here-by-gayle-forman/
Well, I have finally read a book about the much-hyped Gayle Forman. I really don't know what to think. I read I WAS HERE over a week or so interrupted by placement and tiredness. Even though I enjoyed it there were many times I'd procrastinate reading more. The story just did not captivate me as much as some other novels have, despite the good characters and writing.
I WAS HERE is a novel that explores suicide, depression, and grief. Our main character, Cody, has just lost her best friend and the suicide note is not enough of an explanation. The novel follows Cody as she investigates the reasons why Meg killed herself, and as she struggles to accept the fact that Meg is gone and didn't share as much with Cody as she thought.
Cody was a pretty good main character. I liked her voice and her sarcasm. She had an entertaining narration that wasn't boring or hard to read. Cody is also very different from me. Life hasn't been as good to her, she didn't go to college straight out of high school. Instead she works and supports herself and manages to do okay. She's confident and a different type of smart.
Secondary characters were a good aspect of the novel. Each was definitely distinct with their own personalities and quirks. I really wish we could have gotten to know some of these characters and their relationship (or lack of) with Meg better as it seemed that as soon as they had fulfilled their plot purpose at the start we never really saw them again, the exclusion being Ben. Which was a missed opportunity because there was quite a diverse range of people there.
Another thing I quite enjoyed in I WAS HERE was the romance. It's my favourite type of relationship: bickering that turns into friendship (with light hearted bickering) which turns into romance. Nice and slow. You know, I sort of wish there was more romance in this because I think that's what I was in the mood for. At the same time I'm glad romance wasn't the main focus of the novel because that probably would have annoyed me more.
My biggest problem was a lack of emotional connection. I think the main thing was I was expecting more. More pain, more heartbreak, more feels. But because I never got attached to the characters, I never really cared what was happening. Sure it was sad, but I've read sadder. And things at the end seemed to be pretty anticlimactic or change suddenly. For example, some of Tricia's actions at the end seemed to come out of nowhere, and the truth Cody learnt about Meg was something I had suspected from the start and I'm surprised Cody, being the smart girl she was, didn't at least suspect.
After hearing so much love for Gayle Forman, I was a little disappointed with I WAS HERE. Don't get me wrong, the writing was good and I like the characters and romance, but I really just wanted more. There was no emotional connection, which is the main reason I WAS HERE fell flat for me. Fear not, die hard Forman fans, as I am willing to try Gayle Forman's writing again if I can get my hands on some of her other books.