Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Title: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 1 February, 2014
Source: Simon & Schuster via NetGalley and Bookworld

From the bestselling author of If I Stay - this summer's YA blockbuster film.
This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.

A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it in an authentic way with sensitivity and honesty.
Review by Nara

I Was Here, for me, has been Gayle Forman's best novel by far. While her other novels, of course, are nothing to dismiss, I feel like I Was Here had that little something extra- that igniting spark- to really take the story to the next level.

I really appreciated how the love interest and the romance didn't just come in and "fix" everything for Cody. I feel like that happens too often in this sort of novel- the romance dominates the book and everything else, including the protagonist's character development, becomes secondary. In I Was Here, the romance takes a back seat, with Cody struggling to accept what has happened to her best friend as the main driving force of the plot.

There were some surprising mysteries threading things together, and as we discover more and more secrets about Meg's life, the tone shifts to become unexpectedly darker. As she digs deeper into what Meg has been hiding from her, Cody begins to question what she truly knew about her best friend, all the while trying to deal with her grief.

If you'd like to read a book which handles many contemporary issues, including suicide and bereavement, in a poignant and realistic way, this book is certainly one to look out for.


Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4.5/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5