I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Reading Level: Mature Young Adult
Release Date: January 27th 2015
Review Source: Viking Juvenile
Cody and Meg were inseparable.Hi,
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.
I have a weird job. Aside from the working-in-pajamas thing, I have the kind of job that when someone tells me something like: You kept me up all night or You made me cry or You made me buy a ticket to Paris, the appropriate response is not I’m sorry, but Thank you.
To be clear: I don’t set out trying to make you lose sleep or cry or jet off to Europe. My intention when I write a book is to give you, dear reader, the same experience I long for as a reader: a story that transports, transforms, shakes me up, and alters my world a bit. So when you say you such things to me, it makes me think that maybe I’ve accomplished a bit of that goal.
Which brings us to new book I Was Here, which is about two best friends, Cody and Meg. The book follows their deeply intertwined friendship and how that gets torn apart; first when Meg leaves their dead-end town on a college scholarship and, then, when a few months later, she mysteriously ends her own life. I Was Here is a story about guilt and secrets, resilience and redemption, fear and love. Like my other books, it is raw and emotional (and yes, there’s a hot boy in it, too). Unlike my other books, it’s a mystery.
If it keeps you up all night, or makes you cry, I’m sorry. And thank you.