Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: I Was Here

Title I Was Here
Author Gayle Forman
Release Date January 27, 2015

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
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.

This is another one of those books that I was pretty excited to read when I first discovered it. Then, after waiting around for a while and reading some less than stellar reviews, became less excited to read it. Ultimately, I get around to reading the book and am less than impressed. Sometimes, I wonder if I should avoid reviews for books I'm really looking forward to, but then I remember that the review doesn't determine whether or not I actually enjoy a book.

Meg and Cody were supposed to be best friends, but it certainly didn't feel like that to me. Cody seems completely surprised to find that Meg has committed suicide and was suffering from depression. Really? Your best friend is depressed and suicidal and you have NO idea? Not believable. Then again, Cody seemed really selfish, so maybe she was, in fact, that clueless.

I didn't feel anything towards the characters. These people just lost someone very dear to them and, yet, I felt nothing. I didn't feel the overwhelming grief that you'd experience from losing someone to suicide. No confusion on why she killed herself, no sadness, no anger. Nothing. It felt too emotionless for a book about dealing with someone's death.

And then there's Ben McAllister. I could have done without him and Cody. It just felt gross. And selfish.


2 out 5 stars

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