Review: ‘I Was Here’ by Gayle Forman

Review: ‘I Was Here’ by Gayle FormanI Was Here by Gayle Forman
Published by Viking Juvenile on January 27th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Suicide, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from the library
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.

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The cover depicts a model walking the road alone and I get the symbolism. She doesn’t have her best friend anymore. What I did read about is a romance. This book touches upon suicide and what it’s like to lose someone, and how all the people are affected and what they go through like anger and denial. What I didn’t expect was for Cody to be going through those things and I completely understood why. Everyone has bad days, but a depressed person has bad days EVERY day. That’s the difference. this book struck me so personally because I battle depression and it’s an illness that does get better, but to see it portrayed in a book where people think the person is crazy, insane and selfish.. I just get really angry when people judge it like that. This leads to some of the people who live in Cody’s town to speak insulting and downright terrible remarks about Meg. I also don’t believe that Cody didn’t have any idea her own best friend was depressed. There are always signs. Unless Meg is super amazing at hiding those parts of her life, which I doubt.

The biggest downfall to this is the inappropriate relationship Cody has. I am immediately dumbfounded as to why it had to be this person. I guess it strikes true. You can’t help who you fall for. Cody makes a lot of mistakes and at least she learns how to fix it, but at the same time you know she’s going down this road and you just want to tell her to stop!!! I really liked Harry who is a computer whiz and Alice who is super nice. Ben on the other hand, I just wanted Cody to ignore him and just kick him to the curb. The fact that Cody tries to find out what Meg was hiding? I don’t know if it was right for her to do that, but at least she has good intentions to help the Garcias. Meg’s little brother was a highlight and I was always happy to see him on the page.

This one’s a quick read. I thought I’d be crying my eyes out, but sadly I was just angry throughout the whole thing. It’s a romance really and I wish the focus was on Meg and her beautiful life.


How can a person do that? How can they make a decision like that, write an email like that, and then just carry on? If you can do that, can’t you just keep carrying on?
You never know people do you?
But if that’s what happens to normal, what hope is there for the rest of us?
Sometimes you don’t even need to be in the same room for the damage to be done.
We are born alone, we die alone.

reading progress






  1. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    May 10, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    Oh boy! Now I both want to run out and get this and stay far away at the same time!
    Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf recently posted…Added to the Bookshelf – 5/9/15My Profile

  2. Meredith

    May 9, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    This is going to sound weird, but I enjoy books when you feel the urge to shake the character by their shoulders to bring them back to reality. It makes me feel close to the character on a personal level…I guess? haha! I haven’t read any novels by Gayle Forman yet. I think I’ll still read I Was Here just so I can better engage in the conversation. Great review!

    Meredith @ A Book Lover’s Corner
    Meredith recently posted…Twisted Love Cover Reveal!My Profile

    • giselle

      May 9, 2015 at 5:36 PM

      That’s not weird! It’s good! Because then you’re hoping they learn their lesson by the last page is read. I loved IF I STAY!

  3. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    May 8, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    Hmmm I really did not think this would focus on the romance… that’s really unexpected. I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve been wanting to because like you said, I thought I would be teary and emotional about it. I’m super surprised that this isn’t a loss book with a side of romantic something. Disappointing.
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…So Obsessed… (5)My Profile

    • giselle

      May 9, 2015 at 5:35 PM

      So disappointed.. Like you said I wanted it to be emotional and more about loss, not about a romance.. 🙁

  4. Night

    May 8, 2015 at 8:37 AM

    Long live paper books !!!

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