By Gayle Forman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (January 27, 2015)
Goodreads | Amazon
Cody and Meg were inseparable.I really didn't mean to read this book.
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, and some secrets of his own. 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've never read anything by Gayle Forman before, mostly because I know it's just not my type of book. I did think about reading If I Stay, because my mom loved it so much, and the movie was coming out. But I didn't.
When I was looking through my shelf to see what books I should put up on my "Review My Books" program this month, I came across this one. I figured it was time to at least give Gayle Forman a chance. I thought I'd read a couple chapters and end up passing it on. Well, that didn't happen. Four hours later I finished the book.
I still haven't decided if I'm glad I read I Was Here or not. This still isn't my type of book, and there are a lot of things I didn't exactly love. But I found that I just couldn't put it down.
Things I liked:
- I thought the writing was really well done. It wasn't anything earth-shattering, like I was expecting, but it was good.
- The way that Gayle smashed basically every stereotype that exists. If you thought a person was going to act a certain way, it was almost guaranteed that they'd ended up acting completely different.
- The mystery that was embedded in the story. It's probably what kept me going when I thought about putting the book down.
- Cody. Even though she made some really stupid choices, and was a little bit self-destructive, I was really rooting for her. She made sense.
- The way suicide was dealt with, and the things it revealed about dangers that are out there.
Things I didn't like:
- I don't like reading downers, and this book was a pretty big downer.
- I didn't like the message that many of these types of books give, that a guy who is a player, and basically has no respect for girls, will eventually be changed by the right girl. And of course everyone thinks that they are the right girl.
- Ben smoked. This is an immediate and huge turnoff for me, and I just couldn't get on board with him.
- I know that people can change, and both of the things above are things that may have changed. But that change needs to come from within, not because he met the "right girl."
I would guess that for most fans of Gayle Forman, this book will be another favorite, and if you like this type of book, I'm sure this will be one you love. If you tend to be a little more like me, this might not be at the top of your favorites list, but it may still be something worth reading.