Google+ Reading Teen: I Accidentally Read a Gayle Forman Book

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Accidentally Read a Gayle Forman Book

by andye

I Was Here
By Gayle Forman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile (January 27, 2015)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

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, 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 really didn't mean to read this book. 

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.
*As a warning, this could be a huge trigger book. It goes quite in-depth into the thoughts of suicidal people, and the ways they do it, and places they can go to get support (support to commit suicide). So just be aware of that. Though the message is definitely that life has value, and that these "support groups" are fraudulent.


  1. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)November 26, 2014 at 1:58 AM

    Can I just freak out real quick that you read a Gayle Forman book you didn't even set out to really read! Omg. I loved If I Stay and Where She Went. I have to admit her other two books aren't really appealing to me. Will you still be passing this on to someone? Because, er, I'd love to read and review it if possible.

    Yay! I love when authors tear down stereotypes and show people completely beyond the surface. I love embedded mysteries as well. And downers. And self-destructive characters (( hope that doesn't sound bad).The message about a guy changing over one "right" girl never appealed to me either. I'm glad you gave the book a chance, er, rather, couldn't put it down. :)

  2. Julie Haselhuhn JonesNovember 26, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    I usually love Gayle's books , but this one was all over the place with the mystery and suicide. I found that this book didn't need the romance , but she went there with Ben. She has been my auto read author but this book to me wasn't up to par with Just one day or If I stay. I felt meh after reading her books and this wasn't my favorite at all.
    I am sure that others might like it but this wasn't mine. She is still an auto read author to me.

  3. I am with you and just avoid downers. There's enough of that in real life! Thanks for another helpful review.

  4. I've only read If I Stay and Where She Went of Gayle's other books but I loved both of them. This one, not so much - I agree with you this wasn't up to par, and the romance definitely wasn't needed.

  5. I am a BIG Gayle Forman book and I can't wait to read it Andye. I guess I can't make a comment more intelligent until I do read it :) I'm glad you gave it a shot though.

  6. Oh I hope you end up liking it!! Let me know your thoughts once you've read it!

  7. Ugh!! I'll never understand why people like being sad. Haha! But to each her own! I'll stick with fantasy. :)

  8. Even though the romance bugged me, I guess I'm glad it was there just because it kept me a little more interested. But I definitely agree that it didn't need it. Or maybe if the story itself had been a little more engaging I wouldn't have missed it?

  9. I guess I picked the wrong GF book to read. Haha.

  10. Haha. I'm so glad I made you happy!! And I am glad I ended up reading it just so I can say that I've read her now.

    Actually yes, if you want to review it, it's yours. And it's signed ;)

  11. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)November 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    It's always good to say you've read an author. :)

    Oh my gosh, I would love that! Thanks so much.

  12. Ok email me your addy andye

  13. Amber (@ YA Indulgences)November 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Done! It took me a second to understand your email. Apparently I'm not fully awake yet.

  14. I read If I Stay because my mom made me last year. She was so obsessed with it, but downer books really aren't my thing either. Sometimes they are, but just wasn't for me. I felt kind of bad because she wanted to go see the movie in theaters but me and crying movies are not going to happen in a movie theater. We watched it the other night, and it was just as sad as the book, but I really liked it...except for the crying part. LOL.

  15. OMG my mom too!! I saw the movie and it was decent, but yeah, I DON'T LIKE CRYING! (Thanks Walking Dead...)


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