I Was Here by Gayle Forman
If that’s what happens to normal, what hope is there for the rest of us? – I Was Here
*This review contains spoilers
Cody is shocked and confused by the sudden suicide of her childhood best friend Meg. When Meg’s family asks Cody to pack up Meg’s dorm, Cody learns that maybe she didn’t really know her best friend after all. But still something doesn’t sit right and she cannot comprehend her brave and selfish Meg killing herself without something else going on. And so begins Cody’s journey that deals with encrypted emails, online chat rooms, a charming kitten loving musician and a road trip for the books.
As a huge Gayle Forman fan, I was extremely excited to read her latest novel, I Was Here. I was especially intrigued because this book seemed to be a much different tone than her earlier novels, dealing with the controversial topic of suicide. However, I found the story to be too dark and was unable to connect with the main character Cody or her journey.
Despite the book’s location of my home state of Washington I was unable to get past the disturbing plot twist of an online suicide support group encouraging depressed individuals to kill themselves and Cody’s obsession with finding the user who helped her best friend Meg complete her suicide. Meg’s family reaction to her death and really all of the characters in the book lacked any real emotion. It was all just a bit too much and left me feeling very unsettled. I also felt like the book did not properly deal with the issue of depression as Meg’s family seemed to have simply swept it under the rug. I sadly have to give this book 2 out of 5 stars.
Published 2015. Pages 288.