Review Detail

 
I Was Here Featured Hot
Young Adult Fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Raw, tragic, and ultimately hopeful

After reading Forman’s debut novel, If I Stay, and its sequel, Where She Went, I knew Forman was not afraid of tackling difficult subjects and handling them with care, which is why I was interested to see her approach to one of the most upsetting and relevant topics in our society today, teen suicide. Though the subject matter is far from pleasant, it only takes a glance at the headlines to confirm that this is a very real problem facing teens. It is my hope that I Was Here and books like it will help kids experiencing thoughts of suicide realize they are not alone, and raise awareness in the people who love them.

I Was Here follows Meg’s best friend, Cody, as she learns to navigate life without her other half following Meg’s suicide. We never meet Meg except through Cody’s memories, and while there is an element of mystery and suspense as Cody tries to make sense of why Meg would kill herself, I Was Here is ultimately a book about grief, and how to move on after unspeakable loss.

It feels strange to say I enjoyed a book centered on such a grim topic, but I did. I Was Here constantly walked the line between hopeful and tragic, light and dark, guilt and healing. Cody could be a difficult narrator at times, partially because she was in such a painful emotional state and partially because Cody was naturally standoffish, but the other characters provided balance and occasional humor, which I appreciated.

As in all of Forman’s books, there is a romantic element to I Was Here, but it took a backseat to Cody and Meg’s story. I enjoyed watching Cody and her reluctant love interest come together, and fans of subtle, slow-burn romance will appreciate how their story is woven into the main narrative of trying to put together the pieces Meg left behind.

The mystery – why Meg killed herself when, to Cody’s eyes, she had shown no indication that she was suicidal – takes both Cody and the reader down a disturbing rabbit hole that is both illuminating and horrifying. I was concerned at first that the book may attempt to distance itself from its subject matter, taking the easy way out, but I shouldn’t have worried. I Was Here faces its demons head-on, even when Cody would prefer to stay steeped in denial.

Even though the book winds up where most people probably assume it must, the journey Cody takes to get there is in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, and at the end, I came away satisfied. I’d recommend this book to fans of Forman’s previous books, as well as anyone interested in a raw, thoughtful story of depression, loss, grief, and healing.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

She's So Boss
Whether you already have an idea for a business or...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wesley James Ruined My Life
Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales
Once upon a time, a girl skipped into the forest...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Obsidian and Stars
In the sequel to Ivory and Bone—the prehistoric fantasy...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Maybe In Paris
Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Revolt: Book Four of the Resistance Series
The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series To...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
16 Ways to Break A Heart
Unfolding through letters, texts, and chats, Lauren Strasnick’s smart,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Changes in Latitudes
A "road" trip romance that takes place at sea!...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
First We Were IV
A group of friends start a secret society in...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphan is the highly anticipated sequel in the ORB trilogy....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The World Between the Trees
Jake Hunter has disappeared without a trace and when his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jupiter Storm
Only a week ago Grey Alexander thought she and her...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone
After being picked on at school yet again, Alison Henry...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unbecoming
Three women. Three generations. Three secrets. ...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Once Upon a Cruise
Ainsley never wanted to spend her summer on a fairy...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eliza and Her Monsters
Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster....
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)

Latest Member Reviews

Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"I devoured this novel in one sitting. Uglies is such a unique and compelling sci-fi adventure - it is almost..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
4.7
"I really loved this book. I found it very different in its approach to the YA dystopian genre. I loved..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
4.7
"This book is wonderful if you enjoy dystopian novels. If you love Divergent, The Hunger Games, or the Matched series,..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
3.3
"The world concept was just amazing. I did not love the story line. There just wasn't a spark there...."
 
4.7
"Sometimes freedom has a way of destroying things.. At first, i was really angry at what had happened to..."
 
5.0
" I know a lot of people complain that this book is worse than "Uglies" but I actually thought..."
The Secret Hour (Midnighters #1)
 
4.3
"An impressive series-starter. The concept was so unique and original, I had to give it a shot. The idea of..."
Extras
 
4.3
"I want to start off by saying that I really liked this book, but I felt like it was so..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
4.7
"If you liked the Hunger Games, this book is for you. As I read Tally YoungBlood's story, Katniss Everdeen was..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"This world that Scott Westerfeld has created is amazing! Basically Uglies is about a society where at the age of..."
 
3.0
"The beginning was rough for me. It started out very fast paced. Tally is now in a special group who..."
 
4.0
"This book took me by surprise! I assumed that since Tally was turned into a “pretty-head” the book would be..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
4.0
"This book left me speechless! I could not put it down! Westerfeld’s vision was so clear, and the story line..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"READ READ READ! I love this book. The Uglies is about a society that has their children, at age..."
Extras
 
4.3
"Wasn't expecting another book in the series but this was brilliant. Things have changed in the world- whether it's..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"Loved the book. it was recommended to me by a few different people and hadn't really given it any thought...."
 
5.0
"The ending was the best part for me. I love the new Tally. Being the last special Special, I loved..."
 
4.3
"This was so much better than the first book. I totally loved it. I loved the new pretty words- it..."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
3.3
"This book was can be totally unengaging to me at times. I've seen this book on bookshelves but i didn't..."
Extras
 
4.3
"This book is set in Japan, a few years after the "mind-rain", when Tally Youngblood got rid of the "bubble-heads"...."