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

Children of Exile
Rosi must decide what she’s willing to risk to save...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Believarexic
Asking for help is only the first step. ...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graveyard Shakes
Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Star Renegades
In the tradition of Star Wars, a galaxy-hopping space adventure...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last to Let Go
A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pretty Dead Girls
Beautiful. Perfect. Dead. In the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By a Charm and a Curse
A kiss is never just a kiss. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Naondel (The Red Abbey Chronicles #2)
Booklist called Maresi “utterly satisfying and completely different from standard...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Water Paint
Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Dragonkyn
 
4.0
"When Marc hits puberty, something inside of him starts to change. The first thing he notices is that heat doesn't..."
Children of Exile
 
3.7
"Rosi is twelve-years-old and she and the other children of Fredtown were taken from an unsafe situation with their birth..."
I Am Alfonso Jones
 
5.0
"Alfonso Jones is a bright teen who is excited to try out for Hamlet at his school. When he and..."
Sword and Scion 01: Into the Dark Mountains
 
5.0
AmyAmy
"We read this book as a family and had a hard time putting it down. We looked forward to..."
Believarexic
 
3.3
"BELIEVAREXIC is the fictionalized memoir of author JJ Johnson's stay in an eating disorder unit (EDU) in the 80s. The..."
Graveyard Shakes
 
4.0
"All Victoria wants to do is fit in, but instead, her and her sister Katia are always being teased. It..."
The Vampire Fate (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 4)
 
5.0
"The plot twist at the end of the third book was epic and I was so excited to start this..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
4.5
"'Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13' by Barbara Roman, illustrated by Vladimir Cebu, is a sweet..."
This Tiny Perfect World
 
3.0
"Things that worked: The small town setting. Although it felt restrictive to the main character, a small town story often..."
The Boyfriend Agreement
 
4.8
"'The Boyfriend Agreement' by Seven Steps is definitely a hard one to put down! With a mix of romance, intrigue,..."
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
 
5.0
"I don't even know where to begin. This series is just so good and each book builds you up for..."
InterWorld (InterWorld #1)
 
3.5
"A solid sci-fi/urban fantasy adventure premise, ideally targeting the mid-to-upper Middle Grade demographic. It’s a quick read—overall fun and fast-paced...."
The Traitor Prince
 
4.3
"An adventurous, accessible YA fantasy—with likely appeal for fans of An Ember In The Ashes. Based loosely on an..."
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
 
5.0
"You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone was one of the last books I read in 2017 and I couldn't have..."
The Vampire Prince (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 2)
 
5.0
"When Annika discovers Geneva, she realizes that she's the only one who can help her take down the Vale. With..."
Roar of the Thunder Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #8)
 
5.0
"Carlos's dragon Lalo has been take by Eko, a Dragon Master who uses her powers for causing trouble. When King..."
The Stars at Oktober Bend
 
5.0
"Alice Nightingale is broken. It's been three years since the horrific act that left her under the "spell of twelveness"--a..."
In The Snow
 
5.0
"IN THE SNOW features a little girl and her dog doing typical snow activities like drawing pictures with a stick,..."
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
 
4.7
"This is a collection of short stories told from the point of view of the wives of King Henry VIII...."
Teeth of the Gods
 
4.7
"Teeth of the Gods is a wild mixture of genres for those who are looking for something unique. Tylira has..."