I Was Here - Gayle Forman

This book is about Cody, a 19 year old who's best friend, Meg, goes away for college and then commits suicide. The pair had drifted apart but they had been best friends since kindergarten and Cody is devastated. She goes to pack up Meg's room for Meg's parents and finds that Meg had a life that Cody didn't know about and her search to find out what lead Meg to kill herself.

 

 

I've never read a suicide book before (that I can remember or think of). It was sort of a weird thing to get into but I thought that the characters were well developed and the writing was great.  I thought the story was interesting worth being told.  That being said the book wasn't what I expected, I didn't find it to be sensational but it was really good.  And really maybe it's because I didn't find it sensational that I liked it so much, because I think that the book really matched the way Cody would have felt and the tone of her survivors guilt.  I don't know if that makes a lot of sense but if the main character had been Ben the tone would have been all wrong because he is a bucket full of emotions and conflict that seem to be spilling out. Cody on the other hand is a smoother person and the book took on the more realistic fiction tone that fit Cody's personality.

 

I did enjoy Cody with Ben and Trisha. I loved how we saw the relationships with Ben and Trisha evolve over the book. Though I did feel like the relationship with Trisha was rushed.

 

I realized early on that Meg had depression, and Cody was oblivious. That being said given her upbringing and town I can see how she was oblivious. Also when I realized that Meg's rape coincided with her first clinically depressive episode my heart totally broke. I had a hard time not being mad at the Garcia's through out the book because I thought they should have seen that she wasn't well but then to hear at the end of the book that they did and they really tried to get her help and protect her, my heart broke for them all over again. I can't imagine being in that situation and I really hope that I never have too. And her brother, he had such a small role in the book but made me feel so gutted. 

(show spoiler)

 

Random personal aside: I think the phrase "commit(s/ed) suicide" is a weird one, but I also don't really like "killed herself" and there's no way I could get down with the "catching the bus" terminology.