Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend’s shocking suicide.
As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.
Huge thank you to the publisher for this ARC!
Wow, reading I Was Here was a surprisingly uncomfortable experience. The book is already on a tough topic and Forman takes it to some interesting, if unnerving levels. Cody wants to find out the truth behind her best friend’s suicide, especially because she feels that something isn’t quite right about it.
This book is very much a mystery novel wrapped up in a very emotionally charge prose. I found myself, like Cody, needing to know more about Cody’s death, especially given a lot of the suspicions surrounding it. Cody is obsessed to the point where Meg’s suicide consumes her every thought, to the point where he life problems from before feel somewhat insignificant, but just as nagging. Obsession is a huge theme in this book, especially when it comes to people we love and wanting the truth. Sometimes people go to dangerous lengths to find it, which is exactly what Cody does here.
At first I wasn’t sure about the romance that’s in this novel, but I actually appreciated that it was subtly done and not the focal point of the narrative. Ben was interesting, and you could tell how much concern he had for Cody, but he was difficult to connect with at times, though it’s pretty understandable why. I LOVED Harry, and I thought he was a fantastic character in the story, especially when paired with Cody. I loved that he was just as interested in the cat and mouse aspects of the mystery and he’s pretty darn charming.
This book is also a fast read. For such a depressing topic, the mystery element can really take hold and for me personally, I was hooked to the point where I had to know everything. I felt as obsessed as Cody did, which is kind of a scary thought. The moments of discomfort in this story, they felt so real and creepy. This book is important though, especially in its portrayal of suicide. It’s not a subject that gets any easier to read about, but I feel like Gayle Forman does it justice, because dammit, I cared. I cared the whole time reading this.