Tag Archives: simon & schuster uk

ARC Review – I Was Here by Gayle Forman

23362128Title: I Was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

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!

Sam’s Review:

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.

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SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! – September Edition Reviewed

For September’s SIT DOWN! SHUT UP! READ THIS! River and I caved and decided we would finally sit down and read Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas (aka Abby McDonald). If you aren’t familiar with that name and you love YA, than GET familiar with it. She’s famous for writing Dangerous Girls, which is easily one of the most fucked up (pardon my French) books I’ve ever read (and I read thanks to River because it was my Christmas gift from her last year). There was something about Dangerous Girls that really just kept you on the edge of your seat and kept you guessing. Well, turns out the book didn’t sell very, forcing the author to self-publish the devilish sequel in North America (though UK fan, Simon and Shuster UK picked it up so you are cool!). If you want to read more on that check out Abby’s post here.

That being said, regardless of our thoughts on the sequel (which we both enjoyed but not as much as the first), we really, sincerely hope you support Abigail Haas’ books. They are something different in YA that you just don’t see and they really, really need to be read by more people.

River & Sam’s Pick:

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Dangerous by by Abigail Haas

River’s Thoughts: Whew, I flew through that! While it was no Dangerous Girls (a book I read a year ago and STILL think about… need to re-read it ASAP), I did like this a lot. It started off a bit slow and didn’t really start having the same atmospheric feeling that Dangerous Girls had until Oliver showed up. Once he was in the picture though, things really began to happen. The ending was twisted, and I don’t mean to keep comparing it to Dangerous Girls, but it wasn’t as gut-punching-shocking-jfc as Dangerous Girls’ was. So I guess I had really high hopes for this being just as WTF as Dangerous Girls, but in reality i should have separated myself from it a bit more and read it with some distance from Dangerous Girls. Oh well. Still really good and if you liked Dangerous Girls then you MUST get this and read it and support Abigail Haas.

Sam’s Thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this sequel, though not as much as the first book. They definitely are very different beasts and it’s hard not to want to compare them considering they both have very different stories and twists in them. That being said, this book starts out painfully slow and doesn’t provide a lot of give right away. I definitely struggled with the characters this time around until Oliver showed up — can’t say I liked him or Ethan (I get they were polar opposites but they felt so much more one dimensional compared to Chloe), but it does get dark and uncomfortable, especially in the latter half of the novel. I wasn’t sure about Chloe at first, but towards the end of the novel, she grew on me and I understood her “enough” mentality that part of me even sympathized with her (not entirely though). It’s a good sequel, but the twist in this one just seemed to fall a touch too flat for me when you compare it to the original. Still, check it out because there is some really good stuff here, but Dangerous Girls wins hands down between the two for me.

Read Dangerous Boys? Have some thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments!