Review: I Was Here, Gayle Forman

January 19, 2015 Reviews 2 ★★★½

Review: I Was Here, Gayle FormanI Was Here by Gayle Forman
Published by Simon & Schuster on 1 Februrary 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

This is Philippa and Angelya’s joint audio review for Gayle Forman’s new young adult contemporary book, I Was Here. The review is an extract from episode 19 of Tea in the Treetops Podcast, originally recorded on January 17, 2015.

Please note: This review does contain spoilers. We do warn that there are spoilers coming before talking about them!

Thanks very much to Simon and Schuster AU for our review copies!

You can find links to all our podcast episodes on the main podcast page.

Quotes from the review:

“A full-on kind of book.”

“It’s not a long book but it manages to pack a lot of bite into it.”

“It’s sometimes good to read about someone’s emotional journey, but it’s hard. This isn’t my usual kind of book.” – Angelya

“I really liked If I Stay, but I didn’t like this one as much. Cody… was really unlikeable.” – Philippa

“While we got a few memories of (Cody) and Meg, we didn’t get much. It made it harder to connect.”

“One of the things I didn’t like about Cody was that for all that she experienced, she didn’t seem to actually learn anything out of it.”

“If you’re feeling down, please talk to someone! There’s help out there.”

Philippa: three-half-stars – Beautifully written, but not as enjoyable as Gayle Forman’s previous books.

Angelya: two-stars – Not really my kind of book – depressing and an unlikeable main character. But if you like contemporary fiction, please don’t let me discourage you!

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

2 Responses to “Review: I Was Here, Gayle Forman”

  1. Shelby

    I love contemporary fiction. This book sounds really good…great review! I can’t wait to read it!

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