I received this free from the publisher via NetGalley
‘There is absolutely nothing romantic about dying young.’
Warning for mentions of suicide.
I Was Here follows Cody Reynolds following the suicide of her best friend Meg. Cody searches for answers as to why her friend Meg took her own side. I Was Here is a story of self-discovery, grief and forgiveness.
I read If I Stay last year and I wasn’t too impressed with it, felt little connection to the characters and I struggled to keep reading at times. However I Was Here was the much better read, for me personally. I felt like I Was Here was a very powerful read and I was very pleased that suicide was not romanticized or glamorized. I thought it was raw and painful and it showed the aftermath of suicide for the people who have been left behind.
I really liked Cody as a narrator. I found her interesting, even when she was doing everyday activities. I really liked her voice and she was very easy to read. I found I could relate to her a little bit, and that really helped my enjoyment. Sometimes I couldn’t understand the choices she made, but I did understand her grief and her reaction was obviously just her way of coping. There were other secondary characters that I really enjoyed and I felt like they were really fleshed out such as Alice and Richard and Harry, Megs former room mates.While I did enjoy the romance, I personally did not think it was necessary to the story. I felt like there could have been less emphasis on the relationship with Ben. I personally would have loved to have got to know Meg better, perhaps some flashbacks and actually see
the friendship rather than just hear about it. I also enjoyed Cody’s relationship with Meg’s family, and even Cody’s relationship with her own Mother.
Overall, an emotional read and I would recommend, especially if you are a fan of Gayle Forman.