Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review: I was Here by Gayle Forman

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.

A phenomenally moving story, I Was Here explores the sadly all-too-familar issue of suicide and self-harm, addressing it with it sensitivity, genuity and honesty.


Review: this book was a lot darker than I expected and is definitely for older teens and not those at the younger end of the YA market. I like Gay Forman's writing and her storytelling because she doesn't throw the whole story at you all at once, she gently guides you through each scene and adds in other characters slowly, making sure that you are fully aware of twist and turns before moving onto something else and I think that this is why i enjoy her novels so much. It also means that tensions builds up because you really get to know the people on the page and that is why they can be very emotional-this book being no exception. 

This book deals with some major issues. Issues about identity, issue surrounding suicide, friendship, sex and life choices. Again though, these issues aren't thrown in your face, you don't have to deal with them all at once, they are introduced throughout the course of the book end dealt with very sensitively,. The whole issue surrounding supported suicide groups online and neo-nazi forums is a major thing to take on, but Gayle Forman deals with it in a very clever way, she doesn't dance around the issue, she really explores the impact that these groups can have. There were a few uncomfortable moments in the book for me, but they just reflected what main character Cody is dealing with. 

I liked Cody as a character but some of the choices she made did annoy me a little. I did find myself having to remind myself that she is only 18 and therefore doesn't know it all and has to make mistakes in order to grow. She has her best friends interests at heart and really does grow as a person as the novel progresses which i really liked. The other characters in this novel all contribute to the storyline ans it is as much of a mystery as it is a contemporary novel which I found interesting and liked more than I would have expected. Overall I enjoyed the book but I think you need to approach the storyline informed of what issues it is going to throw at you. Now I just need to re-read the rest of my Gayle Forman collection!


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