Endless Bliss | Happy Lifestyle Blog: I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Book Review

I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Book Review

i was here gayle forman book review


I Was Here follows a girl named Cody whose best friend, Meg, committed suicide. She always thought of Meg as her bubbly, happy go lucky best friend, and she's left feeling a huge sense of loss and confusion after her death. At the request of Meg's parents, Cody travels to Meg's apartment to collect her belongings where she finds several things about Meg that she doesn't quite understand, particularly an encrypted file and a guy named Ben McAllister who Meg briefly described to Cody in past emails. When Cody dives deeper into this side of Meg that she hardly knows about, she starts to question whether she knew her best friend at all. 

I was immediately drawn to Cody because I could feel her loss. I sympathized with her when she really started questioning whether or not she really knew her best friend. Even though I liked most things about Cody, she almost left me with a ton of frustration. I just thought she was pretty selfish because in the book it describes how Meg would reach out to her to come and visit her at school, but Cody would just make open-ended promises with no intention of actually making it there, and that just really upset me. She just wasn't a good best friend at times, and it was almost like she was trying to justify it by diving deeper into Meg's suicide, which is understandable. I loved Cody, and I think the only reason I got so frustrated with her is because she was such a believable character. 

I loved the development between Cody and her mom. One thing I love about YA novels is that there's usually the main character and their best friend with some kind of conflict aside from what the plot actually is, but in this case, since the best friend was dead, Gayle Forman still brought that element into it but made it with Cody's mom instead. This was an element of the book that was so relatable to me, and I loved how Gayle made their relationship progress throughout the novel in small ways. 

Of course, it wouldn't be a Gayle Forman novel without a bit of romance, right? I really loved Ben as a character. In fact, I think it's safe to say that he was my favorite character. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of Cody and Ben together. At times, it was okay, but at other times, it just seemed forced. Their lives were kind of thrown together accidentally because of Meg's death, but I feel like they chose the wrong people to lean on in this tragedy. I think if the novel were written with them just as friends and not romantically entangled, I would have enjoyed their relationship a lot more. I also didn't like the blase mention of Ben and Meg's former "relationship," and it was just weird how they came together in that way. 


Overall, I give this book a 3.5 out of 5. It wasn't my favorite by Gayle Forman, but I definitely still enjoyed it!

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i was here gayle forman book review

34 comments :

  1. Your Friend BrittanyApril 28, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    I was so torn with this book because I LOVE Gayle Forman but this just didn't do it for me. I kind of felt like the story was rushed and thrown together and I just couldn't get into it at all.

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  2. Cody was definitely a terrible and selfish best friend, and I think her romance with Ben was so contrived.

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  3. I'm definitely adding this to my reading list!

    Kaylee

    gold&hearts

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  4. I'm always looking for a good book to read! Adding this to my list!

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  5. Caroline {Virginia Sweet}April 28, 2015 at 11:37 AM

    I am a fan of Gayle Forman and this book is on my list!!!

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  6. What a great review! Added to my summer reading list!

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  7. I love to read, so I always welcome a new book review from friends! Thanks for sharing!
    xo, claudia
    www.chroniclesofclaudia.com

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  8. Thanks for the review! I'll be sure to add this to my must-read list :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to add this to my book list.
    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  10. Macarena FerreiraApril 28, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    Omg. Definitely adding this one to my kindle!


    www.thematerialgirl.co

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  11. Awesome! I hope you enjoy reading it, Savannah!

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  12. I hope you enjoy reading it, Ashley!

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  13. Yay! I hope you enjoy reading it, Tiffani!

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  14. I completely agree 100%! It was hard to sympathize with her when she was talking about essentially ditching Meg. She was so frustrating to read at times. I definitely wish Cody and Ben would have just been friends. I don't know how she could have fallen for him with his history with Meg.

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  15. Gayle Forman is a great author! My favorite by her so far is Just One Day.

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  16. I definitely understand where you're coming from! This wasn't my favorite Gayle Forman novel by any means. I was definitely disappointed in the romance aspect. It was pretty much unnecessary.

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  17. This sounds good! I read "If I Stay" by Gale Forman last summer and loved it! I'm definitely adding this to my summer reading list!

    Anchors and Pearls

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  18. I am definitely going to pick this one up! Thanks so much for sharing!
    xoxo
    Lauren Ashley
    www.thefashionistasdiary.com

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  19. I enjoyed 'If I Stay' by her too! I think you'll enjoy this one.

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  20. You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  21. You're welcome, Lauren! I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to read it!

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  22. Sounds like a really interesting read!! Gosh I miss reading for fun during the school year haha.

    xoxo A

    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  23. That's definitely something I love about being out of college - being able to read for fun!

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  24. I've waited to read your review because I had just begun reading the book, but I finished earlier today and definitely have some thoughts!



    I agree with a lot of what you said here -- Cody was so real. Real to the point where I understood exactly where she was coming from at times. When friends leave for college, even best friends, I feel like we all make these open promises to each other. Things come up, we meet new people, and it doesn't make the friendship any less but the dynamics change. For that to happen and then to have her best friend commit suicide? I can barely imagine the blame she must have been putting on herself.


    An I agree, totally loved Ben, and Richard! I actually didn't mind the romance between Ben and Cody because it wasn't the whole plot. To me it felt like this tiny little side plot, but it didn't overwhelm the book. And I could believe it, see how it happened. But I dunno, different for everyone I guess!

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  25. Yes yes yes to all of this, Olivia, especially the open promises. That's happened a lot since I graduated, and I'm sad that a lot of my close friendships drifted apart. I definitely understood that aspect of their relationship, because it's pretty accurate.


    I think my only problem with Ben and Cody together comes down to the one line about Ben saying he f***ed Meg once. I liked Ben so much, but that line just made me not want him and Cody to be together!

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  26. I can totally see all of that! For me, I think I related it to his backstory. Ben just seemed like the kind of guy who was always looking for something and hadn't found it yet, so he didn't have any other way to describe Meg because unfortunately that's what it was because he wasn't really capable of the emotional investment needed at that point. Doesn't make it okay, but I understood him more from that perspective. But yeah, that line was definitely hard for me to stomach as well!

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  27. There's seriously not many things I love more than being able to really relate to and connect with a character. I feel like Ben kind of carried me through this book, and that part at the end when she pretty much abandons him, and he's like "whaaaa?" Broke my heart because he's so sweet! I mean, it was good for Cody and her mom, but Ben! Just a great book.

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  28. Stephanie @ Diary of a DebutanJuly 9, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    I've never read a Gayle Forman novel before, but I'm definitely intrigued. This is going on my reading list! :)

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    www.thediaryofadebutante.com

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  29. I will have to check this out! I'm definitely intrigued! Thanks for the review :)

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

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