Rated Reads

I Was Here

by Gayle Forman

Rated: High

Cody and Meg have been best friends for as long as Cody can remember. Since her mother was gone pretty much all the time, Cody practically grew up at Meg’s house. Meg’s family became her family, Meg’s dreams her dreams — until they graduated, and Meg got a full-ride scholarship away from their small Eastern Washington town to a fancy liberal arts school in Tacoma. Suddenly, Cody was the one left behind.

A year later, though, Meg committed suicide, leaving Cody behind again.

An aside here, in case this sounds crass: this book isn’t about Meg’s suicide. Not really. It’s about Cody, and her reactions to Meg’s suicide. Dealing with grief, dealing with loss, dealing with the reasons why. Meg isn’t a character in this book, even though you kind of get to know her. She’s a reason. A cause.

Cody heads to Tacoma to clean out Meg’s apartment and discovers an encrypted file. Suddenly what seemed like a simple suicide looks more suspicious. And with the help of one of Meg’s roommates (stereotypical Korean computer whiz) and an ex-boyfriend (tortured rock soul whom Cody ends up “saving”), Cody tries to make sense of the senseless.

In the end, the book was less of a mystery than I hoped for and more of a romance. And while the romance was OK, I kind of thought it took away from the whole grief thing. Cody is hurt, and maybe one needs a Man to heal, but it kind of felt out of place here. Forman is a good writer, though, and she got across Cody’s raw grief and her questions that didn’t have answers and her need for closure.

A good read, if not an exceptional one.

Rated: High. The book includes drinking, allusions to pot smoking, language, and some tasteful sex. It’s also a post-high school graduation book, with that age audience in mind.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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I Was Here
  • I Was Here
  • by Gayle Forman
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: