ARC Review: I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman


i was hereTitle: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Publishing Date: January 27, 2015 (from Simon & Schuster UK)
Source: ARC from publisher via Pinoy Book Tours
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Indiebound | BAM | Waterstones

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

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.



My review 3

Why did I want to read this book?

One, it’s Gayle Forman. Two, it’s Gayle Forman’s latest. Three, I’m ready for more Gayle Forman.


What worked for me?

I’m left in awe again of Gayle Forman’s subtle and yet powerful writing and story-telling. The subject of the story is already heavy, with Cody finding out that her best friend Meg took her own life and Cody had no idea why. The devastation over that discovery was palpable and Gayle Forman does great again with her uncanny ability to show her readers just how much this devastation has caused havoc with each of the characters in the book.

I also appreciate how the author tackles the subject of suicide. It’s definitely an issue that is much debated upon. I have my own thoughts and beliefs about it and I’m sure you guys do too. But what I appreciate about how it was undertaken in this book is that it doesn’t come off as preachy or as a vehicle for the author to convince readers to think about this particular issue in a particular way. For me, the issue was there, open for discussion as always, and you just have these characters who are going through this difficult time in their lives with the emotions and reactions that they are feeling. They feel what they feel and they think what they think and that’s all there is to that.

Again, I love the subtlety that seemed ingrained into Gayle Forman’s writing. Details creep up on you until you can’t hold on to your emotions any longer so they come pouring out on you but not in gushing waves, but in quiet flows, which at times seem more powerful in its effects. But there is still healing. And forgiveness. There’s still hope. And moving forward.


What did not work for me?

I was just a little put-off by the romance, especially in the beginning. But only a little bit. And only because of the circumstances. But then I got over it. lol 🙂


My over-all take on it?

This was another powerful delivery from author Gayle Forman. I love how she paints her characters, full of life. I love how she pictures her scenes and colors them with emotions, full of subtle genius. It’s a compelling read, that’s for sure.


My rating:

4 stars 


DisclaimerI received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange  for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.




About the author

13 Things You Might Not Know About Gayle

  1. I’m a woman. There seems to be some confusion about my gender, which I find disturbing if you’ve seen my author photo.

    Photo: © Dennis Kleiman

  2. I used to be a journalist. My first job was for Seventeen magazine. You can see some of my articles here.

  3. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be the sun. I was devastated to learn this was not a career option.

  4. Adam from If I Stay was inspired by my husband, Nick. No, you cannot meet him.

  5. Willem from Just One Day/Year was inspired by some Dutch guy who dumped me. (Willem is my revenge.) No, you don’t want to meet him.

  6. I bombed my SATs. I still did okay in life.

  7. I was once an extra in a Bollywood movie. (And yes, that’s where I got that part of Just One Year from.)

  8. I have been to 64 countries. I used to travel a lot. I once wrote a book about it. Favorite country visited: India. Least-favorite country: Tonga. (Sorry, Tonga.)

  9. I can bake a batch of cupcakes from scratch in under 20 minutes.

  10. The worst job I ever had was as a data-entry clerk. Honorable mention to hotel maid and traveling flower seller girl.

  11. I have learned, and forgotten, three foreign languages. Regretfully, French is not one of them.

  12. I took three years off to travel before college.

  13. As a teen, I was so obsessed with Molly Ringwald that I started biting my lip like she did and now I have a permanent scar. And this is why I am a YA author.


Connect with Gayle Forman:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Tumbler  |  Instagram



More Gayle Forman on the blog:

Where She Went (If I Stay #2)


Have you read this or any Gayle Forman book before? Have you read other books tackling issues such as suicide?


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman”

  1. Yeah I just reviewed this for my blog as well and I just didn’t like it as much as you did. I didn’t like the romance and I also couldn’t fully connect with Cody for some reason. It was an okay read for me, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I liked If I Stay. I am glad you enjoyed it though. 🙂


  2. I’m dying to read this book and I was so sad to realise I’m going to have to wait FIVE WHOLE DAYS for this book to be released in Australia 😦 Oh well, I’ll absolutely devour it as soon as I get my hands on a copy! Loved your review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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