I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman

I WAS HERE

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Part tautly paced mystery, part psychological study of suicide and its aftereffects.

When Cody’s best friend, Meg, kills herself by downing cleaning fluid in a motel room, she tidily leaves behind a tip for the maid and time-delayed emails for Cody, her parents and the police. Cody’s devastated: After all, she and Meg were inseparable since kindergarten. That is, they were close until talented Meg escaped their dead-end town to attend college on a fellowship while Cody stayed behind. But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up what’s left of Meg’s life, she’s startled by how much doesn’t make sense: Why would someone so full of promise and life choose death? How much did Meg’s housemates know about her fateful decision? And why does Meg have an encrypted file on her computer? Seeking to justify the picture of the friend she thought she knew with the one she’s piecing together, Cody faces questions about their friendship, along with a growing attraction for Ben, the boy she believes broke Meg’s heart. Forman’s characters are all too human: Cody’s willingness to ignore what doesn’t fit her picture of Meg as she struggles to come to terms with her sadness and guilt rings true of those left behind to face the tragedy of suicide.

An engrossing and provocative look at the devastating finality of suicide, survivor’s guilt, the complicated nature of responsibility and even the role of the Internet in life-and-death decisions. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-451-47147-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2014




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for WISHTREE
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Kirkus Interview
Gayle Forman
author of I WAS HERE
January 27, 2015

In I Was Here, Gayle Forman’s latest novel after the release of the movie version of her novel If I Stay, Cody’s best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room and 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. 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. “An engrossing and provocative look at the devastating finality of suicide, survivor’s guilt, the complicated nature of responsibility and even the role of the Internet in life-and-death decisions,” our reviewer writes. We talk to Forman on January 27 on Kirkus TV. View video >

MORE BY GAYLE FORMAN

ChildrenJUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman
by Gayle Forman
ChildrenJUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman
by Gayle Forman
ChildrenWHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman
by Gayle Forman
ChildrenIF I STAY by Gayle Forman
by Gayle Forman

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenBY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD by Julie Ann Peters
by Julie Ann Peters
ChildrenTHIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher
by Jay Asher
ChildrenBEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver
by Lauren Oliver