Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman


Title: I Was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Pages/Format: 288 pages, Hardcover

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From Goodreads:

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.


When I heard that there was a new Gayle Forman book coming out, I automatically knew that I had to get it and I couldn’t wait to read it! She’s one of my favorite authors – I simply adored If I Stay and Where She Went as well as Just One Day, Just One Year, and Just One Night! Her stories always make me super emotional but she’s just so good at writing and her characters always feel so real to me.


Although I Was Here felt a bit different from Gayle Forman’s other books, I still thought it was an intense read that’s left me pondering about certain issues that our distinctive in our time. This one deals with suicide, problems with the anonymity of meeting individuals on the internet, and family issues. It’s a bit weird for me to say that I enjoyed this read since it’s a heartbreaking tale that deals with Cody’s journey after her best friend takes her own life.


There’s a lot of guilt for Cody and it leads into a bit of a mysterious element as she attempts to discover why Meg felt she couldn’t go on living. In usual Gayle Forman fashion, she gives us a complex story but also writes in some romance. It was kind of obvious to me that Cody and Ben had felt a connection after first meeting. I thought that this book had just the right amount of romance since I felt this story was really about learning to live after tragedy.


What I really took away from reading I Was Here is that it’s important to make the most out of your life. I’m here now and there’s so much I want to do and see! This book has found a place in my heart as well as on my bookshelf and it’s definitely a new favorite. I’m giving it 4 of 5 stars because it really gave me lots of feels yet I didn’t love it as much as I love Gayle Forman’s other stories. But I still feel that it’s a worthwhile read for anyone even though it centers around such a sensitive topic.

  • Kim Griffin

    I’ve got this one on my TBR list and I’m looking forward to reading it, especially after reading your review. Thanks! Great review!

    • Ashley (Belletristic Books)

      Thank you so much for reading my review and saying kind things about it – I really appreciate it! 🙂 I hope you like the book once you get to read it!