Review: Gayle Forman – I was Here

I was Here
Gayle Forman

When Meg committed suicide, her best friend Cody cursed herself for not seeing it coming and not being there for Meg. As Cody digs deeper, wanting to expose why Meg did it, she finds herself chasing down the rabbit hole at someone else’s expense.

18879761I picked this up as a talking book, expecting it to be a wonderful novel about exposing why someone would want to commit suicide. Instead I found a messed up, self-centred teenage girl who was more filled with regrets than anything else.

This novel just felt too… convenient. Girl meets boy, girl blames boy, girl gets together with boy, boy screws things up with girl, girl and boy both grump, girl and boy get together happily ever after. I was disgusted with her. Ugh! Didn’t Cody learn anything?

No no, Cody hadn’t learnt anything. Anywhere. She chases things single-mindedly, at the cost to other people, and then bails! And for her, lies and promises might as well be the same thing. I was disgusted at her. She was so bloody clueless. Depression might have a stigma about it, but seriously, get a grip!

I listened to what felt like hours of this without making any progress. The ‘action’ only really happened in the 2nd last hour, and by that stage I was only still listening because I was hoping for a redemptive ending. Failure! No redemptive ending.

The author says that this was based on some interviews she did with some suicide survivor families. There was so much more she could have done with this novel that she didn’t. Creating a happy ending didn’t make me satisfied about the amount of time I had invested in Cody doing the right things.

2 stars. I finished it begrudgingly. Don’t read it. Read Hold Still, Suicide Notes or my personal favourite, The Last Time We Say Goodbye. That last one left me wanting more, and I wanted to listen to it all the time.


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