Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: 29th January 2015
Book Source: Simon & Schuster Aus
Synopsis: This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.
As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness.
I loved Gayle Forman's If I Stay, the emotion of it completely overwhelmed me. I Was Here was a good read, an important one but I found the emotional connection lacking. Depression and suicide is sensitive subject matter, whilst we are making headway, depression is still very much a misunderstood illness, the stigma is still there, so anything that brings the subject out of that taboo-no-go-zone should be appreciated.
I Was Here follows Cody as she tries to come to terms with her best friend's suicide. It tells the effect of Meg's death on those close to her .... the guilt, anger and disbelief felt real. And that's about as far as the 'feel' went.
Cody's sarcasm and abrasiveness didn't bother me, I understood the loss of trust in what she thought she knew of her friend and their friendship, I got why she was so desperate for answers. I didn't mind Ben as a character but I felt next to nothing about Cody and Ben's 'romance'.
I understand that everyone does grief differently and the last thing a grieving person needs is judgement but I thought Meg's parents' behaviour was odd, they didn't come across as genuine, quite frankly, I didn't feel much for them at all.
It was nauseating to read of suicide 'support' groups, not support groups for the those left behind or those suffering from depression but for those considering suicide ... encouragement, applause, choices, suggestions; people preying on those most vulnerable, it makes me sick that groups like this exist. A bit like the dreadful pro-mia and pro-ana online support groups for bulimia and anorexia.
Don't let me put you off, this was a worthwhile read but it confounded me to feel so little ... me who cries at a Kleenex ad. I'm keen to hear what others thought.
Gayle Forman's author notes and support links were a very worthwhile inclusion.
Connect with Gayle Forman