I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Audiobook, 7 hours and 42 minutes
Published January 27th, 2015 by Listening Library
Narrated by Jorjeana Marie
$28.00 on Audible (CAD)
I Was Here is the story of Cody and her best friend, Meg. They have been best friends since kindergarten, and they know each other better than anyone. At least, that’s what Cody thought. Until Meg commits suicide. And Cody had no idea Meg was even thinking about it. It devastates Cody.
At the request of Meg’s family, Cody heads up to Tacoma to collect Meg’s belongings from University. From there, Cody discovers there’s even more about Meg that she didn’t know.
While struggling to come to turns with her grief, Cody searches for answers and someone to blame. As she looks further into Meg’s death, Cody finds some suspicious things on Meg’s computer and thinks there really might be someone else to blame.
Cody goes on a journey to find out what really happened to Meg, and more about who Meg really was. With the help of Ben McAllister, a guitar playing womanizer from Meg’s life, Cody searches for the truth.
This is a story of friendship, loss, forgiveness, and acceptance. Forman takes a difficult topic and tackles it head on. For a while I thought she might take the easy way out, but she doesn’t. This loss hit really hard for Cody, and she doesn’t know how to handle it. First she lashes out, then she looks for someone to blame—and sometimes she blames herself. Forman spins a compelling narrative as Cody comes to terms with Meg’s death.
I loved this book. Jorjeana Marie does a superb job narrating and really adds to the story. And, as always, Gayle Forman’s writing is absolutely beautiful. I loved all the characters, even when they were doing silly things. I thought Forman did a really good and realistic job portraying the progression of grief and the effect suicide has on loved ones.
I loved Cody. She takes everything in stride, searching for answers. She comes from a shaky background, and is insecure about her place in the world—especially apart from Meg. Now, unsure of who Meg really was, she is unsure of who she is. On her journey, she doesn’t shy away from any truth, even when it hurts. There is such a great character arc for Cody in this story. I wanted to both hug her, and high-five her at the end.
Kudos to Gayle Forman for writing such a compelling and emotional story about this important topic. People tend to shy away from topics like suicide, or mental illness, etc, but Forman addresses it.
Warning though, as mentioned, this book discusses some serious topics. Make sure you know that going into it! It’s a heavy book (emotionally), so be aware of that. Honestly, I cried. Which was a bit dangerous since I listened to this audiobook while driving.
If you are a fan of Gayle Forman, or like really well written stories (even sad ones), I recommend you read (or listen to) this book.