Review: “I Was Here” Brings You There

There are possibly only five words to properly describe this book to others: Not another clichéd contemporary book. We’ve all read them, and not to say that those books have no value, because I’ve read and cried at more than my fair share of them. However, not many authors are able to perfectly portray suicide and depression like this book has. To be honest, I didn’t read the synopsis of this book and place it in my mind like I normally do with books I want to read. I saw Gayle Forman’s name and jumped at the need to read it. Well, I am, in a way, glad that I didn’t remember the synopsis. Not that I wouldn’t have read it, but

because this book is the kind where you just jump in headfirst and come out at the end refreshed and with a new outlook in life.

Jumping into this book we get introduced to the main character, Cody, and she annoyed me just a little. Her grief gave over in the tendency to be mad that she was stuck in this little town that she gave an appropriate nickname to and that she couldn’t do anything to escape it. Except Meg and the Garcias did. After Meg’s suicide Cody travels to Cascade, Washington, where Meg was living and packs up all her belongings. Cody does some digging and finds out about a guy who she thinks is the reason why Meg poisoned herself. That turned out way wrong because Ben is so amazing beyond belief. But at first, she is a complete witch at him and yells. Anyways, as Cody does even more digging (I seriously think she could become an investigator) and finds something that prompted and helped Meg complete her suicide, in a way. (That just sounded awful, and I am trying to not sound inconsiderate.) By the end of the book, Cody’s character is just beginning to heal from Meg no longer being by her side.
Ben McAllister, man I love him. He brought so much to the book, and readers learn a lot about Cody through him. He pushed her to the limits and then brought her back. I just, I can’t even. I generally try to explain my thoughts, but I really just wanted to type his name. I don’t know how to explain Ben McAllister except that he always surprises you. At the beginning of the book you think he’s going to be a complete jerk and some other stuff, but by the end your heart is swooning when he makes an 80s movie style move. He always surprised me by what he was willing to do for Cody, and he was sweet and always stumbling around her. He had a horrible past, but that one part when he said he needed a change? Yeah, that look said so much more despite it being fictional and me not actually seeing it. It meant so much more, and I swooned. Quite literally.
The plot moved quickly, and I liked that. What seemed to take months and months only took a few weeks, but Cody just went through a lot in a few weeks that not many do. She also gained a bunch of great friends, and a lot of good was made out of the grief and despair that Meg left behind her. Which totally seems inconsiderate, but think about it: Without Meg dying, how would Cody have ever become the person she was, gain the friends Meg left behind, and get the amazing boyfriend of Ben, and see Meg as who she truly was. Gayle Forman wrote a beautiful book about so many things that happen in real life all smashed together to create a chaotic beautifulness. Definitely would recommend it if you’re looking for a serious read.

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