First Thoughts: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

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I haven’t been able to read for a few months because of tests, homework, and now AP tests. I finally went to the library last weekend and picked up some interesting books. My first book I started is I Was Here by Gayle Forman. Foreman’s book If I Stay is one of her well known books that has been made into a movie starring Chloe Moretz. Personally, my favorite book by Forman is One Day. One day is technically a “teenage romance novel”, but it isn’t a stereotypical story of boy meets girl (I recommend reading this book too).

I Was Here is about Cody, an eighteen year old who is stunned after her best friend Meg commits suicide by drinking industrial-strength cleaner. Cody doesn’t understand why Meg committed suicide and she begins an investigation into the events leading up to Meg’s death.

I was hooked from the start and finished half the book in a day. Foreman is amazing at getting the readers to understand Cody’s pain after Meg’s suicide. It is easy to understand Cody’s point of view and you can feel her frustration and helplessness in the narrative. One of the quotes that captures the raw emotion is, “Because when I look at Ben McCallister one last time, he has this expression on his face-it’s the particular contortion when fury meets guilt. And I know that look. I see it everyday in the mirror,” (Forman 35). This quote hit me in the face and it is one of my top five quotes from the book.

One of the aspects that I dislike about the book is Cody’s mom, Tricia. She doesn’t act like a parental figure for Cody and doesn’t have any substance. Tricia is the opposite of Meg’s parents and this difference could be intentional. I feel like Tricia’s character seems forced into the story and is a stereotypical mother who forces her children to be very independent because she isn’t the parental type. Each chapter gives you clues to the mystery of Meg’s suicide and it’s hard to come up with an answer that fits all the additional clues. I’ve been thinking about the possible reasons, but none of them seem right.

The first half of I Was Here was amazing and I highly recommend reading this book. I will upload an article on how I felt about the whole book soon!

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  1. Katherine says:

    WOWWWWWWWW what an eye-opening article! I will definitely read this book. Thanks Kayla Phan.

  2. I picked up book myself !!! had to read !!!


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