It takes about three hours to pack the rest of her stuff. I pull out holey T-shirts and underwear because why do they need that? I throw away her stacks of music magazines, piled in a corner. I'm not sure what to do about her bedsheets because they still smell like her, and I have no idea if her sent will do to Sue what it's doing to me, which is making me remember Meg in such a real visceral way – Sleepovers and dance parties and those talks we would have until three in the morning that would make us feel lousy the next day because we'd slept like hell but also feel good because the talks were like blood transfusions, moments of realness and hope that were pinpricks of light in the dark fabric of small-town life.
I am tempted to inhale those sheets. If I do, maybe it will be enough to a race everything but you can only hold your breath for so long eventually, I'll have to exhale her and then it'll be like those mornings, when I wake up, forgetting before remembering.
Left to pick up the pieces of her best friend's suicide, Cody goes to pack up Meg's belongings that were away at college. While there, Cody discovers a side of Meg that she never really knew: one that she is now trying to uncover as she attempts to make sense of her death. As she gets to know Meg's roommates as well as the mysterious Ben McCallister who was Meg's former love interest, Cody is left to wonder how such a bright, vibrant young woman like Meg could possibly want to kill herself. But when Cody discovers an encrypted computer file on Meg's computer that she can't open, as well as months of deleted email correspondence that she can't recover, Cody now wonders if someone else had a hand in Meg's death.
I Was Here brings a new element into the writing of Gayle Forman: that of a mystery for the protagonist to solve. I will say though that I was not as emotionally invested in the characters in I Was Here as I was in If I Stay and Where She Went, which were Gayle Forman at her absolute best. If I started with I Was Here as my first foray into the work of Gayle Forman, I'm not sure I would be ask excited to pick up her other books. It's a solid story, don't get me wrong. It just didn't leave me feeling ALL THE THINGS the way IIS and WSW did.
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Published: January 27, 2015
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: Finished review copy provided by publisher
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