I Was Here by Gayle Forman


Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆

The day after Meg died, I received this letter:

I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life.


When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her.


Cody and Meg have been best friends since childhood. When Meg kills herself in a motel room by drinking poison, Cody can’t believe that she is really gone. And that she never talked to her about how she felt. She can’t help but feel guilty because she wasn’t there for Meg.

When she goes to her dorm room to pack Meg’s things, she finds an encrypted file on her computer. It leads her down a path to discover what happened in the last two months of Meg’s life.

“Did Meg mention him to you?”

“No” is all I say. Though I want to scream at people to stop asking me that. Because I don’t know what Meg told me and I ignored, and what Meg didn’t tell me. Although one thing I know for damn certain is that she didn’t tell me that she was in such intense pain that the only way to take it away was to order a batch of industrial poison and drink it down.

She also has to deal with how she feels because in those months, she distanced herself from Meg. Cody’s grief throughout the book is palpable. Meg is gone from the beginning of the book, but you really get to know her through the friendship Cody feels for her. For Cody, Meg was everything. They were as close as sisters.

Reading the graffiti out loud was one of our favorite things to do. There were hearts of couples long since broken up, and lyrics nobody remembered anymore. New stuff was always being scrawled over the old, though one line, Meg’s favorite, remained gouged into the metal: I Was Here.

What this book also did really well was the description of complicated relationships. Cody’s homelife isn’t exactly picture-perfect. Her mom makes her call her Tricia, she never knew her father, her small town feels suffocating. But in the end… they are also good people.


Such a beautiful, sad book.


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