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I Was Here
Cover of I Was Here
I Was Here
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Cody and Meg were inseparable... Until they weren't. When her best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She...
Cody and Meg were inseparable... Until they weren't. When her best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She...
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  • Cody and Meg were inseparable...
    Until they weren't.

    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. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can't open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend's death gets thrown into question.

    "I Was Here is a pitch-perfect blend of mystery, tragedy, and romance. Gayle Forman has given us an unflinchingly honest portrait of the bravery that it takes to live after devastating loss."
    Stephen Chbosky, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter 1

    The day after Meg died, I received this letter:



    I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life. This decision has been a long time coming, and was mine alone to make. I know it will cause you pain, and for that I am sorry, but please know that I needed to end my own pain. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. It's not your fault.

    Meg



    She emailed copies of the letter to her parents and to me, and to the Tacoma police department, along with another note informing them which motel she was at, which room she was in, what poison she had ingested, and how her body should be safely handled. On the pillow at the motel room was another note—instructing the maid to call the police and not touch her body—along with a fifty-dollar tip.

    She sent the emails on a time delay. So that she would be long gone by the time we received them.

    Of course, I didn't know any of that until later. So when I first read Meg's email on the computer at our town's public library, I thought it had to be some kind of joke. Or a hoax. So I called Meg, and when she didn't answer, I called her parents.

    "Did you get Meg's email?" I asked them.

    "What email?"




    Chapter 2

    There are memorial services. And there are vigils. And then there are the prayer circles. It gets hard to keep them straight. At the vigils, you hold candles, but sometimes you do that at the prayer circles. At the memorial services, people talk, though what is there to say?

    It was bad enough she had to die. On purpose. But for subjecting me to all of this, I could kill her.

    "Cody, are you ready?" Tricia calls.

    It is late on a Thursday afternoon, and we are going to the fifth service in the past month. This one is a candlelight vigil. I think.

    I emerge from my bedroom. My mother is zipping up the black cocktail dress she picked up from the Goodwill after Meg died. She's been using it as her funeral dress, but I'm sure that once this blows over, it'll go into rotation as a going-out dress. She looks hot in it. Like so many people in town, mourning becomes her.

    "Why aren't you dressed?" she asks.

    "All my nice clothes are dirty."

    "What nice clothes?"

    "Fine, all my vaguely funereal clothes are dirty."

    "Dirty never stopped you before."

    We glare at each other. When I was eight, Tricia announced I was old enough to do my own laundry. I hate doing laundry. You can see where this leads.

    "I don't get why we have to go to another one," I say.

    "Because the town needs to process."

    "Cheese needs to process. The town needs to find another drama to distract itself with."

    There are fifteen hundred and seventy-four people in our town according to the fading sign on the highway. "Fifteen hundred and seventy-three," Meg said when she escaped to college in Tacoma on a full scholarship last fall. "Fifteen hundred and seventy-two when you come to Seattle and we get our apartment together," she'd added.

    It remains stuck at fifteen hundred and seventy-three now, and I suspect it'll stay there until someone else is born or dies. Most people don't leave. Even when Tammy Henthoff and Matt Parner left their respective spouses to run off together—the gossip that was the hottest news before Meg—they moved to an RV park on the edge of town.

    "Do I have to go?" I'm not sure why I bother to ask her this. Tricia is my mother but she's not an authority in that way. I know why I have to go. For Joe and Sue.

    They're Meg's parents. Or they were. I keep stumbling...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books llehlers - I thought "I Was Here" was a really well-written book with a great storyline and a lot of thought-provoking concepts about life, death, bravery, and choice. I would like to give it 3.5 stars but that isn't an option so 3 works. The reason I didn't give this book more is because it was pretty slow-going most of the time and never reached the level of "good-ness" I thought it would. However, I still liked it well enough and I think it's still worth recommending.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 20, 2014
    As she did in If I Stay, Forman offers an introspective examination of the line between life and death, and the courage it takes to persist. College freshman Meg’s suicide shocks no one more than her best friend Cody. To make Meg’s death even more unsettling, the last six months of her emails are missing from her computer. Certain that an outsider—a correspondent of Meg’s—pushed her to take her own life, Cody embarks on a quest to identify the culprit. Her journey proves both enlightening and dangerous as she traces the steps Meg took during her last weeks of life. As the pieces of a disturbing puzzle start to fit together, Cody takes an enormous risk to come to terms with Meg’s final decision and her own guilt. Beyond exploring Cody’s grief, this psychologically incisive book delves into her complex relationships with Tricia, her single mother; Meg’s more conventional family; and, most profoundly, the boy who stole and wounded Meg’s heart shortly before her death. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

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