by Gayle Forman
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Staycomes "a heartbreaking novel about coping with loss" (People).
When her best friend, Meg, commits suicide by drinking a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how did she miss the signs of Meg's depression? 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 Timesbestselling The Perks of Being a Wallflower
synopsis from Amazon.com
Gayle Forman does it again with this heart-wrenching book about a girl, Cody, and her reaction to the news that her best friend has committed suicide. The story takes us along for the ride as Cody learns information about Meg that surprises her. We also follow Cody as she realizes that grief is not black and white and there are actually many emotions that she is ALLOWED to have. Sadness. Anger. Guilt. Acceptance. - and everything in between.
As someone who works in the mental health field, I truly appreciated this "behind-the-scenes" look at how it feels to be one of the people left behind when someone completes their suicide plan. Many people feel guilty and feel they should have seen the signs. The truth is that no one expects their loved one or even their acquaintance to commit suicide. And sometimes there are no visible signs that one can see. This is why it's important for us all to keep an open dialogue about mental health....to speak our minds when we feel that something is not right. Sometimes, all we need to do is listen. Listening to a loved one or even a random person can make a huge difference and become the encouragement that person needs for them to get help. I feel that this book did a wonderful job in portraying the story of those left behind...and just how complicated the human condition can get.
This story is worth reading, but it can also be difficult for those who have attempted or know someone who has attempted or completed suicide. Please - if you aren't ready to read, it's okay to skip for now. If you feel that reading and discussing it with someone who is understanding and patient will help, please do so.
If you or anyone you know has had thoughts of suicide (or you want to know more about helping others), please read the information below:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish