Friday, 13 February 2015

Lifestyle: Gayle Forman. I Was Here Review + Giveaway

Gayle Forman I was Here review

Long time no read, but luckily Gayle Forman's latest YA fiction novel I Was Here* found its way on my desk. Whilst I've been out and about last weekend, it accompanied me on my travels and made the time go by very fast. The novel centres around a girl friendship and questions how well we really know our 'best friends'. With my blogiversary celebrated today, there's also the chance for you to win one copy of the book.

Main protagonist Cody and her best friend Meg are inseparable since childhood. Everything changes when Meg leaves for college in another town and commits suicide, which leaves Cody puzzled and lost behind. What has happened to Meg and their friendship? Why didn't she talk to Cody and confide in her? Cody embarks on a journey to Meg's former life, piecing together her friends' last few months whilst at the same time takes small steps back into her own life and regains control over it.

Forman's novel questions the meaning of 'true friendship' and raises awareness to teenage suicides. She also focuses on what happens when our lives develop in totally different directions, when we meet our first true love and that life, somehow, always finds a way to go on. All these topics are present and important for teenagers which I feel has been addressed and dealt with well in I Was Here. With a clear and precise language, which allows easy access to the story and its characters, the book is a true page-turner. Reading feels enjoyable and relaxing. On a simple, yet delicate and sensitive level Forman lets us accompany Cody and shares how she copes with her emotions over the loss of her friend.

However, some events offer too weak motives and explanation why characters act the way they have and weren't strong enough for me. Though I Was Here is an enjoyable Saturday afternoon read, the emotional level falls flat. I feel it could have been more intense to make me completely identify with the characters and care for them. You can't shake off the feeling completely, that something is missing.

Gayle Forman I was here review

The final showdown lacks some logic. There are a few new information tossed in on the last couple of pages, which give the plot a completely different angle and new direction which I think would have worked better if this information were revealed earlier in the story. The plot would have benefited from it tremendously and would have evolved into something more rounded and in depth. I don't want to go into too much detail, as this is a spoiler free review, but if you've read Forman's latest novel and would like to discuss aspects in more detail, feel free to leave me a comment.


As I've mentioned earlier, today is my one-year blogiversary. I've got a post in mind with a big giveaway which I'm going to plan and post later in the month (sorry, poor planning on my side!). However, I don't want the day to go pass by unnoticed so you have the chance to win one copy of I Was Here. Please use the Rafflecopter link or simply click on the picture. Good luck everyone.

Gayle Forman I was Here

Competition T&C
- All mandatory entries must be completed.
- There will be one winner.
- Bloggers and readers only, no compers please.
- Multiple accounts to enter the giveaway will be disqualified.
- The giveaway is open to UK residents only and will run from 13/02/2015 till 21/02/2015 12 am.
- Once the giveaway is over, Rafflecopter will choose one winner. The winner will be contacted via email.
- An email is sent to the winner who will then have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen.
- The copy will be sent directly from the publisher to the winner which can take up a few weeks.

I Was Here, published in the UK by Simon&Schuster, is out since 29 January and available for around £4 via Amazon. Gayle Forman has also announced via Twitter that she will be touring the UK next month. The tour will be held at Waterstone's across the country.

Thank you so much for reading today's review. Hope you'll join me on my next adventure. Did you read any of Gayle Forman's books (e.g. If I Stay)? Would you pick up I Was Here if you'd see it in the bookshop? 

Till next time,

xx Caz xx

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