I Was Here
by Forman, Gayle

In an attempt to understand why her best friend committed suicide, eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds retraces her dead friend's footsteps and makes some startling discoveries.

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

Eighteen-year-old Cody's best friend, Meg, has committed suicide, and Cody is determined to discover why and how it could be that she didn't sense what Meg was contemplating. As she begins her investigation, she meets a young musician, Ben, with whom Meg was obsessed but who rejected her. How responsible might he have been for Meg's death? How will Cody deal with his growing presence in her own life? And what is the meaning of the strange, encrypted message she discovers on Meg's computer? At first Cody finds more questions than answers, but she is dogged in her pursuit of knowledge and gradually comes ever closer to the startling truth. Suicide has always been a subject in YA literature, and to her credit, Forman handles it sensitively and gracefully, raising important issues of the ethics and morality of the subject. The combination mystery and love story is sure to reach a wide readership and excite essential discussion. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With the big-budget film adaptation of Forman's best-seller If I Stay (2009) still lingering in theaters, this latest offering should generate massive teen interest. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Part tautly paced mystery, part psychological study of suicide and its aftereffects. When Cody's best friend, Meg, kills herself by downing cleaning fluid in a motel room, she tidily leaves behind a tip for the maid and time-delayed emails for Cody, her parents and the police. Cody's devastated: After all, she and Meg were inseparable since kindergarten. That is, they were close until talented Meg escaped their dead-end town to attend college on a fellowship while Cody stayed behind. But when Cody travels to Meg's college town to pack up what's left of Meg's life, she's startled by how much doesn't make sense: Why would someone so full of promise and life choose death? How much did Meg's housemates know about her fateful decision? And why does Meg have an encrypted file on her computer? Seeking to justify the picture of the friend she thought she knew with the one she's piecing together, Cody faces questions about their friendship, along with a growing attraction for Ben, the boy she believes broke Meg's heart. Forman's characters are all too human: Cody's willingness to ignore what doesn't fit her picture of Meg as she struggles to come to terms with her sadness and guilt rings true of those left behind to face the tragedy of suicide. An engrossing and provocative look at the devastating finality of suicide, survivor's guilt, the complicated nature of responsibility and even the role of the Internet in life-and-death decisions. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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