Fashion by the Book: I Was Here by Gayle Forman + Review!

June 12, 2015 Book, Fashion by the Book 16 ★★

Fashion by the Book: I Was Here by Gayle Forman + Review!I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Published by Penguin Group, USA on 2014-12-18
Source: Borrowed from Library, Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

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, who broke Meg’s heart. 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.


Even trying to explain why I absolutely disliked this book makes me very very sad.

If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night, I loved ALL these books by Gayle Forman. All of them. But this book? Nothing.

I guess I went into this book expecting something completely heartbreaking, but beautifully written, and thought-provoking regardless. But I got exactly the opposite.

We start this book with Cody, who just recently lost her best friend Meg via suicide. Cody is an empty shell. She is depressed, confused, and angry. I wanted to feel for her, I really did. I wanted to feel as heartbroken as she did. But I didn’t. I felt annoyed. Annoyed at Cody because she was so mean. Because she pushed everyone away and acted as if she was the only one who had lost Meg. As if no one’s pain could ever compare to hers.

Not to mention, Cody does some completely dangerous and stupid things to “get closure”. I wanted to punch her throughout the book. Cody felt absolutely no regard to her mother, or to Meg’s parent’s, or frankly to anyone who actually cared about her in her selfish attemps to get closure. That made me dislike Cody even more.

There was much more tell than show in this book, with us never really seeing why Meg was so important. We never really feel her and Cody’s bond, so as a result everything just felt… detached. I never felt as part of the story, so I could never really form an emotional connection to it.

The romance was absolutely horrible. I didn’t like it. I thought it was a romance formed for all the wrong reasons. They never quite clicked with each other, and it just seemed like a bad choice all around.

The story’s only saving grace was the audiobook narration. The narrator is wonderful. I loved that she actually made Cody sound “alive”. The narrator knew how to make each character distinguishable, and her voice made the story flow much easier.

Overall, this book was a miss with me. Maybe if you haven’t already read other Gayle Forman books, you’ll really enjoy this one. Or maybe not. I can’t be sure.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

If you liked my review, please consider voting for it on Amazon or Goodreads. 🙂
fashion by the book

Fashion by the Book is a meme here on Boricuan Bookworms, where we’ll be showcasing different outfits inspired by books! These outfits were created by LauraElisabeth, an avid reader of books who we met on Tumblr. Check out our first introduction post and interview with Laura here!

I’ll admit, I did not like this book that much, but I’d wear this outfit in a heartbeat! Doesn’t it say “summer” to you? 🙂

Love the dress!!

     Fashion by the Book is a Tumblr blog for both fashion and book lovers, where book covers and characters inspire outfits. It was created by LauraElisabeth, lover of books and extreme fangirl. When she’s not making amazing outfits, she’s either on Tumblr or her Facebook, sharing her outfits with the world.

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • KarenHooper

    Gah! I’m so disappointed. I love Gayle’s stuff and was looking forward to this one. 🙁
    But yes, I do love that dress. I just wore a similar one, but in coral color to a graduation. 🙂

    • Oh, I love coral colored dresses! I own two, and I would’ve bought more but my mom has me on strict surveilance, lol. You can still try to read it, Karen! Maybe you’ll like it more than me 🙂

  • shootingstarsmag

    Sorry you disliked this one so much. I do really like the Fashion by the Book addition though – that’s such a fun tumblr page (I follow).


  • Benish

    I actually liked this one, I felt it wasn’t as bad as the reviews have been saying, although I do agree it’s not her best work. I like the fashion by the look edition though, looks super cute

    <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  • Wow, empty shell + selfish grieving + stupid choices +detachment + bad romance sounds like quite the recipe for disaster! I’ve heard other bad reviews for this so I have stayed far, far away. I really like Just One Day, but I only thought If I Stay was okay. The outfit is adorable though, is the bit of red a ribbon?

  • Very pretty outfit, it matches the color scheme of the book’s cover really well! As for the book itself, I have unfortunately heard that this one falls short for a lot of people. It’s especially a shame if you can’t develop a connection because it brings every other aspect down too, particularly the romance.

  • Karen

    I’m sad to say that I’ve been drifting away from Forman’s books for a while now. They just aren’t connecting with me for some reason.

    That is a n adorable outfit though 🙂

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • Too bad you aren’t connecting with them! I like all her other books.

      The outfit kind of softens the blow a bit haha

  • Oh no D: I’m sorry you didn’t like this one, Marianne! I knew it probably wasn’t for me back when I read the blurb, and after reading a few reviews, I am pretty certain I won’t be picking this one up. It sounds like Cody is a pretty unlikeable main character, and that is always a bit of a deal closer for me. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book on a characters likeability, but I would much prefer to read about someone I can at least sympathise with, and I don’t think that would happen with Cody.

    And stupid decisions will always irritate me >.<

    Those shoes are gorgeous, and I want them!

    • I’ve read books where I don’t agree with the main character before, but at least there were other things that kind of made up for it. This time around no such luck. OMG THOSE SHOES ARE AMAZING, RIGHT?!

  • Your choice of fashion is awesome, but like you, this book DID NOT WOW ME. I was kind of disappointed after I read the book. I also gave it a 2-star rating. This book was really meh for me.