I Was Here – Gayle Forman [Reviews + Views on mental health]

BOOK- I WAS HERE
AUTHOR-GAYLE FORMAN
RATINGS- 3.8

As I continue to grow as a blogger, I realise that this requires more time than I had initially assumed it to need but coming to my aid is my little sister who is an avid reader herself. Though we share the same passion for books, we have quite a different taste when it comes to the department of genres. Although that doesn’t stop us from discussing about the books we have read, the characters we admire, the quotes we have highlighted and the journey we have lived. Quite sometime back, my sister was battling with personal issues which came at a price of her mental peace which should be the topmost priority for all of us and as an elder sister, it is a nightmare to watch your teenage sister going through phases and going down with each challenge life throws her way to a point that damage was severe. Though it is all part of growing up but sometimes it goes out of control and it spirals all the way down and such is the effect of it that it leads to self harm and suicidal thoughts. Luckily she had a lot of books that encouraged self peace over anything and as she kept reading about mental health, she soon realised to value life. This is one such book that helped her out and as I have taken a backseat again and taken over the editing part as she writes the synopsis, we hope this would atleast help one of you out there struggling with mental illness. Also, I will be starting with writing down a poem of mine to try to put out the magnitude of mental illness in words.

The world for her is getting a little more blur and her sky, it looks a lot like a giant web. On somedays, you wll find her carving pain beautifully on her wrist. Also, you will find her laughing over it for the rest of her days. One night, I hear my name on her lips and in the next, I feel blood trickling down my head. She now stands in the farthest corner of the room, crying. And I watch her as if she is a flower who just forgot to bloom.
-Arisha

Exactly how do you choose to see life depends upon nothing but your perspective towards it but it is safe to say that mostly it is like an unending rollercoaster ride which you did not want to ride in the first place?
So your first thought? To escape.
You Were Here, but then you are not anymore.

Life can be hard and beautiful and messy, but hopefully, it will be long. If it is, you will see that it’s unpredictable, and that the dark periods comes, but they abate — sometimes with a lot of support — and the tunnel widens, allowing the sun back in. If you’re in the dark, it might feel like you will always be there. Fumbling. Alone. But you won’t — and you’re not.

The story revolves around the protagonist, Cody who is having a rough time dealing with the death of her bestfriend- Meg. The absence of someone close is consuming Cody bit by bit. You can bet on your life to know a person thoroughly one moment and in the next, you doubt it all.

She didn’t tell me that she found life to be so unbearably painful. I mean, I didn’t even have a clue. A kind of laugh escapes, and I know that if I’m not very careful, what follows will be something I don’t want to hear, that no one wants to hear. How can you not know that about your best friend? Even if she doesn’t tell you, how can you not know? How can you believe someone to be beautiful and amazing and just about the most magical person you’ve ever known, when it turns out she was in such pain that she had to drink poison that robbed her cells of oxygen until her heart had no choice but to stop beating? So don’t ask me about Meg. Because I don’t know shit.

With Meg no longer being around anymore, Cody takes it upon herself to find the answers and pieces to the missing puzzle. So when she was sent to retrieve Meg’s belongings from her college dorm, Cody feels there might be more to the story then it is while constantly struggling to grasp the fact that there is no Meg to share secrets with or to call in the midst of a breakdown.

Also, through Cody’s perspective we get a chance to meet Meg in the book. And if you ask me, Meg was pretty much that girl you will fall in love with instantly, she is cheerful and always loves to keep her shit together. So when Meg is found with an industrial strength cleaner in her stomach, too late to be saved with bunch of scheduled emails sent to her dear ones as her last souvenir of being alive, what do you think has lead to this?

It’s funny how once you start pretending, you realise how much everyone else is too.

So the questions that lies infront of Cody is what actually lead Meg to take such a drastic step, what made Meg so distant from Cody that she never found out her best friend was severely depressed and her discovery of encrypted, deleted files in Meg’s computer and exactly who does it belong? Yes, there was many of those files that might have played a significant part of Meg’s committing suicide. Also, if there had been any chance at any given point of time to save Meg’s life by anyone?

This book deals with lots of issues but most importantly, it tries to bring to the light that sometimes lack of empathy can be the end of everything.

You type what you’re feeling and press send before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it. And then you wait, and wait, and wait, and nothing comes back, so all those things you thought were so important to say, really, they weren’t. They weren’t worth saying at all.

With Cody, you’ll see the slight lining between life and death, and learn to appreciate what you have before it’s too late with a touch of empathy. This books teaches a lot about life and death, friendship and love.

“Megan Luisa Garcia
I WAS HERE”

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