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I Was Here (Anglais) Relié – 27 janvier 2015


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Chapter 1
 
The day after Meg died, I received this letter:
 
 
 
I regret to inform you that I have had to take my own life. This decision has been a long time coming, and was mine alone to make. I know it will cause you pain, and for that I am sorry, but please know that I needed to end my own pain. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. It’s not your fault.
 
Meg
 
 
 
She emailed copies of the letter to her parents and to me, and to the Tacoma police department, along with another note informing them which motel she was at, which room she was in, what poison she had ingested, and how her body should be safely handled. On the pillow at the motel room was another note—instructing the maid to call the police and not touch her body—along with a fifty-dollar tip.
 
She sent the emails on a time delay. So that she would be long gone by the time we received them.
 
Of course, I didn’t know any of that until later. So when I first read Meg’s email on the computer at our town’s public library, I thought it had to be some kind of joke. Or a hoax. So I called Meg, and when she didn’t answer, I called her parents.
 
“Did you get Meg’s email?” I asked them.
 
“What email?”
 

 
 
Chapter 2
 
There are memorial services. And there are vigils. And then there are the prayer circles. It gets hard to keep them straight. At the vigils, you hold candles, but sometimes you do that at the prayer circles. At the memorial services, people talk, though what is there to say?
 
It was bad enough she had to die. On purpose. But for subjecting me to all of this, I could kill her.
 
“Cody, are you ready?” Tricia calls.
 
It is late on a Thursday afternoon, and we are going to the fifth service in the past month. This one is a candlelight vigil. I think.
 
I emerge from my bedroom. My mother is zipping up the black cocktail dress she picked up from the Goodwill after Meg died. She’s been using it as her funeral dress, but I’m sure that once this blows over, it’ll go into rotation as a going-out dress. She looks hot in it. Like so many people in town, mourning becomes her.
 
“Why aren’t you dressed?” she asks.
 
“All my nice clothes are dirty.”
 
“What nice clothes?”
 
“Fine, all my vaguely funereal clothes are dirty.”
 
“Dirty never stopped you before.”
 
We glare at each other. When I was eight, Tricia announced I was old enough to do my own laundry. I hate doing laundry. You can see where this leads.
 
“I don’t get why we have to go to another one,” I say.
 
“Because the town needs to process.”
 
“Cheese needs to process. The town needs to find another drama to distract itself with.”
 
There are fifteen hundred and seventy-four people in our town according to the fading sign on the highway. “Fifteen hundred and seventy-three,” Meg said when she escaped to college in Tacoma on a full scholarship last fall. “Fifteen hundred and seventy-two when you come to Seattle and we get our apartment together,” she’d added.
 
It remains stuck at fifteen hundred and seventy-three now, and I suspect it’ll stay there until someone else is born or dies. Most people don’t leave. Even when Tammy Henthoff and Matt Parner left their respective spouses to run off together—the gossip that was the hottest news before Meg—they moved to an RV park on the edge of town.
 
“Do I have to go?” I’m not sure why I bother to ask her this. Tricia is my mother but she’s not an authority in that way. I know why I have to go. For Joe and Sue.
 
They’re Meg’s parents. Or they were. I keep stumbling over the verb tenses. Do you cease being someone’s parent because they died? Because they died on purpose?
 
Joe and Sue look blasted into heartbreak, the hollows under their eyes so deep I don’t see how they’ll ever go away. And it’s for them I find my least-stinky dress and put it on. I get ready to sing. Again.
 
Amazing Grace. How Vile the Sound.
 

 
 
Chapter 3
 
I’ve written a dozen mental eulogies for Meg, imagining all the things I might say about her. Like how when we met in the first week of kindergarten she made me a picture of us, with both our names, and some words I didn’t understand because unlike Meg, I could not yet read or write. “It says ‘best friends,’” she’d explained. And like all things Meg wanted or predicted, it turned out to be true. I might talk about how I still have that picture. I keep it in a metal toolbox that houses all my most important things, and it is creased from age and multiple viewings.
 
Or I might talk about how Meg knew things about people that they might not know themselves. She knew the precise number of times in a row everyone generally sneezed; there’s a pattern to it, apparently. I was three; Scottie and Sue four, Joe was two, Meg was five. Meg could also remember what you wore for every picture day, every Halloween. She was like the archive of my history. And also the creator of it, too, because almost every one of those Halloweens was spent with her, usually in some costume she dreamed up.
 
Or I might talk about Meg and her obsession with firefly songs. It started in ninth grade when she’d picked up a vinyl single by a band called Heavens to Betsy. She’d dragged me back to her room and played me the scratchy record on that old turntable she’d bought at a church jumble sale for a dollar and rewired herself, with a little help from YouTube instructional videos. And you will never know how it feels to light up the sky. You will never know how it feels to be a firefly, Corin Tucker sang in a voice so simultaneously strong and vulnerable that it seemed almost inhuman.
 
After the Heavens to Betsy discovery, Meg went on a mission to find every good firefly song ever written. In true Meg fashion, within a few weeks she’d amassed an exhaustive list. “Have you ever even seen a firefly?” I’d asked her as she worked on her playlist.
 
I knew she hadn’t. Like me, Meg had never been east of the Rockies. “I have time,” she’d said, opening her arms, as if to demonstrate just how much life there was out there, waiting for her.
 
#
 
Joe and Sue asked me to speak at that first service, the big one that should’ve been held in the Catholic church the Garcias had attended for years, but wasn’t because Father Grady, though a friend of the family, was a rules man. He told the Garcias that Meg had committed a cardinal sin and therefore her soul wouldn’t be admitted to heaven, nor her body to the Catholic cemetery.
 
The last bit was theoretical. It took several weeks after Meg’s death for investigators to release her body. Apparently the poison she’d used was rare, though anyone who knew Meg wouldn’t be surprised by this. She never wore clothes from chain stores, always listened to bands no one else had heard of. Naturally, she found some obscure poison to swallow.
 
So the casket everyone had sobbed over at that first big service had been empty and there’d been no burial. I’d overheard Meg’s uncle Xavier tell his girlfriend that maybe it would be better if there never was one. No one knew what to write on the gravestone. “Everything sounds like a reproach,” he’d said.
 
I tried to write a eulogy for that service. I did. I pulled out the disc Meg had burned of firefly songs for inspiration. The third one up was the Bishop Allen track “Fireflies.” I don’t know if I ever really listened to the words before, because when I did now, they were like a smack from her grave: It says you can still forgive her. And she will forgive you back.
 
But I don’t know that I can. And I don’t know that she did.
 
I told Joe and Sue that I was sorry, that I couldn’t give a eulogy, that I just couldn’t think of anything to say.
 
It was the first time I ever lied to them.
 
#
 
Today’s service is being held in the Rotary Club, so it’s not one of the official religious services, though the speaker appears to be some kind of reverend. I’m not sure where they keep coming from, all these speakers who didn’t really know Meg. After it’s over, Sue invites me over for yet another reception at the house.
 
I used to spend so much time at Meg’s house that I could tell what kind of mood Sue was in by what I smelled when I walked through the door. Butter meant baking, which meant she was melancholy and needed cheering. Spicy meant she was happy and making hot Mexican food for Joe, even though it hurt her stomach. Popcorn meant that she was in bed, in the dark, not cooking anything, and Meg and Scottie were left to their own devices, which meant a buffet of microwave snack foods. On those days, Joe would joke how lucky we kids were to get to pig out like this as he made his way upstairs to check on Sue. We all played along, but usually, after the second or third microwave corndog, you kind of wanted to throw up.
 
I know the Garcias so well that when I called that morning after getting Meg’s email, I knew even though it was eleven o’clock on a Saturday that Sue would be still in bed but not sleeping; she said she never did learn to sleep in once her kids stopped waking up early. And Joe would have the coffee brewed and the morning paper spread out over the kitchen table. Scottie would be watching cartoons. Consistency was one of the many things I loved about Meg’s house. So different from mine where the earliest Tricia usually woke was noon, and some days you might find her pouring bowls of cereal, and some days you might find the house empty, Tricia’s bed untouched since the night before.
 
But now there’s a different kind of constancy about the Garcia household, one that is far less inviting. Still, when Sue asks me over, much as I’d prefer to refuse the invitation, I don’t.
 
#
 
The crowd of cars outside the house is thinner than it was in the early days when the whole town came on sympathy calls carrying Pyrex dishes. It was a little hard to take, all those casseroles and the “I’m so sorry for your losses” that accompanied them. Because elsewhere in town, the gossip was flying. Didn’t surprise me. Girl always hung her freak flag high, I heard people whispering in the Circle K. Meg and I both knew that some people said things like that about her—in our town she was like a rose blooming in the desert; it confused folks—but with her dead, this sentiment no longer felt like a badge of honor.
 
And it wasn’t just Meg they went after. At the bar where Tricia worked, I overheard a couple of townies sniping about Sue. “As a mother, I would know if my daughter was suicidal.” This coming from the mother of Carrie Tarkington, who had slept with half the school. I was about to ask Mrs. Tarkington if, being all-knowing, she knew that. But then her friend replied. “Sue? Are you joking. That woman is floating in space on a good day,” and I felt sucker punched by their cruelty. “How would you feel if you’d just lost your child, you bitches?” I’d sneered. Tricia had had to escort me home.
 
After today’s service, Tricia has to go to work so she drops me off at the Garcias’. I let myself in. Joe and Sue hug me tight and for a moment longer than is comfortable. I know that they must take some solace in me being here but I can hear Sue’s silent questions when she looks at me, and I know that all the questions boil down to one: Did you know?
 
I don’t know what would be worse. If I did know and didn’t tell them, or the truth, which is that even though Meg was my best friend and I have told her everything there is to tell about me and I assumed she’d done the same, I had no idea. Not a clue.
 
This decision has been a long time coming, she wrote in her note. A long time coming? How long is that? Weeks? Months? Years? I have known Meg since kindergarten. We have been best friends, sisters almost, ever since. How long has this decision been coming without her telling me? And more to the point, why didn’t she tell me?

Revue de presse

Praise for I Was Here:

"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 it takes to live after devastating loss." —Stephen Chbosky, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Irresistible tear-jerker” —New York Times

“A heartbreaking novel about coping with loss from the bestselling author of If I Stay” —People

"As she did in If I Stay, Forman offers an introspective examination of the line between life and death, and the courage it takes to persist."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Forman sifts through Cody’s shifting psychological landscape with a sure and delicate hand, developing a character that readers will recognize themselves in. . . a relevant book as well as an absorbing one.” —BCCB, starred review

"Part tautly paced mystery, part psychological study of suicide and its aftereffects. . . 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." —Kirkus Reviews

"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. . . This latest offering should generate massive teen interest." —Booklist

"Cody's struggle with grief and complicity is intense and affecting up until an emotional gut-punch of a conclusion. Once this compelling case is closed, what remains is a haunting, elegiac tale about enduring and understanding loss. " —The Horn Book

"Teens will clamor for this latest offering from the author of If I Stay." —School Library Journal

"Hugely popular Forman, author of the acclaimed If I Stay among others, has another best seller here. This novel’s strength lies in its depiction of main character Cody, a young woman torn by conflicts but sustained by her own sense of purpose." —VOYA

“Takes tragedy, guilt, friendship, inspiration, heartache, and bravery and mixes them all up in a blender of feelings” —Bustle

Praise for If I Stay and Where She Went:

“Beautifully written.” —Entertainment Weekly

“An achingly gorgeous portrayal of rejection and rekindled love.” —USA Today

“A page-turner, tearjerker and romance all in one.” —BookPage
 
“Pitch-perfect...a moving, skillfully crafted novel.” —VOYA, starred review
 
Praise for Just One Day and Just One Year:

“Offering mystery, drama, and an evocative portrait of unrequited love, this open-ended novel will leave fans eagerly anticipating the companion story.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers were enthralled with Forman’s If I Stay books, and now she’s captivated them again as they fall in love with her characters in Just One Day.” —NPR’s The Roundtable

“As satisfying as both of these books are, readers are going to wish for a third.” —Booklist


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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Forman handles a sensitive topic well, but still lacks emotional depth 27 janvier 2015
Par Cynthia Parten - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
It is hard to put into words how I feel about this book. Maybe underwhelmed would be the best one. The book starts right after Meg's suicide, with Cody trying to make sense of why her best friend would do what she did. When she discovers a mystery computer file that indicates there was more to Meg's life than Cody knew. The good thing about this book was that it dealt with suicide in a realistic way, in my opinion. I recently had someone who I used to be close to commit suicide. This person was a big part of my life growing up and we had chatted and kept in touch through Facebook over the years. I understand the feelings Cody was going through: the grief, the anger and the question of whether it could have been prevented. I even understand wanting to believe that someone else was responsible because suicide seems like such an unbelievable choice for someone to make. The mystery that Cody throws herself into is a result of her grief. Cody wanted someone to be angry at, someone to blame besides herself or Meg. Even though this mystery was fairly predictable, I think it was important to allow Cody to get to a point where she could properly grieve.

One thing that was hard in this book was that I couldn't really connect to Cody. Yes, I understood what she was feeling but I think that is because I had been through something similar. But because the book was about Meg's life and her suicide, I knew more about Meg than Cody, even though Cody was the one telling the story. I also think the addition of the romance was unnecessary and it was a bit cliche. There were a couple of points during reading in which I wanted to stop just because it was getting a bit dull. I am glad I held out though because the ending was where Forman packed the most emotion. I won't give away any major spoilers, but Cody was finally able to grieve and forgive Meg. This is a good read by Forman and she handles a sensitive topic well, but it lacks the depth of If I Stay.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2 - "If that's what happens to normal, what hope is there for the rest of us?" Stars. 29 janvier 2015
Par Miss Claire L. Robinson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
2 - "If that's what happens to normal, what hope is there for the rest of us?" Stars.

I think I should firstly say that I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman’s books. She somehow manages to take a bunch of fairly unremarkable, usual characters and give them what starts out as an ordinary story, but with one unique twist, turns them into extraordinary books. I am guaranteed to need tissues and want a hug after finishing a book by her, but I always feel I am a better person for having read the story she has given me.

You get all of the above with I Was Here with the exception of needing tissues and wanting a hug. This book left me cold; I know that is a pretty blunt summation, but that’s how I felt. I am not sure what went wrong but for me there was no emotion from me or the characters, I felt no empathy or sympathy for what any of them were experiencing, and I could find no real solid reasoning for half of the things Cody did, thought or said. I would go as far as to say disliked her, her mother, their attitudes and just them in general intensely.

Ben didn’t evoke much from me either, in fact no one in the book did really, apart from Meg’s little brother Scottie. Meg’s suicide and the reasoning behind it, her family’s behavior in the aftermath, and the actions Cody took to try and get to the bottom of the mystery… nothing. I felt absolutely nothing, I kept reading as I was sure that at some point something would happen to give me that lump in my throat, bring on that lip wobble or just a slight tear to the eye.

I have absolutely no doubt that I am probably in the minority with my feelings about this book, Gayle is, and will always be an author I am happy to read a book by. I guess that sometimes, some subjects and the story and characters an author chooses to build around them just don’t work for even their ardent fans. That is definitely the camp I am in on this occasion.

”I have time.”

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Classic, thought-provoking, lovely Gayle Forman. 16 février 2015
Par Mother/Gamer/Writer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
I Was Here by Gayle Forman was not what I expected. I had so much insta-love when I read her previous novel, Just One Day back in 2013; I thought I would fall madly in love with everything she writes. However, after reading the almost heavily emotional I Was Here (and I say almost because I felt very disconnected from the characters), I’m not so sure this book was my cup of tea.

Even though I read a lot, I’ve never read any novels that deal directly with suicide and the aftermath. With that being said, since that this is my fist adventure into the written world of death, loss, and grief on this scale, I guess I’m a little bit disappointed that I wasn’t more invested in the characters, their emotions, reactions, and how they came to terms with the sudden loss of Meg. Don’t get me wrong, I Was Here is a well-written novel. The words flowed, they kept you glued to the pages, but somewhere in between all of that I felt something was missing.

Slight Spoilers…

Cody was an okay character. For the most part. There were times when I wanted to strangle her for certain behaviors that I thought could possibly get her hurt or at least in some serious trouble. And I’m thinking this is where the book lost me and I started to enjoy it less. Cody seemed naïve in some parts and then the complete opposite in others. When Cody discovered the online forum Meg often visited and possible got encouragement to commit suicide, her reactions and then decisions turned me off. Most of it was dangerous. Slightly stalkerish. Obsessive. I know she wanted answers, however I think the way she decided to get them was neither healthy nor rational. It’s the internet. No one really knows who they are talking to on the other side of the computer. She could have been corresponding with a complete psycho and been none-the-wiser. This whole “mystery” left a very sour taste in my mouth.

As for the other characters, they were okay as well. What I liked most were Meg’s college roommates. I found myself wanting to know more about them than Cody and was often excited when she would visit them. Cody’s love interest, Ben, was also just okay. I found it very weird and almost too much for my liking. I get that Forman was trying to form a bond between the two, but a part of me thinks it was too much, especially considering the time frame and Ben’s previous involvement with Meg. In fact, I was saying “eww” instead of “aww”. Yeah. Kinda weird.

Overall, I Was Here is not a bad book. In fact, the writing is classic, thought-provoking, lovely Gayle Forman. I would recommend it if you enjoyed her previous works or novels that touch on very difficult subjects. However, if you are wanting something a little more fast-paced and less heavy, then this might not be the book for you.

Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Controllers
Reviewer: Me
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
wow 5 février 2015
Par Katherine - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book is breathtaking, it draws you in slowly then spins you around till you don't feel you know anything for certain, then like it began it slowly puts the pieces back together and leaves you feeling breathless.
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Raw, tragic, and ultimately hopeful 4 février 2015
Par The Housework Can Wait - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
After reading Forman’s debut novel, If I Stay, and its sequel, Where She Went, I knew Forman was not afraid of tackling difficult subjects and handling them with care, which is why I was interested to see her approach to one of the most upsetting and relevant topics in our society today, teen suicide. Though the subject matter is far from pleasant, it only takes a glance at the headlines to confirm that this is a very real problem facing teens. It is my hope that I Was Here and books like it will help kids experiencing thoughts of suicide realize they are not alone, and raise awareness in the people who love them.

I Was Here follows Meg’s best friend, Cody, as she learns to navigate life without her other half following Meg’s suicide. We never meet Meg except through Cody’s memories, and while there is an element of mystery and suspense as Cody tries to make sense of why Meg would kill herself, I Was Here is ultimately a book about grief, and how to move on after unspeakable loss.

It feels strange to say I enjoyed a book centered on such a grim topic, but I did. I Was Here constantly walked the line between hopeful and tragic, light and dark, guilt and healing. Cody could be a difficult narrator at times, partially because she was in such a painful emotional state and partially because Cody was naturally standoffish, but the other characters provided balance and occasional humor, which I appreciated.

As in all of Forman’s books, there is a romantic element to I Was Here, but it took a backseat to Cody and Meg’s story. I enjoyed watching Cody and her reluctant love interest come together, and fans of subtle, slow-burn romance will appreciate how their story is woven into the main narrative of trying to put together the pieces Meg left behind.

The mystery – why Meg killed herself when, to Cody’s eyes, she had shown no indication that she was suicidal – takes both Cody and the reader down a disturbing rabbit hole that is both illuminating and horrifying. I was concerned at first that the book may attempt to distance itself from its subject matter, taking the easy way out, but I shouldn’t have worried. I Was Here faces its demons head-on, even when Cody would prefer to stay steeped in denial.

Even though the book winds up where most people probably assume it must, the journey Cody takes to get there is in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, and at the end, I came away satisfied. I’d recommend this book to fans of Forman’s previous books, as well as anyone interested in a raw, thoughtful story of depression, loss, grief, and healing.
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