I was here (Gayle Forman)

Gayle Forman’s latest publication, I was here, tells the heartbreaking story of a young woman who has to cope with the loss of her best friend to suicide.  The book takes her on a journey of realisation that there was absolutely nothing she could have done to save her friend from her fate.  The author adroitly delves into the mysterious and dangerous territory of internet chat rooms, exploring how they can draw young people in and encourage them to take their conversations offline.  The idea that vulnerable young adults can be influenced and actively encouraged to take their own lives is discussed and brought to the fore.  As Cody progresses along her path to discover why and how Megan makes her decision to commit suicide, devastated as she is, she looks at her own life, thinks about the state of her own mental health and comes to understand that life isn’t like that for everyone, and that people can, with the right support, move on from such a tragedy.  The story is an important one for teens to to read, (although I would recommend this book for the more emotionally resilient), and the subject matter is handled delicately and thoughtfully.  I found that it could possibly help a young person facing these issues, and wish very much that Gayle Forman had written the novel when I was writing my master’s dissertation on how bibliotherapy can help people from this age group.



Author: Berkhamsted School Library

Main aims for Berkhamsted School Library • to provide a central resource for the whole school curriculum • to encourage an ethos of enquiry and discovery • to assist pupils in becoming confident and independent learners • to develop research and information skills throughout the school • to offer resources which enrich cultural values and experiences for pupils, as well as have a role in their recreational life and promote reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity

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