Monthly Archives: January 2015

Monthly Recap: January ’15

~Monthly Recap~
~YA Indulgences Stats~
-January-
# of Views/Visitors: 3,272/2,363
# of Blog Posts: 27 (now 28)
# of Reviews: 6
# of Likes: 26
# of Comments: 154 (I’m sure half of these are mine), so roughly 70
Most Viewed Post: Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman with 1,207
Most Commented Post: Amber’s Rambles – Names in Titles (#11) (Ten comments)
 
~Book Stats~
# of Books Read: EIGHT! 😀
# of Books Bought: Nine, but they’re e-books
# of Books Borrowed: Seven e-books and three audio
# of Books For Review: Seven
# of Books Won: 1 (I chose Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot)  (From Chrissy @ Every Free Chance Books. Thank you so so so much.<3)
# of Books Given: 1 (Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn for review<3)
~What I Posted (Outside of Memes)~

Musical Monday Playlist: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Amber’s Rambles #11: Names in Titles

Amber’s Rambles #12: Trends and Themes in 2015 YA Fiction

More Than This Provincial Life 1: What Is Veronica Mars?

More Than This Provincial Life 2 (I Will Go Down With This Ship: Steroline)

Review: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (Three Stars) (Three Stars)

Review: Paper Airplanes (Paper Airplanes #1) by Dawn O’Porter (Three Stars)

Review: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton (Two and a Half Stars)

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley (Five Stars)

ARC Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman (Three Stars)

ARC Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne (Two Stars)

My Favorite 2014 Covers

Wondrous Covers Wednesday #18 – Profile Images of Couples

Wondrous Covers Wednesday #19 – Double Profile

Wondrous Covers Wednesday #20 – Sihouettes

~Book/Author Related News~
  1. All The Bright Places is going to be a movie with Elle Fanning!
  2. This Song Will Save Your Life is being adapted for stage and film!
  3. Sisterhood Everlasting, the final book of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares is also set to be a movie.
~Music/Movies/Musical Related News~
  • Beauty and The Beast Live-action movie
  • Kelly Clarkson released “Heartbeat song” and “Piece By Piece” gets release date.
Books Read:
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne
Blues For Zoey by Robert Paul Weston
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
DUFF: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Eight books! That’s like a record. I also started Every Last Promise but stopped reading it.
~Blogging/Book Related Highlights~
  • I participated in Bout of Books and read two books.
  • I read The DUFF for the #ReadTheDUFF read-a-thon though I never tweeted during it because of my Kindle. 😦
  • I won a book of choice from Chrissy @ Every Free Chance Reviews, she also included bookmarks, pens, a sticker-type-thing (I’m still figuring it out, haha) and a nice card! 🙂 Way more than I thought I was getting. I’m so happy about the bookmarks and pens. 
  • I submitted my first E-ARC review this month for Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne.
  • I was auto approved for Dundurn on Netgalley, so that’s great if I ever get interested in any of their future titles.
  • I launched “More Than This Provincial Life” where I talk about more than books and blogging.
  • I changed my “Musical Monday” feature to be more inclusive.
  • I have reached 99 followers on WordPress. 🙂
  • Jennifer Niven retweeted me like three times, like omg.
  • Holy crap, I just found out Jennifer Niven actually follows me. Cue the fangirling! Omg. This is totally like that scene in Mean Girls where that girl’s like…well I’ll just show the video.
Minus the whole punching in the face because Jennifer Niven and I have a strict Twitter relationship (of sorts). Ha.
  • MY NOTES WERE DISCOVERED! I had put notes in seven or eight copies of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and they were DISCOVERED. I have no idea of the person actually bought the book or not, but whatever. Here’s the link about it on Instagram!
  • Erin @ The Hardcover Lover #FF’d me on Twitter, so that’s cool. I’m not sure what it all means, but I thought it was cool. 
  • I’m going to be writing a guest post on a blog. 🙂 And I’m so excited about it.
~Addictions~
Steroline from The Vampire Diaries
Dark Chocolate Pretzels that were limited edition and are now gone. 😦
How Did I  Do With My Resolutions?
Um…. Let me see.  Oh! Well i’m going to be guest posting on someone’s blog. I’ve had a couple discussions. I’ve started my new feature which is a “fun” post. 🙂 I have raised my NG ratio to 7%. I’ve updated my Books Read 2014, Books Read 2015, Upcoming Reviews, and my Reviews Archive pages. As for everything else…I’m still working on it.
How Did I Do With My Challenges?
I’ve read four E-ARCs for the Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2015.
I’ve had two discussions for the Book Blog Discussion Challenge 2015.
I’ve read either two or three books for the Debut Author Challenge.
And like I said, I participated in Bout of Books and #ReadTheDuff read-athon. 🙂
~My Life~
Things around here are going okay. I am still sick, which I mentioned in my past weekly recap. It’s not really getting any better. Oh and I’m going to file taxes soon, yay… Nothing exciting has really happened around here, other than a bit of chaos. Ha. That’s all I have to recap for this month. 🙂 I’ll be posting what I’m looking forward to for the second month of 2015 tomorrow, February 1st (wow). Hope your month’s gone well.

I Will Go Down With This Ship (Steroline from TVD)

Welcome to my second post for my “More Than This Provincial Life”  features. More Than This Provinical Life is a feature where I showcase things that aren’t book or blogging related. They will most likely involve tv shows, anime, and movies.
I have a confession,
my own secret obsession,
and it’s making me lose control
(Stick to The Status Quo from HSM)
Seriously. Steroline, it’s just like, omg, Stefan + Caroline= Amber Very Happy. This will include spoilers.
~Why Stefan and Caroline Need To Happen~
He saved her multiple times.
He helped her as a vampire. ❤

The Vampire Diaries

They have multiple dance scenes.

The vampire Diaries

Dance_3 Dance 1 Dance_2 Steroline_5x5_Dance Steroline_Dance
He only trusted her after he lost his memory. ❤
Their relationship has been slow burning.
Trust_Each_Other We_Tell_Eachother_TVD Friends
Despite Caroline being Pro-Stelena (before now), Paul Wesley (plays Stefan) is totally for Caroline and Stefan.
That’s my fear too…
They have a really beautiful thing that starts blossoming. But, you know, it’s a little confusing for both of them, but there’s definitely going to be some exploration of that. And I really enjoy working with [Candice] and there’s definitely going to be a little bit of that going on. But, you know, I don’t really know whether it’s going to last, or whether the friendship is going to override that romance, but I think, eventually, we are going to get what we want – which is them coming together and having some sort of a romance. I just don’t know to what degree.”
Taken from People.com The Vampire Diaries: Paul Wesley on Steroline, Stelena and the end of TVD
Have more faith than that Paul! HAVE MORE FAITH!

Stefan tells Caroline she reminds him of her best friend, Lexi. I found this video! It’s so cute (of Stefan and Lexi, not Caroline).

Lexi is pro Steroline.
Start this one at 4:02, it’s a continuation of the above one:
 
Okay, so maybe that’s not completely “pro Steroline”, but still. 🙂 Close enough.
They are supportive of each other.
Stefan told Caroline it’s okay to make mistakes and no one has the right to judge her.
He defended her against Elena in the latest episode.
Caroline helped Stefan when he was dealing with his blood craze.
They are almost always there for each other. 

The Vampire Diaries

They look so cute together, I mean seriously, look at this:
the Vampire Diaries

That’s so precious

Caroline’s not afraid to call Stefan out on his crap.
The Vampire Diaries

This is/was true.

Liz is pro-Steroline
Despite the fact they’ve gone through rough patches, they always end up turning to each other.
Falling_Apart
Steroline (The Vampire Diaries)

She needs you!

The Vampire Diaries

THE MOST GUYS. THE MOST!
They’re great friends.
Stefan_Makes_Jokes Stefan_Have-Fun
And then they have scenes like these below:
The Vampire Diaries (Stefan and Caroline)

I can’t take it, it’s so cute.

I_Dont_Even_Know_Steroline

The Vampire Diaries

Overall, I just love Steroline. I love their friendship, I love how Stefan is around Caroline, I love how Caroline is always there for Stefan, I love how they can have fights and make up. I. Just. Love. Them. They’re precious.

2015 YA Trends/Themes (Amber’s Rambles (#12))

I’ve been wanting to post about this for a while now, but I never got around to doing it….until now!

I was thinking a couple weeks about how many books about  suicide, fairytales, sexuality and “quirky” books coming out this year. I’m not sure how I feel about using the word “trend” in this case, so I’m also going to go with “theme”. 🙂 This is going to be a part one of two parts post. This week I’ll be covering suicide, mental illness, LGBTQA and “quirky” books. (Don’t you just love how I put that in quotations every time?

Suicide_Covers

I think suicide is a really important topic and I love the light being shined upon it. What I love most is that each of these books is talking about it from a different perspective.

In My Heart and Other Black Holes, the focus is on two characters who are planning their suicide.

In The Last Time We Say Goodbye, the main character is dealing with her brother’s suicide.

I Was Here is about the aftermath of Cody’s best friend Meg’s suicide and how she deals with it.

All The Bright Places (as many of us know) is about Finch and Violet who meet on the top of their school’s bell tower as they both plan to commit suicide.

Finally Playlist For The Dead also deals with the main character finding out why their best friend commit suicide.

I debated on whether or not to put all of the suicide books underneath mental illness, but I decided against that. I really love that mental illness is getting more focused on.

Mental Illness Covers

All The Bright Places– Finch suffers from mental illness.

In Made You Up, the main character is schizophrenic. This is really interesting because I’ve never read a book where a character dealt with that.

In Challenger Deep, the main character has a mental illness.

The Law of Loving Others features a main character who has to deal with her mother’s mental illness. I would love to read more books about teenagers dealing with their parents’ mental illness (like The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi). This is high on my priority list.

When Reason Breaks has one main character who suffers depression.

 

Quirky

Ah, quirky, yes, I have no way to describe these novels, well, other than “These are the novels I’m so desperate to have”. Ha. 

I’ll Meet You There takes place in Creek View, a place that sounds like it would definitely take place in the midwest where I live. Haha. The main character is desperate to get out of the city, but when her mom gets fired, she’s forced to stick around.

Mosquitoland, Mosquitoland reminds me a little bit of Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder. Mostly the journey part. 🙂 This sounds so original, it takes place on a Greyhound bus the main character takes to her see her mom. She of course meets travelers who are described as what else but quirky?

Denton Little’s Deathdate is about a guy who lives where everyone knows their own death date. Denton has a list of things he wants to do before he dies.

Bone Gap features a mystery involving Roza, a girl whose gone missing and Finn who believe she’s been kidnapped. You don’t get much quirkier than a town called Bone Gap.

No Parking At The End Times is about a girl whose parents have given everything to a guy known as Brother John, so they would be with him when the End Times came. Only they didn’t. And now Abigail has to fix her broken family.

In Vivian Apple At The End of The World, Vivian’s parents are super into the church of america and when they disappear, Vivian isn’t quite sure if the rapture has actually happened or not. She then goes off on a cross-country trip with her best friend and a guy named Peter to find out what’s really happened.

LGTBQA_CoversI like how there are more books coming out about intersex and transgender characters.

In The Art of Being Normal, the main character is a male to female transgender.

More Happy Than Not features a gay main character.

Not Otherwise Specified is about Etta who is bisexual.

None of The Above is about Kristin who finds out she is intersex.

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is about Andrew who is gay and meets a guy in the hospital where he now stays.

Finally, Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is about Simon, who is gay and being blackmailed.


 

Well that’s it for this week. Stop back by next week for the rest of these “YA Trends/Themes”. 🙂 Oh and let me know what you think of them.

ARC Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Since You've Been GoneTitle:  Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Marry Jennifer Payne
Published: January 23rd, 2015 (Dundurn Group)
Pages: 224
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Social Issues, Domestic Abuse, Romance, Family, Mystery
Format: E-ARC
Source: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinions or review.
Rating: Two Stars
Goodreads Summary:
Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she’s in a different country.
Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.
Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.”
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon 
Cover Thoughts: The cover gets across the feeling of isolation and worry that Edie feels. While I don’t really like it, it fits the novel.
First Line: Today I punched Ranice James in the face.
~First Thoughts~
Do not leave the cat! DON’T LEAVE THE CAT. Oh my gosh. I can’t believe this. This reminds of The Perfect Man (You know, that movie with Hilary Duff where she moves a ton).
~Review~
What attracted me to Since You’ve Been Gone was the domestic abuse background and that Edie and her mom have been on the run for years. I found this to be really interesting, particularly the “on the run” part. Mostly because I’ve always wondered how people can just pack up and leave on the whim. 
The pace in Since You’ve Been Gone was sort of distracting because it was uneven. In the beginning, Edie’s whisked away to London which was fast paced, then Edie gets used to school for a day or two, slowing the pace down and later, after her mom disappears, it picks up a bit. I loved how Edie was from Canada originally, I have a weird love for Canada, so I loved this aspect. I definitely felt for Edie, she was always on the run, she lost her friends every time she moved and was never able to completely relax.
When Edie goes to school she meets several characters. She meets one girl who she brushes off to sit with others because she finds the girl to be weird. I hated this, the girl was genuinely being nice. Later Edie meets a guy named Jermaine who despite teachers being leery of, turns out to be a “better” person than they think or see. Finally Edie meets a mean girl who hates her for no real reason other than this is high school and that definitely happens in high school.
Some of Edie’s actions after her mom disappears were questionable at times, but given her past and circumstances, I can understand them at least a little. An interesting twist, though maybe a little predictable is that Edie’s father is a cop, which explains how he can always find Edie and her mom. Due to this, Edie’s afraid to go to the police in fear they would believe her father over them, she would be taken into care (if not given back to her father) and her father would find her.
I have to give her credit because if my mom disappeared when I was 15, I wouldn’t have been as strong as she was. I didn’t really like how one of the characters came out of the blue to help her find her mom. Especially given who this character was and how they had previously acted. There’s a slight romance between the two, but it definitely wasn’t the focal point which is good. The romance did feel extremely rushed and random however. The love interest seemed a little too good to be true, especially for a girl he’d only just met a few days before. It was hard to believe it.
I loved how Since You’ve Been Gone took place in London because now not only is Edie dealing with her mom’s disappearance, she’s dealing with being alone in a foreign country. if I was that age, or even now at 23, alone in a foreign country with my parent missing, I would have been completely freaked out. Edie was a really strong character who was determined to find her mom and continue on.
I enjoyed Edie and her mom’s conversation, despite the initial conversation, they really cared about each other. I would have liked to have been able to get more of a grasp on Edie’s past home life. We see the aftermath of it and how it’s affected her, she’s angry, she’s not trusting and worried at times. Something that bothered me is that from the first sentence, readers can tell Edie has a little anger problem, but it’s never really touched on again. I would have liked to see this anger more, especially given her circumstances. I think if there was more of the home life explained, I could get a better idea of “who” they were running from, though it is explained later. I loved how Edie always thought about other families and how they weren’t like hers. I was interested in Since You’ve Been Gone enough to finish it and figure out what had happened.
~Final Thoughts~
Since You’ve Been Gone was really easily read, I felt the writing style was done well. I was wrapped into the story curious to what happened and what would happen. I loved how much description Payne put into the story, it really helped when reading. I was really looking forward to an exciting and meaningful book. For the most part, it was exciting and it was definitely meaningful. It gave me all kinds of feelings, angry, sadness and it made me wonder. I love that Payne tried to tackle a domestic abuse past and the effects it has on a child.  I think if the characters were developed further, it moved at an even pace and the ending wasn’t wrapped up so neatly, I would have liked it a lot more. Since You’ve Been Gone also could have stood to be a bit longer because in such a short amount of pages, it was hard to get real attached to Edie and get a sense of how her life was for the past five years.
~Would I Recommend It?~
No.

~Memorable Quotes~
If more people talked about things that happen in their homes that no one sees, rather than feeling ashamed, there might be less violence.

Wondrous Covers Wednesday (#20)

~Wondrous Covers Wednesday~

Wondrous Covers Wednesday (WCW) is a weekly feature at YA Indulgences where I showcase three book covers. To view past WCWs, you can check out the page here. 🙂
I’m still really loving the profile/silhouette style of book covers, so I am going to feature three book covers with silhouettes in them.

~One~

Bright Before Sunrise

~My Thoughts~

Ah, I love this cover, of course. 😉
1. I like how the cover takes place at night, I love how the moon is completely giant, taking up almost all the space in the background.
2. I like how well it fits the title.
3. I love the silhouetted couple. 🙂

~Two~

The Geography of You and Me

~My Thoughts~

1. I love that shade of blue used and I love how it’s the only other color, aside from shades of grey being used. 🙂
2. I like how the couple takes a bigger focus than in Bright Before Sunrise.
3. I, of course, love the stars in the background, I’m a sucker for anything universe related.

~Three~

Dove Arising

~My Thoughts~

Ah, look what Shannon found! A cover that completely complements my first two. Due to her great suggestion, I’m making this one my third selection.
1. Like in Bright Before Sunrising, I love the big moon!
2. I love the posture of the girl, she looks like she’s really rushing to get somewhere or training or something and given the plot summary, it makes sense.
3. I love how there’s a little tagline of sorts (What do they call those one line descriptions on covers?), but I wish it were either slightly bigger or in a different font because it’s a little hard to read. 😉
This book will be released next month from Viking Juvenile.

~Bonus~
The First Last Kiss

~My Thoughts~

Surprise! I’m still keeping this one because it’s so cute. I love this.
1. It looks so contemporary, sort of mature and like the kind of book I want to be caught reading out and about. 🙂
2. I like how cute it is, how the font is laid out and how the couple is framed.
3. The shades of green in this is so gorgeous. 

Edit: I’ve discovered my third cover! Or well, it was suggested to me, like I mentioned. 🙂 Let me know what you think of any of these covers and if you’ve read these books.

ARC Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I Was Here (Gayle Forman)Title:  I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: January 27th, 2015 (Viking Juvenile)
Pages: 288
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, College, Grief, Suicide, Tragedy, Friendship
Format: ARC
Source: Sent from Andye @ ReadingTeen
Rating: Three Stars
Goodreads Summary:
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.
 
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I love how the girl looks like she’s traveling somewhere because it fits in with the “I Was Here” theme, but I don’t care for the font color. And I wish the picture had been taken just smidge to the left so the white on the gravel(?) didn’t show.
First Line: The day after Meg died, I received this letter:
~First Thoughts~
The suicide was very well planned out. Meg seemed like one for detail then. The beginning sounds good, I wonder how this college trip is going to go, it could be really interesting.

~Review~

I read and loved both If I Stay and Where She Went, so I had high hopes for I Was Here. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as into it as I wish I’d been. Whereas I found If I Stay full of emotion and character depth, I didn’t feel the same way towards I Was Here. 
~The Good~
The plot summary is really fantastic.
The Suicide….
I promise, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Something I loved about I Was Here is how well thought out Meg planned her suicide, from sending letters to her family, Cody and the police department telling them how to handle her body, and writing the maid a note saying to call 911 and giving her a tip.
Meg:
Meg seemed like a really interesting character, I liked the times when Cody did mention her, how she was, how she acted, but I couldn’t get the full affect of Meg. She seems like one of those larger than life people, sort of like Lilly Kane in Veronica Mars.
Family:
Cody’s never had the typical family. From the time she was four, she called her mother by her first name, Tricia, due to Tricia herself. Meg always turned to the Garcia’s for help and the missing family aspect to her life. I loved this. I like how close Cody was to Meg’s family, how she didn’t know where she fit in, if she fit in and how it sort of shattered the dynamic. Meg has a little brother named Scottie. He says one line in the beginning of I Was Here that really hit me emotionally,
“Yeah, she spared me.”
And Scottie’s just so sad about this because he and Cody are talking about Meg’s death. I thought this was a sign, I thought I’d be sad throughout the book. It was not a sign.
Cody’s A Reader:
I loved this aspect of Cody’s personality. She’s read classics like Pride and Prejudice and goes to the library regularly, before Meg’s death it was to check out books, afterwards, it was to use the internet.
Kittens:
Meg saved two kittens while she was alive! And I love kittens so this definitely made I Was Here a little, tiny bit better for me, because what kind of person saves kittens? A kind one!
The Ending:
It doesn’t sound as bad it sounds either. The ending got to me emotionally.
~The Bad~
Romance:
Unnecessary and predictable.
Of course the random, hot, rockstar guy named Ben, with a past with the best friend is going to be the love interest.
Apparently musicians are the key to love and closure.
*headdesk*
Why?
I saw it coming, I knew it was coming, but still I have to ask myself….Why? The romance was unnecessary. Cody doesn’t like Ben for hurting Meg, Ben thinks Cody doesn’t know what happened, and I think it’s a waste of time. I couldn’t buy their love or relationship. It was too rushed, too fake, too empty and it seemed like the two characters were together because of their shared grief over Meg. Ben for….screwing and then leaving her and Cody for not knowing what her best friend felt until it was too late.
I hated how there wasn’t a flashback for this though. Everything was told. Ben TOLD Cody what happened, why couldn’t Ben have gone into detail? Or Forman have gone into detail for the readers? 😦 It was disappointing. Ben and Meg’s relationship was really hard to understand. Apparently he’d slept with her, but it was a mistake, and she emails him and he doesn’t like it and….
Yeah, I don’t care. The connection they (Cody and Ben) shared wasn’t believable. I mean, I’ll believe it because I saw parts of it, but I wasn’t really able to believe how things changed so rapidly between the two. One night, Cody wants to like, rip his head off and a week or two later they’re kissing? Gah. v.v
Friendship:
When Cody’s best friend, Meg kills herself, Cody’s entire world is left crumbled.
Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.
I didn’t feel this inseparable connect between Cody and Meg though. I know and completely understand that Cody was sad, but I just didn’t get this friendship before them. I couldn’t get a grasp on Cody and Meg’s friendship at all. There were no flashbacks of the two together, readers are just told they were “so close” and “best friends”. I didn’t get the feeling they were best friends though. At all. It would have been nice to see some of their shared moments together. I don’t want to be told they’re best friends, I want to SEE their friendship. I don’t want to read about how Cody didn’t talk to Meg anymore, I want to HEAR about how she waited for emails from her and never got one. I still wish there had been flashbacks or memories or anything from Cody’s point of view to show who Meg was.
Edit: I did list Meg in the “good” section and that’s because she did seem like this larger than life person, I just wasn’t completely into it. Although she did sound really good.
An example of this is Love Letters To The Dead, in which the main character, Laurel paints her sister, May so vividly, that she actually outshines her. I feel Meg should have been like this, that although I Was Here was Cody’s story (of sorts), that there should have been an amount of depth to Meg’s character. Instead Meg just…didn’t mean anything to me. I feel horrible for saying that because this is a book that deals with suicide and Meg did commit suicide, but I had zero connection to Meg at all.
Correction: I had zero connection to the friendship. I listed Meg in the “good” section, because there was a bit of mentioning her, which I did enjoy, but that was all “telling” more than showing. Even with the kittens, we’re “told” Meg saved them. We aren’t shown how, which makes sense, this takes place after Meg’s suicide.
I think I Was Here definitely could have benefitted from having flashbacks to make me care about Cody and Meg’s friendship. As it is, I found it extremely hard to care.
Maybe this was done on purpose though, maybe this was to show how Meg and Cody had drifted apart in friendship. I still wish there had been some sort of proof of this friendship. I don’t understand why Meg didn’t email Cody. I mean, I CAN understand why she didn’t, given what we learn later in the book, I just don’t get why she didn’t talk to her.
Lack of Feels (Mostly that of Sadness)
I Was Here wasn’t as emotional as I thought it would be. After being blown away from If I Stay, I had high hopes for I Was Here, especially given that it involved friendship and suicide. I thought I would be swept away into a sea of pain, drowning in my own tears…. But that didn’t happen. At all. 
~The Eh~
Cody:
I could understand Cody’s grief, she’d lost her best friend, that would hurt anyone. I found Cody to be kind of likable, she was rough around the edges, a bit bitter and had a bit of an attitude at times, that was all understandable though. I didn’t like how she initially treated Ben, but still, understandable given she didn’t know the full details. I get why she was angry, she wanted someone to blame and even blamed herself.
I felt bad for how she felt regarding Meg’s feelings and how she didn’t know. Cody as a narrator could have been more interesting, if there was just more of a connection there, which I didn’t feel with her. I felt bad for her, but I didn’t feel connected enough to her to really….feel bad with her.
I loved how after she found out what was on the encrypted file, she started thinking more about herself and exploring. I thought it was really interesting seeing where that led and I feel it could have gone a little further than it did. It still felt a little empty though.
Meg’s Roommates/College People:
I really liked Meg’s roommates, if only for the fact they had such different personalities. There’s Stoner Richard who’s actually a Christian and Alice, who drinks fair trade coffee.  It would have been interesting to hear about Meg’s interactions with them other than one example.
There’s also Harry, I have to say, I do love a good computer/tech genius with hacking capabilities or knowledge of flaws in computers.
Besides them, Meg also hung out at clubs with various people. This really interested me but beyond a couple stops, it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Cody’s family
When we meet Cody, we learn her mother is Tricia and her father basically walked out on the family. I would have loved to see more about Tricia. Due to the way she was and acted, I can definitely see how/where Cody may have gotten her attitude from. There’s a side-plot in I Was Here involving Cody’s dead, it seemed a little random and out of place.
Mystery:
The mystery in I Was Here isn’t a mystery like “Did Meg really kill herself?” because it’s quite clear she did, it’s more like, “did Meg work alone to kill herself”, but not in the euthanasia way either. I thought the mystery definitely had promise. I was interested in it. I wanted to see where it would go. It was definitely the only thing keeping Cody going at times, which was understandable and I liked that. I liked that Cody needed something to keep her going. I thought where the mystery led Cody was really interesting, it was unique, something I hadn’t read before and could’ve brought a new depth to I Was Here had t been handled in a different way. I will say though, for what the mystery was though, it was good, I liked it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like how Cody dealt with the mystery. Cody definitely did some very questionable and very dangerous things that I would never do. Then again, when someone you love has died, it’s hard to tell what you would do to get a little bit of closure.
The Reveal
There is a reveal in I Was Here, this reveal did make me rather sad, but I believe there would have been a bigger impact if I’d gotten a glimpse of it beforehand. Given what it is though, I see why I didn’t.
~Overall~
Writing this review has caused great distress. I liked I Was Here, the mystery was worth reading for, the family aspect was great and I liked Forman’s writing style. I wasn’t crazy about the execution, I lacked a connection with the characters, the friendship fell short, but the beginning and ending were nice. I loved what Forman was trying to do, write this amazing, meaningful, compelling story about friendship and grief, I just wasn’t invested in it. I can’t say I would recommend I Was Here as there were more cons than pros. For met at least.
This doesn’t however turn me off Forman’s future books so I’ll be checking out any future ones she may come out with.

Top Ten Books I Would Have In A Book Club

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a meme created and hosted @ The Broke and The Bookish. If you want to sign up, you can go here. This week’s top is the top ten books you would have in your book club. I unfortunately have never been in a book club, never so as much come close to doing a book club. Though I have a vague, maybe fake memory of there being some type of “book club” in elementary school, but that’s another story.
It was fun coming up with the books for this list. I went through three lists before deciding on what I would choose. I figured since I’m an “adult” and I made a “resolution” to read more adult fiction, I would make an Adult Fiction list. 🙂
~Top Adult Fiction Books I Would Have In My Book Club~
  1. After I Do by Taylor Reid Jenkins
    • I’ve heard great things about Taylor Reid Jenkins.This sounds amazing. It does sounds like such an unconventional plan, taking a year off from each other, more or less. It sounds really inspiring.
  2. Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Reid Jenkins
    • “Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.” from Goodreads
    • This is definitely going to cause tears, I can already tell. I’m having The Fault In Our Stars flashbacks. 😦 I’m worried about the “instant” and “electric” chemistry the two main characters have. I’m hoping it isn’t as instant-love as it sounds. It sounds like it’s going to be more about Elsie’s healing process though with flashbacks than actual interaction with Ben. I don’t know, we’ll see.
  3. Us by David Nicholls
    • I have One Day, which I haven’t finished, but I’ve loved the movie for it. I can’t wait to see what experiences happen on their journey to to “rediscovery”.
  4. Rooms by Lauren Oliver
    • Rooms sounds fascinating with it’s family dynamics, mystery and of course, secrets. I’ve heard Lauren Oliver’s work is really good so this would be a must read, being her Adult debut and all.
  5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
    • This was the first Rowell book I was interested in. I love the email correspondence and the idea of someone “monitoring” them, though that sounds creepy. 
  6. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
    • It would be impossible not to read Rowell’s latest book.
  7. Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
    • Of course, what would this list be without a book-to-movie selection? Silver Linings Playbooks sounds like a must read because it deals with mental illness as an adult.
  8. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    • I feel the only way I would get through this long, heavy books would to read it with someone(s). 🙂
  9. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste NG
    • I think it’s interesting seeing how different people grieve or come together. Everything I Never Told You sounds like it will have some surprising secrets.
  10. Room by Emma Donoghue
    • The fact that this story is told from the perspective of a five year old in such a bad situation, immediately draws me to this.
  11. Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden
    • I feel this book is a classic. I’ve never seen the movie, so I have no idea how it really goes, outside of the summary. It seems really thought-provoking though (maybe?) and I love books that take place in Japan.
  12. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
    • A woman who’s obsessed with finding her mom who’s disappeared, a psychic and a PI, I’m a bit interested now.
  13. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
    • I’ll admit that this book has me extremely worried about a possible love triangle and/or cheating possibility, which I don’t like. At all. But I’ve only heard of Moyes over the past couple months and while I own “Me Before You”, I’ve specifically heard good stuff about this one.
  14. The Day We Met by Rowan Coleman
    • This is recommended for lovers of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, although I haven’t read that, I’ll take this suggestion too. 🙂 I’m a sucker for a memory loss story too, though The Notebook has no appeal to me. Hopefully it doesn’t seem too much like The Notebook though.
  15. The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris
    • The summary’s caught my eye completely. I’ve heard it’s told in a non-linear format so I’m pretty much sold. It reminds me of After I Do, dealing with the problems in a marriage.
I just want to read all these books right now! Why don’t I read faster again? That’s right, I have that pesky, annoying little trait called procrastinator.

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