I Was Here

7 CDs. 8 hrs. Listening Library. 2015. $40. ISBN 9780553556100. digital download.
Gr 9 Up—After 19-year-old Cody's best friend, Meg, committed suicide, Cody was left questioning everything she thought she knew about Meg and their friendship. While looking through Meg's laptop, the young woman uncovers some encrypted files that reference The Final Solution, an online "support" group for those considering suicide. Cody embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse, trying to determine who encouraged Meg to end her life. Cody is so single-minded about casting blame that she can't see that Meg was suffering from severe depression or that she is putting herself in danger when she confronts in person one of the Final Solution's members. The first third of the novel is gripping and emotional but then the threads all come apart. Cody at times is so reckless that teens will struggle to find the story realistic. Add in a new romance and the sudden bonding of the teen and her standoffish mother and listeners will struggle to figure out what kind of story this is. Narrator Jorjeana Marie uses a monotone voice for Cody, which demonstrates the depths of Cody's sorrow and inertia. While the technique is important in setting the tone of the character's outlook, it grows wearisome.
VERDICT Even fans of Forman will find this gritty story a hard sell. An additional selection.

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