Despite being a novel with such a hard and serious issue at the forefront, Gayle Forman has created a beautifully crafted book, with a lovely balance of delicacy and tension.
Cody thought she and Meg were inseparable. That was until Meg was found in a motel room after ingesting industrial strength cleaner. Cody thought she knew everything about Meg, they shared everything, but when she starts delving into her life at college, her old roommates, and the places she used to go she finds she knew less and less about her best friend.
The solemn tone that sets off the novel is just right. Although it leads straight into Meg’s death, it doesn’t steer you away from wanting to read more about it. The reader doesn’t feel intrusive, and are able to set straight into Cody’s world.
I liked Cody’s character and development she takes. I like that stance that Forman has given her, in being close to Meg yet not spotting signs at all. The contrast between the two families is great, however at times I felt it was a bit too far. I would have definitely liked to get to know the Garcia’s a lot more, and Tricia too for that matter. I would have like Cody to establish her background instead of describe a lot of it.
I loved the flat dynamics of Meg’s college housemates. Each one quirky, different and very welcoming. Ben seemed alright, but I would have liked a bit more depth with his character.
I didn’t understand the need for their relationship though, and how heavy it became. Sort of felt unnecessary. Because of this I felt some parts of the novel were really, really slow, yet others were rushed and sped without much thought, and I want to know more about the parts that were brushed over. Sometimes there was emphasis on bits that didn’t need it which spoiled it a bit for me.
I loved the approach and the reaction to the issue mainly, and how well that was portrayed. Not one of my favourite reads, but one that will stick with me for a while.