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.
Pages – 270
Published by Simon and Schuster in January 2015
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’m not sure how it happened, but while I was reading this book, I started to read another one that dealt with assisted suicide too, so I spent a whole week, weeping. Suicide pacts among teenagers really give me the heebee jeebies. To think that they are so many teenagers at the cusp of adulthood desperate to end their lives is extremely upsetting. I struggle to understand why this happens and why no one around them realises how close they are to taking their own lives.
For a large part of the book, you are questioning Meg’s decision. What on earth made her want to kill herself? Especially as Cody portrays her as this fun, bubbly and popular girl. But as the book progresses, you start to wonder if Cody really knew Meg at all.
As a main character, I found I didn’t get well with Cody. She didn’t shine as much on the page as other characters did. The one that shone the brightest had to be Ben McAllister, who practically engulfed the pages with flames every time he came on to the page.
I enjoyed the book on the whole, but it didn’t grip me in the same way If I Stay did. At times this book was rather morbid in tone, and could often be quite depressing. Considering the topic of the book, I was expecting a bigger emotional connection to the main character and it just wasn’t there for me.