Skip to main content

When You Were Here

Review

When You Were Here

Danny doesn’t know what to do. His mother who had been fighting cancer for five years lost the battle three weeks before his graduation. His father was killed several years ago. His adopted sister is halfway across the world in China. And his ex-girlfriend Holland --- about whom he can’t stop thinking --- shows up at his house enough to make his heart ache with longing for her. All he has left is his dog, Sandy, and his mom’s best friend, Kate, who acts as his substitute mother. He doesn’t know how to live, how to be happy or even what he is going to say when he gives his speech at graduation as Valedictorian.

"Whitney doesn’t allow the reader to lose interest; always feeding new questions and heart-gripping revelations into Danny’s story...For lovers of dramas, romance and books that capture all of your heart, this novel is one to add to your summer reading list."

When he receives a letter from Tokyo, including details surrounding his mother’s apartment there, Danny knows what he has to do. Clinging to this tiny paper with hope, he buys a one-way ticket to finding happiness and learning the secrets of joy within his own mother’s life and death. Between lavender, raw fish and a crazy new friend, Danny unlocks pieces of his mother’s heart and life, which make him question everything he thought he knew before.

This is a novel full of raw emotion and heart. Be prepared to let tears flow at least once during the roller coaster of twists that is this story. Whitney doesn’t allow the reader to lose interest; always feeding new questions and heart-gripping revelations into Danny’s story. I personally could not put this book down until it was finished; closing it was like leaving a good friend after a long conversation. You will not be disappointed by investing in this book or taking the time to pick it up from your local library! For lovers of dramas, romance and books that capture all of your heart, this novel is one to add to your summer reading list.

Reviewed by Samantha W. on July 17, 2013

When You Were Here
by Daisy Whitney

  • Publication Date: June 4, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0316209740
  • ISBN-13: 9780316209748