April 9, 2014

Review: When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.
Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.
Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.
When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
Danny's mother passes away with cancer and his father passed away in a train accident. Danny lives alone and his sister is far away. He had no one but wanted to find out what really happened to his mom. It was amazing that Danny had courage to do what he did. I really enjoyed the unexpected ending. I was surprised.
Publisher-Little, Brown
Reviewers Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by~Ashley Honchell (Student at Franklin High School)
Thank you to the author for the donation of this book to the Read for your Future book program in exchange for a honest review.

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