When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

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Themes of prescription drug abuse, death and teen pregnancy make this a heavy go, but they don’t drag the text down, as they are expertly balanced by Kana’s spunk, Danny’s pained but authentic voice, and the overarching theme of love.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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 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.

 

About Daisy Whitney

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Daisy Whitney is the author of The Mockingbirds and its sequel, The Rivals. She lives in Marin County with her family and her dog. And the dog always gets the last word.
 
Published June 4, 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 264 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Travel, Children's Books. Fiction
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Kirkus

Good
on Apr 10 2013

Themes of prescription drug abuse, death and teen pregnancy make this a heavy go, but they don’t drag the text down, as they are expertly balanced by Kana’s spunk, Danny’s pained but authentic voice, and the overarching theme of love.

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