Title: When You Were Here
Author: Daisy Whitney
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication date: June 4th, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Realistic Fiction)
When You Were Here was definitely different than most contemporary novels out there, but it was a great different. From a boy's point of view, Danny has lost everything in his life. His father died six years ago. His mother has been fighting cancer for the last 5 years, and has dies just before his graduation. His adopted sister has lost most contact with him when she decided she wanted to learn more about her "roots" and live in China. Danny is all alone in a house in California. His mother's best friend, Kate, lives right next door and is always there to take care of him. Ofcourse, there has to be the girl next door, and that would be Kate's daughter! Holland and Danny were actually dating a while ago, but things just changed later on.
As simple as this story might be, it was definitely peaceful. Just reading about Danny's journey of unraveling secrets about his dead mother was just beautiful. This book was set in one of my favorite places in the world, and it's Japan. I was thrilled to know that there was a large portion of this book set in Japan. I've never been there, but I've watched and read too many things about it to not know how amazing of a place it is. It's my dream to travel there, and just reading about it was so much fun! Anyways, Danny decides to travel to Tokyo because he had an apartment there to take care of. Danny also decided to travel to figure out why his mother always felt happier there. The description of the tea houses and the harajuku girls and the busy nights was just amazing. I completely loved it. As the story went on, it was interesting to understand why his mother felt peaceful in Japan. Throughout the days, Danny was able to find out day by day more things about his mother's days in Tokyo.
I loved Danny's dog, Sandy Kaufman. She was always the one who lights up the mood of the book. I love animals so it was so much fun to get to know Sandy Kaufman as more than just a "dog". There's also Kana, the amazing Japanese girl who becomes a very close friend to Danny. Overall, this book was beautiful in many ways. It's more to the realistic fiction, as it more concentrates about one finding his inner peace. This was a great read, and I cannot wait to get my hands on future books by Daisy Whitney!