Sunday, July 21, 2013

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Little Brown

Pages: 272pgs

The Story

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.

The Review

I haven't read anything by Daisy Whitney before, but as this is my very first book of hers and from what I've heard lately of her previous books and all the praises it has been receiving, I find her writing and work to be very promising indeed.

WHEN YOU WERE HERE is the kind of story that really pulls at your heartstrings and while I wasn't mind-blown  by the story but I thought it was such a pleasant story to read about. From the authentic grief process to the setting of one of my favourite places in the world, Tokyo, Japan, I thought the author wrote a fantastic story and I think out of everything I've just read, what I really did enjoy was witnessing - and also experiencing - the life and journey of our main character, Danny, and what he must do in order to overcome his grief of losing his mother to cancer. It was an emotional story and yet a very wonderful ride that I think many readers can relate to on any level. Whether they have lost someone themselves or not.

Overall, WHEN YOU WERE HERE is a heart-breaking and yet a very beautiful story that really encourages me to read more of Daisy Whitney's work. She certainly knows how to make your heart break in the best possible way and I'm looking forward to reading more from her, especially if her books are set out in this particular way.

The Rating
3/5 stars


  1. Hi Erin! Great review. I'm glad that you liked it enough to try other works by Daisy Whitney. My friend really liked this one. But like you (then) I have never read anything by Daisy Whitney. I think I'm up for an emotional read right now.

    1. Hey! Thank you! It's definitely a great book. Would highly recommend it, especially if you're in need of an emotional book.


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