When You Were Here

Whitney, Daisy. When You Were Here. New York: Little, Brown & Co, 2013. Print. ISBN 13: 9780316209748. Hardback. $18.00.

Annotation: Danny  is a high school senior who just lost his mom to a hard-fought battle with cancer and when he decides to visit the family apartment in Tokyo, he learns more about his mom and himself than he ever imagined.

To say that Danny Kellerman is having a tough time is a huge understatement. Three weeks before his high school graduation, Danny’s mom has just lost her lengthy battle with cancer. Since his dad died years ago, and his sister split, Danny’s left alone with his dog to try and sort out his memories and his grief.

And it really doesn’t help that his ex-girlfriend, Holland, keeps showing up to constantly break his heart.

So when Danny receives a letter from the family taking care of the Kellerman’s apartment in Tokyo he decides to use it as an escape – and a clue towards answering some important questions about his mom. Kana, the daughter of the apartment’s caretaker, shows Danny around Tokyo and tries to help him discover the answers he had been hoping for.  But when Holland suddenly shows up in Tokyo will Danny find himself with more questions than he had ever expected?


Dine like Danny: Tuna sashimi rice bowl with soy sauce followed by miso soup.

Quotables: “Sometimes it is easier for us to tell hard things to people far away. That’s how we test out saying things.” -Kana (pg 193)

“Life is short, and life is beautiful, and everything is lovely. Love it, embrace it, smell the lilacs, play with the dog, and love endlessly and fiercely with everything you’ve got. Live without regret.” (pg 236)


Read an excerpt of When You Were Here provided by Hachette OpenBook.

YOUR OPTIONS: When You Were Here is available in print and eBook formats.

Anastasia Vito © 2014


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