Friday, July 12, 2013

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Katie's got the newest from Daisy Whitney, an author that you are going to want to get to know:

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
Danny is well acquainted with grief and loss. He lost his father to an accident six years ago, his mother to cancer two months ago, and his girlfriend, Holland... well, he’s not sure how he lost her, but he did. Alone with only his dog for company and the summer after graduation stretching depressingly before him, he decides to follow the one connection he still has to his mother--a letter that leads him across an ocean to their family apartment in Tokyo. Perhaps there, he thinks, he can find the secret to his mother’s joy even as she faced death in her final months.


At first, Tokyo, despite it’s bright lights, ancient traditions, and fast-paced lifestyle, holds more questions than answers. But it also offers Kana--the not-quite-Harajuku girl--who is a willing and witty partner in crime when it comes to both rediscovering the city he loves and solving the mystery to his mother’s happiness. Yet questions often beget questions and some of the answers will circle around to his mother and some will circle around to his own life. And Danny will be forced to decide for himself how he wants to live.

When You Were Here reminded me of last year’s wonderful The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (see our full review). It has the same heart, the same intelligence and beautiful writing, and a similarly clever male narrator recently graduated and struggling to find answers to everything from relationship woes to life’s bigger, even more heartbreaking questions. It would take a remarkable second half of 2013 to dislodge this book from near the top of my favorites of 2013 list. Days later I’m still thinking about Danny and Kana and Holland and daydreaming of Tokyo nights. One of the best books I’ve come across in quite some time. Check it out.

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