When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney {Review}

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
264 pages

Published June 4th 2013 by Little, Brown
Source: Twitter Party Giveaway @KPSimmon (thanks so much for the chance to review this book!!)
Rating: 2.5/ 5 Stars


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 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.

Why hello there lovely bloggy world. This is a really difficult book for me to review…so beware.
  • I honestly don’t have that much to say about Daisy’s book. For those of you who actually look at the section to the right of the book, you probably are wondering why I gave this book a 2.5 when there are so many raving, 4 star reviews of this book. I mean a lot. I think I could scroll for an infinity and see nothing but.  Well here it goes: this book just didn’t keep me interested. Why, you ask.
  • The writing was good, it really was, but the story line was rather annoying
  • I found Danny’s voice depressing. I need happiness people. I have school. I like uplifting books during the school year. I’ll read the drama-filled depressing books during breaks and in the summer
  • He is just so angry. At what? At his mom for leaving so early and so close to graduation. At being alone. At Holland for breaking up with him. At life.

I found myself skipping chapters in this book. (goodness that made me feel guilty) Y’all know I hate doing that. *sigh* I love Sandy, the dog. That dog is pretty amazing and the description of Tokyo was pretty awesome.  The writing was really good and very well thought out, I just wasn’t in the mood for the book, I guess. 

Here is where I put some quotes because I don’t know what else to say:
“Because this is what I believe – that second chances are stronger than secrets. You can let secrets go. But a second chance? You don’t let that pass you by.”

 “ Trains are all the ways you miss each other—wrong train, wrong tracks, wrong time. ” 

“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.” 


2 thoughts on “When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney {Review}

  1. Sorry you didn't like it!! I enjoyed this book a lot, but I definitely understand your points. Danny was kind of angry for no clear reason, just generally at the world which WAS annoying at times as you said. And you're right, this book is rather depressing. Not everyone likes every book, and I appreciate your honest review!!

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl


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