To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
What When You Where Here Is About: Three weeks before Danny’s graduation, his mom loses her battle with cancer and Danny becomes an orphan. Amidst his grief and hopelessness, a directionless Danny has to try to make it through his graduation and deliver a hopeful Valedictorian speech while trying to make adult decisions about what to do with their home and his mother’s things. On top of it all, the girl who broke his heart by just shutting him out of her life suddenly reappears in his life. When the manager of his family’s apartment in Japan, where Danny’s mom had spending some of her final months for treatment, sends a letter that reveals to him that maybe he didn’t know all about his mother’s final months and why she seemed so happy in them. With nagging questions and sense of purposelessness that has made him numb, Danny takes a trip around the world to Japan to if he can find the answers and reconnect with his mother through these memories.
Why You Should Be Saving The Date:
1. This book is BEAUTIFUL though it will steamroll right through your heart. It was an intensely emotional book in so many ways. I knew going into it I would connect with it on a personal level having lost my mother to cancer but there were whole other levels that I found myself connecting to it and I certainly don’t think you need to have experienced a loss like this for this book to shake you up. So don’t be frightened and think it’s just another “grief” story. It’s much more than that though obviously the profound loss is a big part. Luckily Daisy Whitney has this ability to so subtly make sure, upon finishing, that your heart is in tact; stitched back up by Danny’s story of loss and love and how it takes strength and courage to get through both.
2. Danny’s time in Japan stirred up the travel bug in me. I loved that part of his very emotional journey was also a physical one set in Tokyo. As he looks for answers and tries to feel the spirit of his mom in a city they loved so much, Daisy Whitney makes you feel like you are at the fish market, or ambling along the twisted streets or smelling the cherry blossoms. I loved exploring the city through Danny’s eyes and especially with Kana. She was such a bright and spunky character that just added this whole lightness to the dark that Danny was feeling.
3. Daisy Whitney’s writing is flawless. Whether it was the dialogue or the descriptions of Tokyo or passages showing Danny’s grief — it was just so flawless and natural and I just floated right through the story. I just really love the way she writes!
Who Should Save The Date: Fans of contemporary YA, Fans of stories that seriously give you ALL OF THE FEELS — not just make you cry but make you feel hopeful or in love or intense mourning alongside the character.
Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list? Have you read Daisy Whitney’s previous works? I have them on my shelf but haven’t yet read them! Be on the lookout for my FULL review coming closer to the release date.